Law and civilisation

(Version française ci-dessous)

This contact group brings together scholars from various disciplines (law, sociology, anthropology, history and political science) in order to open a discussion around the articulation between law, legal orders and rights, on the one hand, and “civilization”, on the other.

The term civilization itself remains the object of various and often contentious definitions in the sociological and historical literatures. While it may refer to a Western-centric project to legitimize colonial rule and conceal its brutal edge, it has also been used to describe, following sociologist Norbert Elias, an unplanned and open-ended process that results in a growing social and personal regulation of social behavior.

What role, if any, do phenomena related to juridification, such as growing formalization of political rule in constitutions, or recognition of individual rights, play in this process? What is, for instance, the role of lawyers and the justifications they provide on behalf of the State in advancing this process? And, lastly, is the Eliasian “civilization” concept usable to study law from a sociological point of view, especially in “non-western” contexts?

This F.R.S.-FNRS contact group aims at addressing these questions through concrete case-studies and from various disciplinary approaches. Beside this attention to the “usability” of concepts in an empirical setting, the group also seeks to engage with these questions in various contexts: national and post-national, European and non-European.

Présidente : Florence DELMOTTE (Chercheuse qualifiée, F.R.S.-FNRS/Université Saint-Louis –Bruxelles)

Secrétaire : Barbara TRUFFIN (Professeure, Université libre de Bruxelles)

Membres du groupe : Hugo CANIHAC et Christophe MAJASTRE

Version française

Ce groupe de contact (Droit et processus de civilisation) se situe au croisement de différentes disciplines: sociologie, droit, science politique et histoire. Il a pour objet d’interroger les rapports entre le(s) droit(s) et le concept de civilisation à la lumière de la sociologie historique de Norbert Elias, en croisant les méthodes et terrains de ces différentes disciplines. Sa création fait suite à une série de manifestations scientifiques mobilisant des chercheurs et chercheuses de plusieurs universités de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles ainsi que d’universités étrangères. Il a pour objectif de soutenir l’organisation de prochaines réunions en vue d’une publication collective à soumettre durant l’année 2021. À plus long terme, ce groupe se donne pour objet de créer un espace durable d’échanges autour de ces questions.