4th International Colloquium in Social and Political Thought: The Power of Shaping Forms of Life

November 2 and 3, 2017
Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile

Keynote speakers
Joel Colón-Ríos (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
Fernando Atria (Universidad de Chile)

In political and social theory, the notion of constitution remains a central topic insomuch as the term articulates a modern predicament with deep historical roots. For constitutions are not merely juridical objects of a superior rank that ground rights, institute law-making capacities, and secure state legitimacy. They attest to the self-constituting capacities of society to produce normative structures and shape life in common. This power of a community (or some of its members) to make and re-make its political form of coexistence manifests itself in the sedimentation of social practices, concepts, institutions, and knowledges. In this sense, a constitution does not represent a static unity of purpose, but rather an open arena of conflicting forces, processes, and strategies.

The question of constitution is of special relevance and urgency today, both in the local context of the conference (as Chile has recently embarked on a process of establishing a new constitution) and in the international arena (given the constitutional crisis of the EU, the populist assault on constitutional democracy, and the failure of a number of constitutional projects in post-conflict societies).

Presentations in English or Spanish will explore the question of constitution and the power to shape forms of life from different disciplines (philosophy, politics, sociology, history, law, anthropology) and approaches (critical theory, deconstruction, feminism, postcolonialism, conceptual and intellectual history, etc.).

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