Postcolonialism’s after-life in the Arab world

Toward a post-authoritarian approach

Authored by: Sari Hanafi

Routledge Handbook of South–South Relations

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138652002
eBook ISBN: 9781315624495
Adobe ISBN:


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We currently witness a wide and heated global discussion over the crisis of postcolonialism. Perhaps the most heated moment can be depicted in the debate between Slavoj Žižek, Walter Mignolo and Hamid Dabashi. I will argue that the intersection between sociology and postcolonial studies is not without its problems, and reflects a crisis among the left that both embraces postcolonialism as a solo perspective and distorts it while projecting it onto a Southern context. Drawing upon the worldwide debate on this issue, this chapter will focus on the analysis of scholarly work in the Arab world. Two features of the Arab left will be highlighted: excessive anti-imperialism and anti-Westernism. This chapter will suggest that this postcolonial approach should be completed by what I call a post-authoritarian approach. This study will be based on content analysis of two corpora: first, articles in the Arabic language dealing with the Arab uprisings in the academic journals; second, analysis of articles published or rejected by Idafat, the Arab Journal of Sociology where I have served for 12 years as editor.

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