Decolonising the Subject of International Relations: Double Consciousness and the Recovery of the Political
In this theory seminar, Meera Sabaratnam will present her paper "Decolonising the Subject of International Relations: Double Consciousness and the Recovery of the Political".
The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) has the pleasure of inviting you to a theory seminar with Meera Sabaratnam, who will present her paper "Decolonising the Subject of International Relations: Double Consciousness and the Recovery of the Political".
This paper argues that the troubled framing of the political subject in the IR literature has limited a deeper engagement with questions of political struggle under conditions of inequality, intervention and cultural distinctiveness. The article instead explores the potential of a double consciousness framework, as pioneered by Du Bois in relation to blackness and black subjecthood, as a starting point for understanding the political dimensions and expressions of subjecthood under conditions of disempowerment. It is argued that this framework offers a more insightful connection to the political space of intervention, political consciousness and the substance of political struggles, which themselves provide an important platform for critique. The value of this approach is illustrated through a discussion of the politics of anti-corruption in contemporary Mozambique. It is further argued that this framework has methodological and analytic potential for decolonising IR more broadly.
Meera Sabaratnam is Lecturer in International Relations, Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS, University of London. Prior to this, she was a Temporary Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge and LSE Fellow in the Department of International Relations at LSE.