Political Theories of Decolonization: Postcolonialism and the Problem of Foundations
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Political Theories of Decolonization provides an introduction to some of the seminal texts of postcolonial political theory. The difficulty of founding a new regime is an important theme in political theory, and the intellectual history of decolonization provides a rich--albeit overlooked--opportunity to explore it.
Many theorists have pointed out that the colonized subject was a divided subject. This book argues that the postcolonial state was a divided state. While postcolonial states were created through the struggle for independence, they drew on both colonial institutions and reinvented pre-colonial traditions. Political Theories of Decolonization illuminates how many of the central themes of political theory such as land, religion, freedom, law, and sovereignty are imaginatively explored by postcolonial thinkers. In doing so, it provides readers access to texts that add to our understanding of contemporary political life and global political dynamics.
He claims, “Here is a tradition totally without ambiguity,” echoing the starting lines of the Quran, “This book is not to be doubted.”63 We can take this claim to be a political strategy more than actuality, since Islamic thought does contain some significant ambiguities. Khomeini’s thought begins with the assertion of Islamic faith as the central principle of government, action, history and justice. But in his discussion of “Islamic Government” it becomes evident that his approach shares some
the people themselves had to serve their government as well. In a description of self-determination akin to the idea that one can be “forced to be free,” Ho described democracy as follows: Don’t misunderstand democracy. When no decision is yet taken, we are free to discuss. But when a decision is taken, we should not discuss any longer. Any discussion then could be only discussion on the ways and means to carry out the decision quickly and not to propose that it should not be carried out. We must
exists. There are three important elements in Fanon’s theory. First, one does not take the world as unchanging, and a person does not have to merely choose between the roles that have been made available. Second, one’s actions and choices 76 P O L I T I C A L T H E O R I E S O F D E C O L O N I Z AT I O N cannot be driven by a sense of unreality or delusion and still be truly revolutionary. Third, self-determination is a combination of these two other elements: to be able to see the world as
process of history was ground to a halt through the violent intervention of the imperialist power, national liberation requires a similar kind of intervention. “The important thing is to decide what forms of violence have to be used by the national liberation forces, in order not only to answer the violence of imperialism but also to ensure, through the struggle, the final victory of their cause, that is true national independence.”27 One of the merits of Cabral’s theory of history and liberation
must be tempered by the recognition that the Spanish brought more barbarism than civilization. The philosophical version of this point is that the value system of modernity was not simply the autonomous achievement of Europe but was instead a myth that emerged in response to Europe’s bloody encounter with the New World.44 D US S EL’ S L E VI NA S I A N M A R X I S M Enrique Dussel (b. 1934) is the figure most associated with the philosophy of liberation. Dussel was trained in philosophy in