CfP: Can Justice Be Decrypted?

by | 9 May 2023

The theory of encryption of power (TEP) proposes a fresh understanding of how the use of language monopolizes and hides power, preventing access to it through the denial and neutralization of differences based on class, race, and gender. TEP unveils that “transcendent models” are the core of the machine that executes the qualifications and conditions of life and thus of power. What is the position of a transcendent model? To dictate, from a vanishing point of invisibility, outside language and any relation, the conditions to which every and any form of beingness must abide in order to be and thus to exercise power. Hence, from the point of view of ‘normality” the consistency of those “transcendent models” seem to be unbreakable and impenetrable, this is why it’s paramount to address questions that allow us to think difference from the void of normality, from where the possible may come to be. The theory argues that coloniality exists because it encrypts power; hence, the theory develops insights alongside and in parallel to decolonial theory and critical and subaltern studies. The central claim exposes how, in the name of the people, the people are made vulnerable to dispossession and exclusion, and how in the name of democracy, democracy is undermined and potentially destroyed (these findings, far from being secondary are constitutive of coloniality, in other words, coloniality exists because it encrypts). Theorizing encryption challenges the linkages between liberalism and colonialism, capitalism and sovereignty, constitution and economy, and their claims of necessity. 

In short, to encrypt power is to simulate power (democratic, constituent) and to prohibit or condition being while collapsing political agency (constituent power, resistance) into fixed, final, transcendent, and solid structures (constituted power, economy, law). 


Ricardo Sanín-Restrepo

Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni

Marinella Machado-Araujo


BOOK SERIES: Decrypting Power and Coloniality: Philosophical Perspectives from and through the Global South

The book aims to apply the theory of encryption of power, to address the following questions:

  • Is it possible to decrypt justice as a hegemonically Western idea, concept, principle, and/or practice?
  • Is it possible to decrypt hegemonic contemporary theories of justice?
  • Can we create a map of decolonial injustices stemming from epistemic injustices, racial injustices, political injustices, etc. through the theory of encryption of power?
  • How can new capacities for decolonial thought and practice be mustered?
  • How far can we drive “justice” as a theory and its decolonial and emancipative dimension regarding the crucial antagonisms of our time? (See below).
  • How far can we decrypt modern justice systems and propose new practices from insurgent and non-western practices of justice?
  • How can we create new decrypted pathways between academia and social movements?


The abstracts will be evaluated by the book editors who will decide whether to ask for a complete article or not. Once the abstract is accepted the author or authors will present an article of a book chapter that will be submitted to blind peer review. The book as a whole will also be submitted to approval by the publisher and blind peer review. 


Deadline for submission of abstracts  July 20th 2023
Feedback to authors regarding acceptance of abstractsAugust 20th 2023
Contributors’ deadline to submit first draft of MSFebruary 28th 2024
Review and feedback on received chapters by editors  May 20th 2024
Submission of the Handbook to the publisherJuly 20th 2024


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