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Dossier

The Journal Las Torres de Lucca, continuing its goal of becoming an open and free magazine, has incorporated the section "Dossier". This section is meant to publish compilations of articles on a specific topic proposed by the dossier coordinator.

Articles published in the dossier are evaluated according to the same rules as any other articles. Therefore, those authors interested in participating in a dossier should submit their articles as usual, indicating in "comments" the adscription to a particular dossier.

For information on how to propose a dossier to the Editorial Committee, write to editorial@lastorresdelucca.org

Next Issue

N° 13 (December 2018): Kant and Political Philosophy: Sovereign Peoples Sharing One Earth

N° 14 (June 2019): Modernity as a Historical Experience and its Crises. Alternative Courses, Theoretical Approaches and Repercussions on Contemporary Thought

N° 15 (December 2019): Cornelius Castoriadis: a philosopher to think about the present.

N° 16 (June 2020): Feminist Political Theory: Tensions, Dilemmas and Debates

 


Number 13 (December 2018)

Kant and Political Philosophy: Sovereign Peoples Sharing One Earth

Coordinator: Macarena Marey.

Deadline: March 30, 2018.

Since the twentieth century, most of the different currents in political philosophy and theory consider sovereignty as an extreme pulling two bows. One of these bows dichotomically connects sovereignty to individual rights, the other one opposes it to every normative order existing beyond its borders. To hold that sovereignty is a horn of these two dilemmas, it is necessary to assume a series of specific theses about what sovereignty is, to whom it corresponds, which political competences are ascribed to the sovereign agent, which status individual rights have facing the political community and which attributes, aims and roles the global juridical-political order already has and should have instead. Contemporary discussions on the matter tend to presuppose that sovereignty belongs to the state (not to the people), that it corresponds not to legislation but to the executive enforcement of the law, and that individual rights have a quasi-natural, pre-political status. Both realist and normative perspectives on international relations seem to see little more than a decisionist power in sovereignty and this premise limits their analysis of territorial rights, refugee rights, global poverty and the rights of states facing other states and trans- and supranational agents of various sorts. But if we study these matters from a modern perspective, i. e. a point of view focusing on the way the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries treated the novel concept of sovereignty and not tainted by exogenous interpretative hypothesis over them elaborated by the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, sovereignty does not necessarily clash with individual rights and the thesis that there is juridical and political normativity beyond nation states. The political philosophy that Kant developed as a metaphysical system in the last decade of his intellectual production is a clear example of this non-tensional conception of sovereignty. In Kant’s political philosophy, the absolute sovereignty of the reunited popular will is grounded a priori, corresponds exclusively to the legislative power and is not threatened by supranational norms; on the contrary, popular sovereignty would be guaranteed by new transnational norms protecting the rights of peoples and persons across borders.

In this dossier, we invite scholars to turn to the Kantian sources to reflect upon why it is important to defend popular sovereignty in a transnational world in which relations between states are radically inequitable and millions are exploited by economic agents interfering with positive legal corpora across frontiers. We call for papers aiming to critically answer some of the following questions, taking into account (to continue it or to reject it) the framework sketched in the previous paragraph: What is a properly Kantian justification of the necessity of the state? How does Kant sustain the thesis that the people is the only sovereign, the only author of legitimate right? What are the practical implications of popular sovereignty for and within concrete political practices that are neither the outcome of an original contract nor the product of a united popular legislative will? What could Kant’s political thought contribute to the fundamental question of collective political agency? What is the effective operativeness of Kant’s idea that the popular united will is necessary a priori and condition of possibility of all legitimate law? Lastly and perhaps more importantly, what does it mean that sovereignty belongs to peoples in a world where relations between states are inequitable, where economic transnational agents have overwhelming influence upon regional social conditions, and where millions are forced to leave their own territories?

Number 14 (June 2019)

Modernity as a Historical Experience and its Crises. Alternative Courses, Theoretical Approaches and Repercussions on Contemporary Thought

Coordinator: Dante Ramaglia

Deadline: November  30, 2018.

The dossier seeks to advance understanding of the diagnosis of the present from the theoretical productions that have been formulated around the set of processes and intellectual representations of both modernity and the modern legacy. The aspect that we want to highlight does not refer so much to the derivations followed by the debate established by postmodernism, but to the fact that the consequences of the modern project contain other possibilities of inquiry that were not exhausted in it. For this reason, it is necessary to pay attention to a line of re-reading of this phenomenon that continues in our time and has significant antecedents in diverse tendencies that questioned its repercussions.

Certainly, the discussions from which such productions emerge are central to the constitution of contemporary thought as they contribute to its conceptual differentiation with respect to the preceding historical stage. Different formulations developed worldwide since last century to the present, have promoted the reconstruction of the genealogy of these debates and have begun to project horizons of the experiences derived from modernity. Focusing on both directions, genealogies and horizons, critical approaches define the scope and aspects that have to be overcome regarding this decisive stage of the formation of our societies. In this sense, it is possible to differentiate the applications contained in the criticisms posed about modernity. In particular, those that assume an emancipatory sense from which to enunciate the overcoming of the crises that have been led by this planetary civilizing process.

This problem, whose central guidelines are located mainly in the trajectory followed by Western philosophy, also appears, with dissidence and possible convergences, in alternative critical thinking, be it Latin American, African, Asian or other non-Western regions. From this perspective and considering this worldwide expansion, one aspect to consider regards the different routes of modernity, which depend on specific conditions and features of each historical, geographical and cultural situation. The contextualization of interpretations about the scope of the experience of modernity, in different regions of the planet, is a central issue to be clarified. It is interesting to show how through the development of capitalism, there appear contrasts between the processes of modernization and the ideologies that accompanied them. The consequences of the colonial and dependent forms that marked the extension of globalization, as well as the alternative modalities that were presented from the practical and theoretical levels, are among other questions to be investigated.

In numerous studies dedicated to modernity in non-central countries, as it is the case of the historical experience in Latin America, several approaches have indicated the singularity of the adopted modalities, from which it has been spoken of its "peripheral", "unequal", "heterogeneous" character, in the possibility of connoting it as "alternative" and in its overcoming in the so-called "transmodernity". Other approaches have placed emphasis on the implications regarding the cultural field and its treatment from various disciplines, where different perspectives such as critical and alternative thinking, historiography, geography, literary criticism, gender and race studies. These, are other aspects that are considered relevant for the debate.

Number 15 (December 2019)

Cornelius Castoriadis: a philosopher to think about the present

Coordinators: Iván de los Ríos and Adrián Almazán

Submission Deadline: March 30, 2018.

Last December 2017, we commemorated the 20th anniversary of the death of Cornelius Castoriadis. Born in 1922 in Constantinople, battler against the Metaxas’ dictatorship, exiled in France, member of the mythical magazine "Socialism or Barbarism", psychoanalyst, professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales… The Greek-French philosopher left us a life as multifaceted and rich as his thinking and philosophy were. The diversity of his interests and his enormous erudition led him to make incursions into the most varied fields: ontology, history of institutions (in particular his work on Ancient Greece), sociology, political analysis, epistemology, etc. We could apply these labels to what was always a united thought linked to a maxim: the radical interrogation of a philosophy that has the pretension to answer questions considered by anyone who wants to understand, in a radical way, his present in order to transform it.

Castoriadis´s  systematic construction is perhaps one of the last major attempts to create an ambitious and praxis oriented philosophical framework. A thought that breaks the isolated approach of philosophies that restrict their field of study to its own history or to the rigorously ontological reflection, a transdisciplinary framework which reflects on all human creations and their interaction with the organic and inorganic world. A systematic effort that Castoriadis bequeathed to all those who do not refuse to direct their efforts towards a radical transformation of society, the same one which he always fought for and which, today, is more urgent than ever.

Despite the wealth, relevance and appropriateness of a corpus of reflection spanned more than four decades, the reality is that the reception of Castoriadis' work in the Spanish-speaking world is still partial and insufficient. Although there are luckily some publishing initiatives that work to make available some of the works of the Greek-French philosopher for Spanish language readers, the coordinators of this monographic edition of the magazine "The Towers of Lucca" think it is urgent and necessary to make known the works and the central ideas of the Castoriadian political philosophy in greater depth. And that is why we launch this call for papers with the intention of allowing works directed towards the exposition and detailing of the political philosophy problems which occupied the philosophical work of Castoriadis: from its receipt of the Greek tradition to its reflection on the Athenian democratic institutions, the phenomena of institutionality, radical democracy, equality, etc.

Number 16 (June 2020)

Feminist Political Theory: Tensions, Dilemmas and Debates

Coordinator: Anabella Di Tullio y Romina Smiraglia

Deadline: November 30, 2019.

The first feminist researchers already warned us: it is not a simple task to integrate women into a theoretical tradition created by, for, and about men. Modern political theorists have defined and characterized women in relation to men´s needs, while maintaining them framed in nature, that is to say, outside the field of studies that they were delimiting. Far from assuming the existence of a situation that has to be questioned or analyzed, the subordination of women was taken for granted from the beginning of the political thought tradition.

This subjection has been systematically hidden or justified either by holding premises that alluded to a natural sexual order or by ignoring women and feminists arguments. Nevertheless, the considerations about sexual difference offered by political theorists constituted a key point in the conceptual articulations they present, since many of their main arguments rest on what they say —or remain silent— about the relations between the sexes.

We conceived feminist political theory as a field within feminist theory as well as a field in political theory, so we recognized the existence of feminist elements, strictly speaking, as well as specifically political ones in feminist political theory. We could also contradict ourselves and state that feminism is always political, so the distinction laid out before is pointless.

However, political theory is a disciplinary field while feminist theory is a particular gaze of the word, whose questions and study objects are constructed, often, interdisciplinary. Therefore, how to proceed? Shall we build a particular field within political theory disciplinary? Shall we remain in the quicksand of feminist theory in order to construct new questions and study objects in relation to the political? Shall we think other paths, displacements, movements?

It is perhaps, in a way, precisely this tension that has often led to underestimate or vanish the contributions that feminism has made about politics. However, that tension is also its greatest power, because this critical approach allows to show the universal as particular, the general as partial, the neutral as biased, and the Man drawn to unfailingly male.
 
Women as Susan Moller Okin, Carole Pateman, Linda Nicholson, Lynda Lange, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Mary O'Brien, Genevieve Lloyd, Hanna Pitkin, Wendy Brown, Françoise Collin, Nancy Fraser, Iris Marion Young, Nancy Hirschmann, Jane Mansbridge, Christine Di Stefano, Anne Phillips, Martha Nussbaum, María Luisa Femenías, Alejandra Ciriza, Francesca Gargallo, Urania Atenea Ungo Montenegro, María-Xosé Agra Romero, Celia Amorós y Fina Birulés led the way into the  research and reconnaissance of this field that we call feminist political theory. It was thanks to them and so many others feminists theorists that in 1970s and 1980s the claims on the exclusion of women from the main categories of political thought and the distortion of the feminine "nature” were articulated —although texts such as The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen by Olympe de Gouge or A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft give account of a history and a genealogy that we must recover.

Since then, and especially during the 1990s, feminist political theory begins to emphasize on the implications of the main conceptions of the malestream theory. It is no longer just about making visible the absence of women, but thinking about the implications that these theoretical constructions have been made only from masculine positions: the gender bias is present not only in how we theorized, but in the decision on what is theorized.