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Zionism and its Discontents
As the UK parliament takes a symbolic vote to recognise a Palestinian state we consider the history of the anti-Zionist movement...
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Decolonial Studies, Postcolonial Horizons

Political postcolonial thought has been variously defined through its engagements with questions of 'race'/racism, gender and sexuality, within the contexts of capitalism, neo-colonialism and globalisation. As postcolonial thought however, its political critiques were for some time implicated in the narrative and institutions of the Cold war that gave a Left/Right political coherence to the prevailing debates, emphasising the nationalist, post-imperial frames of their contestation and resolution. Since that time the implosion of the Communist system in Eastern Europe, and the assertion of American hyper-power has symbolically laid bare a world order that seems broadly unchanged from the imperial designs of the late 19th century. Despite the generally acknowledged dissolution of the European empires, racial desegregation in the United States and South Africa, charters on human rights and anti-racist public policies, the colonial and racial dimensions of western polities continue to exert profound influences on their liberal-democratic assemblages. Yet within that same conjuncture, the once stark opposition between the West and the Rest no longer seems sufficient to account for the contemporary complexities of nations, diasporas, ethnicities, diversities and affinities that characterise the globalised world. The subalterns and cultures of the Rest are as much embroiled in the West as the latter’s corporations and governments are in the Rest. Somehow, we live in an unmistakably postcolonial era, yet are continually buffeted by continuities of coloniality that underwrite the global/local impacts of wars, racisms, and exploitations. It is as if the condition of postcoloniality needs to undergo further, deeper and perhaps different forms of decolonisation.  
 
This book series is concerned with exploring the political and cultural forms that decolonisation now needs to take within the west/non-west, in the global context of an incomplete postcolonial era. It asks, 'what is and should be the contemporary relation between postcolonial conditions and decolonising imperatives?' In particular our reference to postcolonial horizons refers to those 'experiences' accruing from the varied and uneven processes of decolonisation. In this, we are drawing attention to the formal postcolonial era as the horizon within which movements towards decolonisation in politics, culture and epistemology were both facilitated and frustrated and where contextually different continuities of coloniality are fused and imbricated, in complex and often paradoxical ways. Within that lineage, what we refer to as decolonial studies are concerned to reinvigorate a contemporary meaning for decolonisation. One concerned with the ambiguities and ambivalences of incomplete and partial forms of decolonisation, particularly given new forms of western imperial aspirations that currently shape the world in racially hierarchical, cosmopolitan and consumerist terms. We are asking what kinds of politics can decentre and contest the recentring of western arrogated rights of rule? How can we develop decolonised and multicultural reformations of knowledge, polities, economies and societies? In this, we are drawing attention to hegemonic assemblages of colonialism and liberalism and political/cultural dependencies which are no longer usefully conceived as organised through Cold war Left/Right distinctions either politically or intellectually. This book series seeks to provide radical and new analyses of the complex dynamic between the continuities of coloniality and the protracted interruptions of decolonisation that continue to underwrite the political and intellectual cultures of the world. 


Series editors

Ramón Grosfoguel is associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is author of Colonial Subjects: Puerto Rico in a Global Perspective (University of California, 2003). He is a research associate of the Maison des Science de l’Homme in Paris and the Fernand Braudel Center, in New York.
Barnor Hesse is Associate Professor of the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. His research interests include Post-structuralism and political theory, Black political thought, Modernity and Coloniality, Blackness and Affect, Race and Governmentality, Conceptual Methodologies and Postcolonial Studies. He is author of UN/Settled Multiculturalisms: Diasporas, Entanglement, Transruptions (Zed Books, 2001).
Professor S Sayyid is the inaugural Director: International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding, based at the Hawke Research Institute. He has worked in a number of UK universities including Leeds, Salford, Manchester and East London. His research interests encompass the relationship between culture and politics, postcolonial political studies and, in particular, the way in which the analysis of postcolonial conditions inform and affect so-called 'mainstream' political and social processes and structures.

Click here for the entire series