Programmheft 2014 - page 201

Gesellschaftswissenschaftliches Kolleg
6. Decolonizing Europe: Power and Politics in a
Postcolonial World
Prof. Dr. Nikita Dhawan
Lehrstuhl für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Frankfurt/Main
Prof. Dr. María do Mar Castro Varela
Alice Salomon Hochschule, Berlin
The formal attainment of independence by colonies following the Second World War has
not ushered in the end of Western imperialism. The philosophy and material conditions
that underpinned colonialism persist to shape our world, so that the postcolony continues
to be confronted with the legacies of empire. It is important to take seriously that the poli-
tical process of decolonization in the South will remain incomplete without a decoloniza-
tion of the North.
An essential aspect of the process of decolonization is “provincializing Europe” (Dipesh
Chakrabarty). But how can Europe be provincialized when academic disciplines are infor-
med by European disciplinary hegemony? Not only is knowledge production Eurocentric
but also androcentric, which makes the challenge of decolonizing Europe necessary, but
also impossible.
In this working group, we will explore the implications of race, class and gender relations
as shaped through colonialism for the structuring of contemporary global politics even as
we will focus on issues of power, resistance and agency. Moreover, we want to examine
how postcolonial experiences in the global South offer important lessons for the future of
critical theories. Questions of international civil society, global governance, development
politics, human rights, international law, cosmopolitan democracy and transnational ju-
stice will be analyzed through a postcolonial lens.
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