Decolonial Comparative Law
Colloquium Methods for Legal History
- Date: Jan 14, 2020
- Time: 14:15 - 16:30
- Speaker: Ralf Michaels / Lena Salaymeh (MPI for comparative and international Private Law, Hamburg)
- Location: Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte
- Room: Z01
Decolonial comparative law both identifies how the matrix of modernity/coloniality structures prevalent understandings of law and offers decolonial alternatives. (Coloniality means not merely colonialism, but rather a totalizing and universalizing mode of thought that underlies modernity.) Conventional comparative law rests on epistemic assumptions that emerge from the modernity/coloniality matrix and this has implications for a number of core presumptions or practices in comparative law: using the nation-state as a category of analysis, privileging secular law over religious law, viewing modern law as superior to precolonial and anticolonial legal traditions. Decoloniality seeks to overcome the center-periphery structure, a key aspect of the modernity/coloniality matrix, through the concept of pluriversality, meaning the legitimacy of multiple traditions and social orderings.