Africa Challenges conference of the African Studies Association in Germany
Between June 7 and 11, 2021, took place the conference Africa Challenges of the African Studies Association in Germany (VAD e.V.) having been organized by the Centre for Interdisciplinary African Studies (ZIAF) at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. The conference explored the challenging nature of Africa in the past, the present, and possible futures from holistic perspectives and how Africa contests notions and concepts of development, modernization, capitalism and democracy.
On June 7, Jonas Bens and Leonie Benker chaired the panel “Challenging the Rule of Law: The African Laboratory”. The panel explored Africa's place as a laboratory for international rule of law interventions. Papers of different disciplinary perspectives explored how these interventions have challenged Africa and/or how Africa has challenged the understanding of “the rule of law” more generally.
Leonie Benker's paper, titled "Norther Ugandan Perspectives on the International Criminal Court: Pluralizing Local Voices, contributes to a pluralization of local voices. It carves out the ambiguities and complexities of local perspectives on the International Criminal Court and connects them with the larger question of African agency on the international criminal justice stage.
Presenting the paper titled "Africa as a Laboratory of Legalized Modernity", Jonas Bens explores, with reference to other studies presented in the panel, the analytic of the colonial laboratory in order to understand not only how notions of legalized modernity have challenged African modes of governance and justice-making, but how African (post-)colonial contexts have shaped and still shape basic notions of law and modernity.