Injustice, Resistance and Complicity

June 14, 2022 - June 15, 2022
Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, University of Groningen

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen
Groningen 9712 GL

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  • The Centre for PPE, University of Groningen


University of Colorado, Boulder


University of Groningen

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Injustice is often difficult to pin down. It manifests not only in one group using their power to inflict physical or psychological harm on another, or to limit another group’s options, choices or possibilities through overt policies or political means. Recent developments in philosophy have highlighted that injustice can take more insidious forms. It can manifest at an epistemic level: depriving agents of the ability to conceptualise the harms done to them, or blocking their ability to articulate the ways in which they have been wronged. Injustice often functions structurally, in the absence of any identifiable oppressing agent. Frequently, unjust social structures have a deceptive nature, making systemic issues appear to be individual failings; thus, effectively identifying and resisting these diverse sites of injustice requires careful attention to the interplay between structural and interpersonal forces, and questions of individual, collective and vicarious responsibility and agency. These matters are further complicated by issues of complicity: the way in which agents can play a role in upholding or reinforcing their own subordination and the subordination of others. Complicity manifests itself in the ‘grey zone’ of agency, responsibility and choice in situations of injustice, where strategic negotiations with oppressive social structures need to be disentangled from adaptive preferences and internalised oppression, or affective mechanisms that inure agents against acknowledging, resisting and combatting injustice. Epistemic and structural injustice, and our complicity in both, raise difficult questions for the possibility of resistance.

This two-day international workshop brings together speakers from a range of philosophical perspectives in order to explore issues of injustice, resistance and complicity in relation to questions of responsibility, gender, the role of emotion, as well as from applied and legal perspectives. The keynote lecture, ‘Moral justification and structural epistemic injustice’, will be given by Professor Alison Jaggar.

This workshop is organised by the department of Ethics Social and Political Philosophy and co-sponsored by the centre for Philosophy Politics and Economics at the University of Groningen.

Registration is free, but essential as places are strictly limited

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This is planned as an in-person event, there is not currently the possibility to join remotely. Please only register if you are able to attend in person. 

Deadline for registration: Thursday 12th May


Day 1, Tuesday 14th June 10am – 5.30pm

What Does That Have to do With Me? Exploring Conditions of Responsibility for Persons and Collectives

Nicole Ramsoomair (Dalhousie University)

How to Dress Like a Feminist

Charlotte Knowles (University of Groningen) Filipa Melo Lopes (University of Edinburgh)

Blurred Lines: Complicity and Injustice in Cases of Rape

Katrina L. Sifferd (Elmhurst University)

Legal Proof and Structural Injustice

Lily Moore-Eissenberg (University of Oxford)

Repairing Moral Damage Through Self-regarding Resistance

Alycia LaGuardia-LoBianco (Grand Valley State University)

Day 2, Wednesday 15th June 10am – 5.30pm

Narrative Resistance and Emotional Transformations

Laurencia Sáenz Benavides (Universidad de Costa Rica)

Precluded Anger, Occluding Emotions: The Loss of Emancipatory Possibility

Denish Jaswal (Harvard University)

Shared and Partial Connections: Using Imagination to Train Response-Abilities

Lydia Baan Hofman (Erasmus University)

Keynote lecture: Moral justification and structural epistemic injustice

Alison Jaggar (Professor Emerita, University of Colorado Boulder)

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May 12, 2022, 9:00am CET

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