The interdisciplinary study and research group Law and Violence (‘Ley y violencia’‘) is associated to the Philosophy Department at the Universidad de los Andes. Composed of mostly graduate students from different disciplines (Political Science, Law, Philosophy, Languages and Sociocultural Studies, Literature and Psychology), its main goal is to address form a philosophical standpoint problems that arise from Colombia’s political, social, and cultural current transitional situation. The group is especially concerned with issues related to Colombia’s armed conflict and, more specifically, to the dynamics of the transitional justice process that began in 2005 when the ‘Justice and Peace’ Law was implemented. 

The group was created in 2011 as part of the research project “Narratives of Community: Politics and Violence” (Narrativas de la comunidad: política y violencia” (2011-2014)), financed by Colciencias in association with the Universidad de los Andes, and coordinated by María del Rosario Acosta (Associate Professor, Philosophy Department). The project’s main purpose is to question and shed light on philosophical and conceptual presuppositions that have been uncritically inherited from different traditions, which hence permeate our notions of the political.These traditional presuppositions run the risk of becoming fixed structures that might end up generating violence at different levels of the socio political realm. Hence, the project also intends to formulate new conceptual devices for critically exposing the presuppositions that still dominate our notions of the political, law, democracy, and their relationships with other realms of our living in common.

The group seeks to relate these reflections, as well as the violent experiences they denounce and generate, to Colombia’s political reality. Particularly, the group is concerned with the country’s current situation regarding the process of “transition” that resulted from the implementation of the ‘Justice and Peace’ Law (Law 975 of 2005). Along with other State and non-State initiatives leading to the end of Colombian armed conflict, this process is still being carried out. Therefore, the project’s objective is to examine how and to what extent this law’s enforcement, together with some of its social, political, and cultural consequences, reproduce violence-generating structures related to presuppositions behind traditional notions of political community. However, the group’s goal is not exclusively critical or analytical: these questions are also accompanied by a reflection that might lead to rethink and reformulate, from different perspectives, the transition and “reconciliation” process that the law’s application is interested in producing. Hence, by carrying out these tasks, the group aims to both explore and produce another outlook on some of the experiences of violence that permeate our political reality, as well as to formulate conceptual tools that might give way to an alternative, critical and fruitful way of thinking about the political and the community. 

Currently, the group is studying the philosophical and conceptual problems raised by the diverse and possible representations of memory, specifically regarding violent experiences such as those that have taken place throughout the history of Colombian conflict. Furthermore, the group is working on a series of projects concerning the relationships between violence and the body, violence and language, alternative reconstructions of memory (literary, artistic, historical), and the legal representation of harm, among others. The following is a list of projects associated to the group, along with their respective researchers:  

  • “Narrativas de la comunidad: política y violencia” (Narratives of Community: Politics and Violence) (2011-2014) (see the full project presented to Colciencias). María del Rosario Acosta.

  • “Memoria inoperante: la comunidad que viene y su representación del pasado” (Inoperative Memory: Community-to-Come and the Representation of the Past) (2012-2013) (see the full project presented for the elaboration of the Master's thesis in Philosophy). Adelaida Barrera.

  • “El cuerpo como lugar de la existencia” (Corpus as the Locus of ex-istence) (2012-2013) (see the full project presented for the elaboration of the Master's thesis in Philosophy. Ángela María Duarte.

  • “Jean-Luc Nancy: la ‘deconstrucción del cristianismo’ como exceso de lo político y lo religioso” (Jean-Luc Nancy: The Deconstruction of Christianity beyond the Political and the Religious) (2012-2013) (see  the full project presented for the elaboration of the Master's thesis in Philosophy). María Juliana Rojas.

  • “Los límites conceptuales del daño” (The Conceptual Limits of (Legal) Harm) (2012-2014) (pre-project for the elaboration of doctoral Thesis). Juan Sebastián Ospina.
  • "Comunidad, ley y derecho en la Fenomenología del espíritu. Una aproximación a Hegel desde el pensamiento contemporáneo sobre la comunidad" (Community, Law and Right in the Phenomenology of Spirit. An approximation to Hegel from a Contemporary Thinking of Community) (2013-104) (see  the full project presented for the elaboration of the Master's thesis in Philosophy). Félix Torres.
  • "Traducción y duelo a partir de la filosofía del tacto de Jean-Luc Nancy" (see  the full project presented for the elaboration of the Master's thesis in Philosophy) (2013-2014). Juan Diego Pérez
  • "Resto, tacto, espectro y ruina: cuatro figuras de duelo y traducción" (2013-2014) (see the full project presented for "Programa jóvenes investigadores" (Young researchers program) at Colciencias). Juan Diego Pérez