7th Yaoundé Summer Seminar: Justice, Democracy and Diversity

August 22, 2022 - August 27, 2022
Ethics and Public Policy Laboratory (EthicsLab), Université Catholique d'Afrique Centrale, Yaoundé

Université Catholique d'Afrique Centrale, Ekounou
Yaoundé 0249

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


  • Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur la Diversité et la Démocratie (CRIDAQ), Québec, Canada

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Catholic University of Central Africa (UCAC) - Yaoundé – Cameroon

August 22–27, 2022.


Beyond the minimal yet important conception, democracy is a form of government in which a specific people delegate political power to their representatives. It has also been emphasized worldwide as a system of legitimate government by which the ideals of freedom and equality of citizens are both recognized and encouraged. Despite the importance given to the promotion of the ideals of freedom and equality in democratic contexts, this form of governance nevertheless presents a paradox in the form of the urgent question of managing plural human agents and the variety of often conflicting human interests that they embody – culture, belief systems, economy, legal systems, morality, political ideologies, etc. The paradox here identified is made even more critical by the fact that freedom as a value in democracy is malleable, and can, thus, be deployed to a variety of proximate interests. This challenge was present even from the early Greek states in which ancient western thoughts grappled with the question of reconciling the idea of a popular or people-oriented regime with the diverse and differing interests of citizens without compromising their common good and the wellbeing.

In spite of the paradox associated with this form of governance, democracy, together with its ideals, has continued to enjoy a certain prominence across the globe, with particular nations imbibing and contextualizing it to fit into the dynamics of their particular political spaces. Across the history of political ideas, and in contemporary globalized world, justice is often identified as both a moral and political value or principle by which the tensions generated by conflicting human interests can be mitigated in a plural democracy. But from antiquity through modernity to post-modernity, diversity (ethnocultural diversity, linguistic diversity, religious diversity, etc.) continuously challenge the advancement of democratic justice. Consequently, the concept of justice, like democracy, is fraught with as many cascading conceptions and visions as there are human interests and contexts. To be sure, while global justice could be simply understood as having to do with the question of what we owe to each other, what Aristotle referred to as “Lawfulness” geared towards common goods, democratic justice has come to denote the satisfaction of both the promises and demands of a specific citizenry. As the ensemble of these concepts initiate an interplay of equality and inequality, inclusion and exclusion, etc., questions abound, among many: Why is democratic justice necessary in plurality? What are the main peculiarities of this form of governance? Is there any universal philosophy to this effect?

From this impetus, therefore, the 7th edition of the Yaoundé Seminar, organized by the Ethics and Public Policy Laboratory (EthicsLab) of the Catholic University of Central Africa (UCAC), Yaoundé, Cameroun, in collaboration with Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur la Diversité et la Démocratie (CRIDAQ), Quebec, Canada, proposes to examine the dynamics within democratic justice in plurality from various academic perspectives. To this end, we would welcome abstracts of presentations related, not limited, to the following sub-themes:

Democracy and Distributive Justice

Democracy and Retributive Justice

Transitional Justice in the Context of Democracy

Justice and the Question of Cultural Identity

Justice, Democracy and Multiculturalism

Justice, Human Rights and Democracy

Justice, Democracy and Relational Theories

Justice and Democracy in Non-Western Traditions

Submission Guidelines

The organizing committee of the 2022 Yaoundé Seminar invites abstracts of 300–500 words from both PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to be sent, together with a short biography, to Benjamin Olujohungbe([email protected]) or Charles Biradzem Dine ([email protected]) or Alain Christophe Essengué ([email protected]) by March 30, 2022. The sub-themes listed above are not exhaustive, hence applicants are at liberty to submit abstracts on any topics related to the theme of the seminar Justice, Democracy and Diversity. After the review of submissions, we intend to send acceptance advice by April 25, 2022,so intending participants can have ample time to organize their travels and other related activities. While we welcome abstracts and full papers in either English or French, the events of the seminar would be conducted in both languages, hence a good use of both languages by participants is highly encouraged.

Registration: 100€ for participants affiliated to African Universities, and 300€ for participants affiliated to non-African Universities. Registration is expected latest June 30, 2022. NB: There might be subsidies to reduce participation costs for PhD students in African institutions, but these are limited.

Lodging: Once in Cameroon, the accommodation, transportation and catering of registered participants will be covered by the organizing committee.

Keynote Speakers –

  • Prof. Bernard Gagnon – Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur la Diversité et la Démocratie (CRIDAQ), Quebec, Canada.

  • Prof. Sanya Osha, Senior Research Fellow – Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA), University of Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Prof. Dany Rondeau– Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR), Québec, Canada.

  • Prof. Hervé Pourtois – Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) – Belgium

  • Prof. Ernest-Marie Mbonda – Université catholique d’Afrique centrale (UCAC), Yaoundé, Cameroun.

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