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Introduction

Authored by: Olivia U. Rutazibwa , Robbie Shilliam

Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138944596
eBook ISBN: 9781315671192
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315671192-8

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Abstract

The sustained Eurocentric conception of global politics has produced and popularised a set of political concepts and imaginaries, a political lexicon that does not only populate academic scholarship on global politics but also affects the layperson’s common-sense of politics. Democracy, security, cooperation, terrorism, migration, development, human rights, civil society, minority rights: given the great diversity of human experience, ideally these issues would be open to hermeneutic contingency, given meaning according to time, place and purpose, and debated on as such. The postcolonial critique argues that in fact these issues carry Eurocentric dispositions that have fixed their conceptualisation within particular contexts and with particular normative connotations. In the process, the often-violent colonial contexts and purposes for which certain concepts have been deployed are obfuscated, especially when the concepts themselves speak of a putatively universalist normative agenda that few would want to question.

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