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Reading: The Resilience of Abyssal Exclusions in Our Societies: Toward a Post-Abyssal Law

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The Resilience of Abyssal Exclusions in Our Societies: Toward a Post-Abyssal Law

Author:

Boaventura de Sousa Santos

Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Institute for Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison bsantos@wisc.edu
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Abstract

At a time in which we are going through the ruins of two models of social transformation – social revolution and social reformism –, I identify a radical division between metropolitan and colonial social relations. I describe and denounce what I call an ‘abyssal line’ between these two realities. The difference between the two sides is that on the metropolitan side we can claim rights, as we are fully human. Conversely, on the colonial side, exclusion is abyssal, people are sub-human, and therefore have no rights. To denounce this abyssal exclusion, we should learn other types of knowledge that allow us to produce radical diagnoses of our societies. We should become more aware of the diversity of social experience in the world, an experience of untold and repugnantly unjust suffering, but also of neglected creativity and innovation. We should develop a law of common goods, democratic pluralism, interculturality, and dignity.
How to Cite: Sousa Santos B de, ‘The Resilience of Abyssal Exclusions in Our Societies: Toward a Post-abyssal Law’ (2017) 22 Tilburg Law Review 237 DOI: http://doi.org/10.1163/22112596-02201011
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Published on 05 Oct 2017.
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