18 November 2019CH: Thank you for agreeing to do this. The prompt for the interview was to talk about your recently published book, Territorial Sovereignty, but I thought before we got into that you could say something about your earlier work and how that led you to be interested in this particular project that you deal with in the book.
This chapter examines the debate on how Wakanda should respond to global injustice, Black Panther illustrates various issues regarding the nature of justice and the types of injustices we can inflict upon one another. Perhaps bearing witness to colonial epistemicide around them stoked Wakandans' strong impulse to protect their knowledge at all costs. In African philosophy, scholars often analyze or draw from proverbs and language use as a way to explore moral and political principles within an oral tradition. Ifeanyi Menkiti (...) argues that proverbs and wisdom within African thought and tradition uphold mutuality and the sense of not holding one's self others. Yet, despite what T'Challa says in his speech to the United Nations at the end of the film, his decision to "no longer watch from the shadows" appears to be motivated by the need to help, not by a sense of oneness with all of humanity, as understood through African philosophy. (shrink)
Over the COVID-19 period, much attention has been paid to the governance relationship between citizens and the state. In this article, however, we focus on a feature that is less evident in the day-to-day living of the social contract: the relationship between citizens. Because this horizontal cohesion is critical to the social contract, we suggest that it should not be neglected, even amid a deepening crisis of state–citizen relations. Using the case of South Africa's vaccine roll-out as an illustration, we (...) argue that certain kinds of state failures – failures in making complex fairness decisions, in treating citizens as equals when enacting these decisions, and in providing public justification for these decisions – risk dual damage to both citizen–state and citizen–citizen relations and so undermine an already fragile social contract. (shrink)