I VOLUME – 2020/2021 – Law and the Janus-faced Morality of Political Correctness


Concerning the possibility of juridically relevant responses, is the culture of the so-called political correctness a significant challenge? Although the affirmative answer seems obvious, the relevance to be taken in account is not, however, as linear as an approach in terms of public policies and their legislative prescriptions apparently justifies.

The problem at stake has not only to do with the (more or less extensively grasped) opportunity to sustain a new branch of Politics of Law, the distinctive feature of which would be an explicit progressive sensitivity and responsiveness to the pluralism of marginalised identities and their narrative intersections (involving gender, race, sexual orientation, practical-cultural and geopolitical provenience, health, mental and physical disability, as well as the relation to the colonial past and the status of victim).
The problem concerns also the difficulties which this plurality (whilst favoring the fragmentation of perspectives, meanings and semantic values) effectively creates, when we consider Law’s claim for an integrating context —  and with this, the vocation for comparability related to the status or dignity of sui juris.

Last but not least, the problem concerns also some institutionalizing procedures and social effects which the culture of political correctness has indisputably imposed: the hypertrophy of duties and their concentration in apparently trivial strongholds (justifying unresolved tensions between universal and parochial claims), the legitimation of a limitless responsibility (with public devastating pre-juridical judgements, destroying lives and careers), the unconditional celebration of differences as a (paradoxically) ethical homogenizing reference (if not as an effective intolerance factor, generating new and subtle forms of censorship).

We can say that the discussion of this cluster of themes, in their juridical (dogmatic and meta-dogmatic) systematic implications, is still fundamentally to be done.  Favoring a context open to multiple perspectives, without excluding (rather expecting!) the intertwining of juridical and non-juridical approaches, the volume which we now propose — as a first number of the journal Undecidabilities and Law — aims to be part of this indispensable reflexive path. This first issue will be coordinated by José Manuel Aroso Linhares, Full Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra and Coordinator at the University of Coimbra Institute for Legal Research.

The articles on the proposed theme, to be published in the first issue, in 2020/2021, must be submitted until October 31st.