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Title: Postcolonial Global Justice
Authors: Chan, Shuk Ying
Advisors: BeitzStilz, CharlesAnna R.
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: Anticolonial thought
Global justice
Postcolonial justice
Social equality
Subjects: Political science
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation develops a view of “postcolonial global justice” as grounded on an ideal of socialequality. While many colonized peoples attained formal sovereignty in mid-to-late 20th century, deepening globalization has continued to draw charges of neocolonialism. Drawing on the political thought of Third World anticolonial thinkers, I investigate how structures of colonial injustice continue to manifest in global politics, and what principles of global justice they call for. While there is a longstanding tendency to read anticolonial thinkers as nationalists whose main concern was defending sovereignty for the nation-state, and/or as forerunners of postcolonial critique who eschewed talk of moral ideals, I shift our focus to a second strand of anticolonialism by engaging closely with key writings of Jawaharlal Nehru, Kwame Nkrumah, Amílcar Cabral, Frantz Fanon, and Aimé Césaire. I argue that an important set of themes within anticolonial thought can be theorized as a critique of relations of inequality, and decolonization understood as the construction of egalitarian global and domestic relations. This second strand of anticolonialism, which grounds what I call the egalitarian face of decolonization, pushes us to rethink decolonization as a project of global integration on terms of equality, and has radical implications for thinking about global justice today. Based on this egalitarian reconstruction of anticolonialism, I develop a philosophical account of postcolonial global justice as social equality. I bring this account to bear on three different aspects of contemporary global politics, and explore the distinctive reforms needed to dismantle global hierarchies. First, engaging with Nkrumah’s work on neocolonialism, I take up the question of economic decolonization by focusing on international investment. Second, I turn to the question of cultural decolonization by focusing on the global trade in cultural goods. Engaging with Aimé Césaire and Amílcar Cabral’s critiques of cultural imperialism, I argue that decolonizing cultural globalization can be understood as overcoming a global racial hierarchy inherited from colonial discourses of civilization. Finally, engaging with Nehru’s writings on global governance, I take up the question of political decolonization by focusing on (un)democratic decision-making within institutions that regulate interactions between agents at the global level.
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Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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