ISSN:
Volume 5, Number 2 (2020)
Postcolonial Territory and the Coloniality of the State
Ajay Parasram
This paper argues that the practice and discipline of international relations (IR) shrouds the many ways through which colonial power is institutionalized within the structure of the modern nation-state and the system of states in which nation-states are embedded. By over-valuing modernist assumptions in research and practice, IR ignores the colonial constitution of modernity. This is more than an intellectual blind spot. It has led to universalizing Eurocentric assumptions about 'natural' human development culminating in the acquisition of a nation-state, which has effectively depoliticized the colonial project of state-making in the context of formerly colonized territories. I argue for re-politicizing postcolonial territory by discussing a decolonial approach calling for 'pluriversal' (rather than universal) thinking that chooses to address the continuities of colonialism within the structure of the state and work towards collective decolonization.