Postcolonialism

“Peace! I Hate the Word!” A Few Thoughts in Favour of Conflict

Anthony Freda, Peace Prize

The world is riven by con­flict. The re­cent events in Ukraine are just the most re­cent ex­ample. The value and ne­ces­sity of con­flict should not be sub­sumed within the en­tirely un­der­stand­able de­sire to pre­vent vi­ol­ence. I want to argue that peace, as a goal, is not some­thing worth striving for. It is dif­fi­cult to com­ment crit­ic­ally on…

Badiou’s Jurisprudence: The Event of Law and The Law of The Event

Verges 3

In a lec­ture pub­lished in the Cardozo Law Review in 2008, Alain Badiou ar­tic­u­lates his un­der­standing of Being, Event, and Simulacrum in re­la­tion­ship to Logic and Law. With an in­cred­ible power of pre­ci­sion, Badiou re­minds his audi­ence of Aristotle’s three main pil­lars of the pro­cess of thought (Identity, non-​contradiction, and the ex­cluded middle), which he then…

A Leaderless Resistance: Balochistan

baloch-sarmachar

In April 2010, Baloch guer­illa com­mander Dr Allah Nazar gave a ce­re­mo­nious re­cep­tion to Jagoo at a Balochistan Liberation Front’s (BLF) camp in Balochistan’s Awaran dis­trict. Those BLF fighters, who hadn’t seen Jagoo be­fore, gos­siped in hushed tones about his identity. “He fixed a ma­chine gun. A bullet had been stuck in­side the gun and it’d been out of order…

Immigration Manhunts and British Post-​Colonial Identity

No I will not show you my papers

Last week the British government’s Border Agency (UKBA) pushed its new and con­tro­ver­sial “go home” cam­paign into full ef­fect along with an ac­com­pa­nying, and highly cri­ti­cized im­mig­ra­tion stop and search at sev­eral London tube sta­tions. The vast ma­jority of the cri­ti­cism to UKBA’s cam­paign has been largely fo­cused on the basic premises that the Tories are…

Against Colonial Rubbishing

Alwy Fadhel "Psychosis" | www.therefugeeartporject.com

As my face­book friends know, I take my status up­dates ser­i­ously. This does not mean that I only treat ser­ious topics, or that I take my­self overly ser­i­ously. Indeed I can be very frivolous and I al­ways main­tain a healthy cyn­icism to­wards whichever way I happen to see my­self fa­vor­ably on any given day. What I mean by taking my face­book entries seriously…

Decolonizing the Teaching of Human Rights?

Mestizaje - Guayasamin

According to the new Bolivian con­sti­tu­tion, edu­ca­tion is “one of the most im­portant func­tions and primary fin­an­cial re­spons­ib­il­ities of the State”; it is “unitary, public, uni­versal, demo­cratic, par­ti­cip­atory, com­munit­arian, de­col­on­izing and of quality” (art. 78, I); and, throughout the en­tire edu­ca­tional system, it is “intra-​cultural, inter-​cultural and multi-​lingual” (art. 78, II), where its “inter-​cultural character…

Brazil: The Price of Progress

Rio-de-Janeiro-20-06-2013

With the elec­tion of President Dilma Roussef, Brazil sought to ac­cel­erate the pace in turning it­self into a global power. Many of the ini­ti­at­ives in this dir­ec­tion came from be­fore­hand, but they had a new im­petus: the UN Conference on the Environment, Rio+20 in 2012, the World Cup in 2014, Olympic Games in 2016, the battle for…

Sumak Kawsay, Interculturality and Decolonialization

Sumak

Many com­ment­ators have been high­lighting the nov­elty of the Ecuadorian constitution’s re­cog­ni­tion of the right to nature and even the con­cepts of buen vivir and sumak kawsay (‘good living’ in Spanish and Quechua re­spect­ively), ana­lyzing them as though they were simple vari­ations of lib­eral con­cepts that can be found in other Latin American con­sti­tu­tions. However,…

Chávez and the Future of Chávismo

Open Revolt

The most cha­ris­matic, demo­cratic polit­ical leader in dec­ades is dead. Whenever cha­risma plays a role in a demo­cratic con­text, it es­tab­lishes a par­tic­u­larly mo­bil­izing polit­ical re­la­tion­ship between rulers and the ruled, as it adds to demo­cratic le­git­imacy an iden­tity of be­longing and a sharing of goals that go way beyond polit­ical rep­res­ent­a­tion. Well used to being hit by a distant,…

Hugo Chavez: The Revolution Will Not be Televised

roy-lichtenstein-drowning-girl-1

We were saddened to see the death of Hugo Chavez today — and the barely con­tained joy from parts of the global elite. The focus on the ‘re­stric­tions to the media’ in par­tic­ular forms the central plank of the various lib­eral, neo-​liberal and neo-​con re­sponses to his gov­ern­ment. We thought it would be good to post a reminder…

Eco-​Technics: Notes on the Thought of Jean-​Luc Nancy

Nancy coins the term eco-​technics to de­scribe the cur­rent global politico-​economic con­junc­ture. Hillis Miller ex­plains: ‘“Eco” comes from the Greek word oikos, the house or home. The prefix “eco-​” is used more broadly now to refer to the total en­vir­on­ment within which one or an­other “living” creature “dwells”’ (Hillis Miller 2012, 66). Thus, at stake…

On the Right to Peace and the Environment

War and Destruction / Kuwait

Peace and the en­vir­on­ment are two equally wide-​reaching topics, and con­sequently they could be studied sep­ar­ately and from a variety of per­spect­ives. In this art­icle, we will en­deavour to demon­strate the re­la­tion­ship between peace and the en­vir­on­ment starting with the idea that the pre­ser­va­tion of both is sig­ni­fic­antly com­prom­ised by the cur­rent eco­nomic system. Our central…

The People’s Law Tribunals in Pakistan

Okara 09/01

QM: A set of move­ments you have been in­volved with in Punjab is the sath, a form of people’s law. What is a sath and how does it trans­late? What areas are gov­erned by sath? What is your in­volve­ment? Finally, can you ex­plain how the ex­per­i­ence of law and justice dif­fers between state law and the people’s sath?…

Are we aware of the current recolonisation of the South?

Oswaldo Guayasamin – Hands of Protest

It would not be sur­prising if, in the con­text of an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence, a group of jur­ists from dif­ferent na­tions iden­ti­fied a set of common jur­idical ref­er­ences based on dif­ferent legal sys­tems. This oc­cur­rence would be at­trib­uted to the pro­cess of glob­al­isa­tion. However, it might also not be con­sidered curious if a his­toric study about law in the…

The Political Economy of Indigenous Dispossession: Bare and Dispensable Lives in the Andes

Soscial Conflict, Cusco, Peru

The expan­sion of the extract­ive indus­tries has, as coun­ter­parts, first, the reac­tion of indi­gen­ous com­munit­ies in the de­fense of their com­munal goods (land, water, graz­ing, etc.), and second, the viol­ent counter-​attack of the state through po­lice and mil­it­ary repres­sion, legit­im­ated many times by the of excep­tion (in Peru the “state of emer­gency”, a kind of state of excep­tion, has been ap­plied by gov­ern­ments in pre­vi­ous years to con­trol socio-​environmental protests). Polit­ical eco­nomy and legal policy are both rel­ev­ant to this situ­ation and both are func­tion­ally connected.

In re­spect of polit­ical eco­nomy, let us bring to mind what David Har­vey calls “accu­mu­la­tion by dis­pos­ses­sion”, which is just the the­or­et­ical up­date of the “prim­it­ive accu­mu­la­tion” de­scribed by Karl Marx, that is to say: cap­it­al­ist expan­sion re­quires the viol­ent trans­form­a­tion of com­mon goods into com­mod­it­ies in order to be appro­pri­ated and then used by ex­change mechanisms.

Australian government asked to leave aboriginal community

Amoonguna

Just over five years ago, on 21 June 2007, Australia’s then prime min­ister John Howard an­nounced that rates of child sex abuse in the country’s Northern Territory ab­ori­ginal com­munities were so high that they con­sti­tuted a na­tional emer­gency. Drawing on the fed­eral government’s con­sti­tu­tional power to over­ride Territory le­gis­la­tion, and sus­pending Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act 1975, Howard…

Austerity by way of the Colonies: Workfare in the UK

The_Snapshot_of_poor_law_of_1834

The taxi took an al­ternate route to the air­port that day, the day be­fore the Queen’s Jubilee parade, to avoid the very early morning re­hearsals of mil­itary per­sonnel, horses, and others in­volved in or­ches­trating the im­pending cel­eb­ra­tions. Arriving at my des­tin­a­tion 22 hours later, in a time zone 13 hours be­hind GMT, I went to the Guardian…

Racism, Sexism and Swimming at the London Olympics

chinese-swimmer-ye-shiwen-2012-london-olympics-gold-09

I’ve been a little taken aback this week at the level of ra­cism against China in the British and US media, and on longer-​than-​usual com­ment threads on various friends’ face­book walls. I mean, I know that ra­cism in sport and in the media is nothing new, and I know that being mixed race white-​Chinese, I’m taking the various swipes being…

Argentina’s Expropriation of Repsol’s YPF (A Reversal of Fortune): Understanding the Decolonial Turn in Latin America

Vultures

Far from being an im­plaus­ible paradox, the dif­fer­ence between what is hap­pening in Europe and in Latin America lies at the epi­center of a 500-​year long farce: co­lo­ni­ality. In a mo­nu­mental re­versal of for­tune, the peoples of Latin America are de­con­structing co­lo­ni­ality from its core, while within Europe this seems to be the new tune of power. What…