Postcolonial and decolonial differences

Amid academic fondness for embracing trends and ‘turns’, it is reasonable to ask about the actual difference between post- and decolonial perspectives and to consider whether this difference warrants our attention. This lemma seeks to provide some answers, engaging critically with key arguments by decolonial scholars on how their work differs from postcolonial perspectives. I argue that we should pay attention to the key debates sparked by the ‘decolonial turn’ while avoiding the use of buzzwords and strawman arguments. Additionally, I demonstrate the synergies and frictions between post-/decolonial writings within peace and conflict studies, focusing specifically on the deconstruction and reconstruction of human rights.

Decolonial Peace & Resistance Theory

This entry delves into the notion of Peace and offers a critical analysis that highlights the crucial importance of resistance as a key concept and theory in the decolonization of the Peace and Conflict field. It is imperative to acknowledge that resistance is not merely an act of opposition but rather a central component in the process of challenging and dismantling oppressive structures.

Pluriversal peacebuilding

Pluriversality is a concept from decolonial theory that names the existence of irreducibly plural ways of knowing and being that connect people to one another and to the world(s) around them. Decolonial theory reveals how modern Eurocentric epistemologies support their claims to universality by eradicating resources for imagining and enacting alternatives to a world structured according to the racialized, gendered, territorialized, and capitalist logics of modernity.

Transitional Justice and Decolonisation

This entry outlines the key debates with respect to transitional justice (TJ), a range of processes that a society may undertake to reckon with the legacies of gross and large-scale violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the past. Although the literature on transitional justice and postcolonialism is emerging, this entry explains why transitional justice might not sufficiently address the complex issue of decolonisation. The entry argues that true decolonisation requires a more radical approach to the future of the field. Transitional justice should not only engage more with genealogies of decolonial thinking; it also needs to be decolonised in itself.

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