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Wasafiri Issue 67 - Wasafiri Magazine

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TEDxRotterdam - Frances Gouda - How the colonial past influences the way we see the world today

A downloadable version of this book is available through the eCampus Reader or compatible Adobe readers. Add to Cart Free Shipping. The establishment of the Latin American Subaltern Studies Group in , and the increasing prominence of the subaltern idea in light of other historiographies around the globe, turned it into an influential approach.

Although different variants of Marxism, and even the Gramscian approach to Indian history, were fiercely debated in the s, the concepts of hegemony and the subaltern have been successfully introduced to postcolonial discourses as well as other social sciences.

Postcolonialism

Hegemony, in this reading, describes the ability of a colonizer to re-produce the power relationship with the colonized by shaping the thought of the latter according to the will of the former. Hegemonic control unfolds in the presentation of the specific interest of the dominator as an interest for all. While Gramsci had anchored his interpretation firmly in the Marxist category of class, subaltern scholarship presented a less static interpretation of his work. Subaltern scholars increasingly joined the poststructural and postcolonial critique of Marxism Chaturvedi, This engagement advanced a cultural understanding of hegemony in contrast to material understandings.

Earlier interpretations of hegemony and power in IR emphasized the material capabilities of states and their ability to force their will onto other states.

In This Article

Yet, while hegemony gained, independently from postcolonial and subaltern scholarship, more prominence among IR scholarship due to its interest in forms of power, the idea of the subaltern appeared only recently in the IR literature. Hence, the fundamental goal was to carve out the historiographies of those groups of society that were subject to hegemonic conditions.

However, in the ongoing debates from Marxism to poststructuralism and postcolonial critique, it became increasingly obvious that this aim was rather difficult to achieve. Spivak has most prominently pointed out the challenges of understanding subaltern agency and resistance toward hegemonic structures through Marxist and poststructuralist lenses.

Postcolonialism in International Relations

On the one hand she argues that resistance along the lines of class cannot simply be substituted for the subaltern. Such a Marxist reading would render the colonized subaltern an agent of political transformation in a capitalist script of the West. On the other hand, she critically highlights by drawing on Derrida, that a simple counter-narrative to hegemonic discourses is not a sufficient strategy to resist these structures. Hegemonic ideologies that are always shaped by and through discourses construct not only the script for hegemony but also the language in which resistance can take place.

Furthermore, as a theoretical paradigm it not only constructs subalterns as subjects, but also imagines the subaltern as a monolithic and universal category. Ultimately, this tailors the subaltern into the script of hegemonic and colonial power relationships, because the subaltern subject functions to reconfirm its role as the colonized and the hegemon as the colonizer. Hence, it is essential to focus on the heterogeneity of subject positions instead, in order to disrupt hegemonic narratives.

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Earlier contributions that sought to account for the subaltern in international politics have rather aimed to modify existing concepts within the confines of dominant paradigms. Thus, decolonization cannot be understood as the presentation of counter-discourses. Rather, it is understood as a productive result of postcolonial critique aiming to transform the meaning of norms and institutions on a global scale according to more just and inclusionary visions Pahuja, Postcolonial theories envision an alternative understanding of universalism that allows deliberation and contestation of existing processes with equal respect for the diversity of actors.

Within IR, de-colonial approaches range from non-Western IR theories to attempts to ultimately contest epistemological and ontological assumptions. Decolonizing IR as a discipline needs to move beyond the concepts of the field, and this reflects the center of non-Eurocentric critique, by decolonizing the production of knowledge itself. This is ultimately about taking seriously different aspects of social life including experiences, values, histories, and knowledge of non- and anti-imperial actors Gruffydd Jones, , p.

In this sense, taking non-Western histories seriously, as called for in postcolonialism, alternative visions of world order are not only existent in intellectual thought, but could be identified in periods before European colonization. Yet, the Westphalian narrative that privileges the Eurocentric idea of global order is still prevalent in most IR theories Kayaoglu, A division of approaches between modern and premodern not only constructs a hierarchy into available intellectual works, but also stigmatizes non-Western thought as irrelevant to current affairs, as Robbie Shilliam has aptly pointed out Shilliam, b , p.

In fact, as he goes on to explain, it does not mean that Marx, Weber, or Habermas are somehow irrelevant in understanding the experiences of the post- colonial subject. It is crucial, however, to acknowledge the trajectories of non-Western thought in European scholarship Shilliam, b , p.

Decolonizing strategies have to account for the blurred lines and perforated borders in the context of globalization. Drawing on the postcolonial insights, IR needs to shed light on the social interaction of dominant and subaltern actors. Specifically, Sajed departs from state-centered Franco-Maghrebian encounters and focuses on the marginalized actors of these encounters to present an alternative reading Sajed, , p.

There are multiple ways to study international relations, and therefore they need to be acknowledged when tacking critical scholarship seriously. The literature on post- colonialism and non-Eurocentric perspectives is diverse and discusses a broad variety of issues in global politics. Colonialism describes a specific form of domination of European powers. This does not mean that the change of post- colonial power relations is easily realized. However, the complex nature of power relations suggests looking at how post- colonial conditions are reconstituted through discursive practices around the globe.

In this context, the term imperialism is frequently invoked in contemporary international politics. In its classical use, imperialism is understood as a policy by a nation to extend its sovereign power and control over another nation and its territory. However, in the wake of the Cold War and the changing status of sovereign states in the context of globalization, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri have famously presented a contemporary reading of empire. Nevertheless, there is still too little interaction between dominant literature in IR and postcolonial insights.

The importance of such a dialogue, as Meera Sabaratnam has argued, lies in the development of decolonization strategies within academic practice and IR scholarship. In light of the entangled histories many postcolonial scholars have in different perspectives focused on, IR needs to better examine the context in which ideas and concepts have emerged. An insightful path has been outlined by Gurminder Bhambra in her book on connected sociologies, in which she seeks to account for the sociologies in a global perspective Bhambra, The focus here has been on some of the most prominent scholars of postcolonialism and anti-colonial thought.

In order to get a better sense of this complex field, two main genealogies of thought have been highlighted. Yet, the temporal and spatial narratives can be further expanded. One may argue that the potential of postcolonial scholarship informing IR scholarship suffers from the powerful internal logics of the latter Pasha, Yet, this contrasts with the logic of postcolonial studies characterized not only by internal disputes, but also by a rather loosely related set of approaches. It requires an understanding of postcolonialism not in terms of a theory, but rather as a set of different sites that need to be included when accounting for the production of theoretical and methodological assumptions.

It does not offer, and this can be perceived as a problem, readily available ontological and epistemological propositions. Yet, it is a source that raises awareness of the complex social relationships that construct the normative grids in the global realm. A transdisciplinary platform that focuses on Caribbean philosophy. Yet, Caribbean here is not understood in geographical terms, but rather perspective on multiple sites of modernity. Provides an international space for students and academics of post- colonial and decolonial scholarship in IR.

It further provides information about events in the field and new developments in the field. This professional blog focuses on the issue of law through mainly, but not solely, sociological, political, anthropological, and philosophical lenses. It discusses the relation of law and power in local and global perspective and accounts for subaltern, indigenous, and post- colonial experiences.

Adding to the rich literature on critical legal theories, it provides a valuable platform for current issues and an overview of key concepts. This is a useful platform introducing key concepts important for postcolonial theory, but also in other fields of critical social theory. Edited by Gurminder Bhambra. Useful introductory website that discusses key issues, terms, and thinkers in the field of post- colonialism.

The Alternative Reading List Project. This is a useful website providing recent and classical contributions in the field of post- colonial studies as well as other fields of critical social inquiry. The Disorder of Things. This blog provides a high-profile platform on contemporary debates within IR scholarship that aims to provide a critical perspective on current debates. Postcolonial and non-Eurocentric accounts are central issues in this regard. In particular, the discussion forum on current monographs in the field of IR is of valuable insight for students and academics alike.

This website addresses the issue of decolonization from a variety of perspectives. In particular, the focus beyond political science into the fields of social science, art, and aesthetics sheds new light on different aspects of de-colonial strategies. In search of international relations theories beyond the West. Millennium—Journal of International Studies , 39 3 , — Non-Western international relations theory: Perspectives on and beyond Asia. Civilization versus sovereignty in Cuba, c. Imperialism, colonialism and investigations of global modernity pp.

A metahistory of the clash of civilisations: Us and them beyond Orientalism. Postcolonial Studies , 8 2 , — The politics of literary postcoloniality. Is the post in postmodernism the post in postcolonialism? International relations theory meets the Third World.

Inequality and theorizing in international relations: The case for subaltern realism. International Studies Review , 4 3 , 27— Orientalism and Orientalism in reverse. Khamsin , 8 , 5— The location of culture. Postcolonialism and the sociological imagination. Geographical diffusionism and Eurocentric history. New Left Review , 89 , 67— Anti-foundationalism, critical theory and international relations. Millennium—Journal of International Studies , 23 2 , — History, modernity and the making of international relations.

Postcolonial thought and historical difference. Approaches to international relations: Non-Western approaches to international relations. Mapping subaltern studies and the postcolonial. Postcolonial theory and the specter of capital. Sri Aurobindo and the ideal of human unity. Geteilte Geschichten—Europa in einer postkolonialen Welt. Postkoloniale Perspektiven in den Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften pp. Elephants in the Americas? Latin American postcolonial studies and global decolonization.

Latin America and the postcolonial debate pp. Gramsci, hegemony and international relations: An essay in method. Millennium , 12 2 , — The end of postcolonialism. A postcolonial rethinking of relations international. Millennium—Journal of International Studies , 33 1 , 1— Third World criticism in the age of global capitalism. Critical Inquiry , 20 2 , — Globalization, postcolonialism, and the nation. Interventions , 4 3 , — The politics of representation in North-South relations. University of Minnesota Press. Against international relations norms: The making and unmaking of the Third World.

The wretched of the Earth. Preface by Jean-Paul Sartre. Black skin, white masks. Modernity and double consciousness. Selections from the prison notebooks of Antonio Gramsci. Writings on South Asian history and society. Eurocentric but not always imperialist? International Theory , 2 2 , — The Middle East in international relations: Power, politics and ideology. The politics of identity in Middle East international relations.

Issue 67: Autumn 2011

The Eastern origins of Western civilization. Is critical theory always for the white West and for Western imperialism? Beyond Westphilian towards a post-racist critical IR. Review of International Studies , 33 S1 , 91— The Eurocentric conception of world politics: Western international theory, — The Oxford handbook of postcolonial studies.

International relations and the problem of difference. Postcolonial agency and the constitution of the international. International Theory , 6 2 , — Westphalian Eurocentrism in international relations theory. International Studies Review , 12 2 , — Political theories of decolonization: Postcolonialism and the problem of foundations. Race, amnesia, and the education of international relations. Global, Local, Political , 26 4 , — Decolonizing the Cuban Missile Crisis.

International Studies Quarterly , 52 3 , — The highest stage of capitalism. Conquest and desire between Asia and the West. Towards multiple emotional worlds. International Theory , 6 3 , — The Dao of world politics: Towards a post-Westphalian, worldist international relations. The promise and dilemma of subaltern studies: Perspectives from Latin American history.

American Historical Review , 99 5 , — Postcolonialism and the inner life of Eurocentrism. European Journal of International Relations , 19 2 , — Public Culture , 15 1 , 11— The angel of progress: Coloniality, subaltern knowledges, and border thinking. The idea of Latin America. Colonial and postcolonial discourse: Cultural critique or academic colonialism? Latin American Research Review , 28 3 , — The geopolitics of knowledge and the colonial difference.

South Atlantic Quarterly , 1 , 57— Delinking—the rhetoric of modernity, the logic of coloniality and the grammar of de-coloniality. Cultural Studies , 21 2—3 , — The last stage of imperialism. Development, economic growth, and the politics of universality. Western nihilism and dialogue: Prelude to an uncanny encounter in international relations. Coloniality of power and Eurocentrism in Latin America.

International Sociology , 15 2 , — Postcolonialism and its discontents. Economy and Society , 26 4 , — A typology of decolonising strategies for the study of world politics.


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Western conceptions of the Orient. Postcolonial encounters in international relations: