From Decolonial to the Postcolonial: Trauma of an Unfinished Agenda

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Decolonisation entailed the end of and a reversal of European imperialist expansionist policies in the developing world. On the other hand, postcolonial studies close affinity to post-structuralism has resulted in a complete amnesia about the incompleteness of the project of decolonisation of the erstwhile colonial world. This paper outlines the key critique of postcolonialism being too engrossed in the theoretical and cultural concerns at the expense of the political and ethical responsibilities during the transfer of power. Postcolonialism itself may have become a new colonising, hegemonic discourse. Indeed, the trauma of decolonisation cannot be brushed under the carpet or be wished away in the frenetic action towards mindless theorisation. The passing of the empire or decolonisation in fact did not result in the end of neo-colonial ambitions. The rise and fall of hegemonic states in the developing world provides opportunities to reflect and review our own positioning in relation to theories. Theorising the ‘decolonial’ is as important as their postcolonial interpretations. Today, postcolonialism continues to exhibit its complicity with neoliberal market economy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-79
Number of pages5
JournalThe Calcutta Journal of Political Studies
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2017


  • Bandung Conference; political self-determination; postcolonialism; decolonisation; neo-colonial; neoliberal discourses.


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