Location: SAV 264
“Beyond Reparations: Towards Structural Transformation”
Department of Political Science
Where there are still individual survivors of colonial wrongs that amount to violations of human rights and humanitarian law, reparation in the forms of official acknowledgement, apology, and financial compensation to individual victims is one important component of interactional justice and reconciliation. The structural injustices implicated in colonial wrongdoing, however, affect larger categories of persons than those who can claim to be individual victims of egregious human rights violations. The centrality of structural injustice in reproducing vulnerability to such victimization shows a need to go beyond reparations. A normative focus on the social stratifications of contemporary international order that reproduce structural injustice generates new ways to think about and engage in transformative politics of redress. I explore three interrelated strategies that can help to reorient redress efforts towards structural transformation in international and transnational relations: decolonization, decentering, and disalienation.
Catherine Lu is Associate Professor of Political Science at McGill University, Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of International Development, and Coordinator of the Research Group on Global Justice of the Yan P. Lin Centre for the Study of Freedom and Global Orders in the Ancient and Modern Worlds. She has research and teaching interests in international and normative political theory, especially concerning humanitarianism, intervention, and the use of force in world politics; justice and reconciliation in response to violence, oppression and atrocity in colonial contexts; and cosmopolitanism, global justice, and world government. In addition to journal articles and book chapters on these themes, she is the author of Just and Unjust Interventions in World Politics: Public and Private (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), and has a forthcoming book, Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics, published by Cambridge University Press. She has received research fellowships from the School of Philosophy, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University (2013), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2010-11), and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University (2004-5).