The Politics of Decolonial Investigations

The Politics of Decolonial Investigations

On Decoloniality

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Book Pages: 744 Illustrations: 14 illustrations Published: June 2021

Postcolonial and Colonial Studies, Sociology > Social Theory, Theory and Philosophy > Postcolonial Theory

In The Politics of Decolonial Investigations Walter D. Mignolo provides a sweeping examination of how coloniality has operated around the world in its myriad forms from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first. Decolonial border thinking allows Mignolo to outline how the combination of the self-fashioned narratives of Western civilization and the hegemony of Eurocentric thought served to eradicate all knowledges in non-European languages and praxes of living and being. Mignolo also traces the geopolitical origins of racialized and gendered classifications, modernity, globalization, and cosmopolitanism, placing them all within the framework of coloniality. Drawing on the work of theorists and decolonial practitioners from the Global South and the Global East, Mignolo shows how coloniality has provoked the emergence of decolonial politics initiated by delinking from all forms of Western knowledge and subjectivities. The urgent task, Mignolo stresses, is the epistemic reconstitution of categories of thought and praxes of living destituted in the very process of building Western civilization and the idea of modernity. The overcoming of the long-lasting hegemony of the West and its distorted legacies is already underway in all areas of human existence. Mignolo underscores the relevance of the politics of decolonial investigations, in and outside the academy, to liberate ourselves from canonized knowledge, ways of knowing, and praxes of living.


“Even regular readers of Walter D. Mignolo will find a wealth of new insights, analyses, and topics as he brilliantly considers some of decolonial theory's current controversies and new applications. With his hard-hitting insistence on the problems of Eurocentrism, Mignolo's spirited explanation and defense of decolonial theory is illuminating.” — Linda Martín Alcoff, author of Rape and Resistance

“Walter Mignolo's oeuvre fiercely demands that we need to move beyond an engagement with the Euro American prison house of concepts and forge a theoretical vocabulary that is not merely an inheritance of colonialism. The decolonial option is premised on transcending amnesia—the manifestation of the colonial wound—toward traditions of intellection from the Global South. This new book shows yet again his uncompromising and ardent delineation of emancipatory landscapes of thought.” — Dilip M. Menon, Mellon Chair in Indian Studies, University of the Witwatersrand


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Walter D. Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Literature at Duke University. He is the author and editor of several books, including The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface  ix
Acknowledgments  xxiii
Introduction  1
Part I. Geopolitics, Social Classification, and Border Thinking
1. Racism as We Sense It Today  85
2. Islamaphobia/Hispanophobia  99
3. Dispensable and Bare Lives  128
4. Decolonizing the Nation-State  155
Part II. Cosmopolitanism, Decoloniality, and Rights
5. The Many Faces of Cosmo-polis  183
6. Cosmopolitanism and the Decolonial Option  230
7. From "Human" to "Living" Rights  255
Part III. The (Geo) Politics of the Modern/Colonial World Order
8. Decolonial Reflections on Hemispheric Partitions  287
9. Delinking, Decoloniality, and De-Westernization  314
10. The South of the North and the West of the East  349
Part IV. Geopolitics of Knowing, the Question of the Human, and the Third Nomos of the Earth
11. Mariátegui and Gramsci in "Latin" America  381
12. Sylvia Wynter: What Does It Mean to Be Human?  420
13. Decoloniality and Phenomenology  458
14. The Rise of the Third Nomes of the Earth  483
Epilogue. Yes, We Can: Border Thinking, Pluriversality, and Colonial Differentials  531
Notes  563
Bibliography  641
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0149-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0114-0