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Marxism and postcolonial studies

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the career of postcolonial studies as an academic field of enquiry and examines its founding principles by periodising it within the key global economic and social transformations since 1945. It looks at and assesses some of the central debates within postcolonial studies the critique of Eurocentrism; nationalism; subalternity; the positing of an alternative modernity; and the retreat from politics to ethics. Throughout the postcolonial world over the course of the final quarter of the twentieth century, Structural Adjustment Programmes became the favoured means of disciplining postcolonial states, domesticating them and rendering them subservient to the needs of the global market. With the collapse of historical Communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Marxism itself was pronounced finally dead and buried.

Keywords: Eurocentrism; Marxism; nationalism; postcolonial studies



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