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Global Challenges
Issue no. 10 | October 2021
Decolonisation:
A Past That Keeps Questioning Us
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Articles for this issue
Global Challenges
Issue no. 10 | October 2021
Decolonisation: A Past That Keeps Questioning Us

Today, we observe a renewed interest in the theme of decolonisation in three interrelated fields: in the academic world which opens new areas of research and teaching (e.g. decolonisation studies; decolonising the curriculum), in the practice of professionals and international actors who are revisiting their way of working, as well as in the vocabulary and activism of civil society targeting the remnants of colonial times such as street names, statues or museum objects. The renewed focus on decolonisation brings forth underlying issues such as the lingering of Eurocentrism, continued oppression of indigenous people, cultural relativism, the ongoing materiality of colonialism, the guilt of the West or, more generally, “the darker side of Western modernity”. While decolonisation has had a lasting impact on the political scene (with the decolonisation movements of the 1960s) and theoretically in the realm of academia, it lags behind in practice as processes, mentalities and epistemes are still permeated by “coloniality”. The present issue puts therefore decolonisation into historical perspective and provides fresh analytical perspectives on its epistemologies and methodologies as well as its practical application and consequences in various fields.

This issue has been coproduced by the Graduate Institute’s Department of International History and Politics and the Research Office. It also includes contributions from other research centres and departments of the Institute.

Articles for this issue

Decolonisation:
A Past That Keeps Questioning Us
  • I
     
    Lisbon, Portugal - April 20, 2016: a fragment of mappa mundi as part of The Monument of the Discoveries which celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery (or Age of Exploration)

    Decolonisation: The Many Facets of an Ongoing Struggle

    Reading time: 6 min
  • 1
     
    Old map of world hemispheres by Frederick de Wit, published In Amsterdam, 1668.

    Varieties of Decolonisation

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 2
     
    Wooden masks for sale in a shop in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

    Decolonisation: Too Simple a Term for a Complicated History

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 3
     
    Map of the word made from different kinds of spices.

    Decolonisation and Regionalism

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 4
     
    Bristol, UK. Statue of Edward Colston with blindfold before it was taken down by protestors. 6 May 2020.

    Decolonising International Politics

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 5
     
    Rendering of planet Earth chained and locked with padlock as global lockdown metaphor.

    Decolonising the Global

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 6
     
    The Hague, Netherlands. Logo of the bench of the International Court of Justice in the Peace Palace. 18 December 2019.

    Decolonisation and International Law

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 7
     
    Rainbow coloured flag and LGBT community demonstration with hearts.

    Gender and Decolonisation

    Reading time: 6 min
  • 8
     
    Stamp printed in the Guinea-Bissau, 1985.

    Decolonisation and Humanitarianism

    Reading time: 4 min
  • 9
     
    Incomplete Earth globe puzzle near medical face masks and airplane model on wooden background.

    Decolonisation and Global Health

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 10
     
    African American academic students at Roger Williams University in Nashville, Tennessee, ca. 1899.

    Decolonising Education

    Reading time: 4 min
  • 11
     
    Concept of social networking service.

    Three Decolonial Questionings of the Digital

    Reading time: 5 min
  • O
     

    Selected Publications from the Graduate Institute about Colonisation and Decolonisation

    Reading time: 4 min
Other Issues
Issue no. 7 | April 2020
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Global Governance in Peril?
Global Challenges
Issue no. 7 | April 2020
Global Governance in Peril?

The present Dossier takes stock of the current state of the multilateral system and its future prospects. It aims to explore to what extent global governance is in crisis as the global geopolitical order is undergoing fundamental shifts and liberal universalism is losing traction. It assesses potential of reform in extant institutions as well as emerging trends, tools and forums that are reshaping multilateral practice on a daily basis.
Note – The dossier was drafted before the Covid-19 world crisis.

Issue no. 9 | March 2021
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The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality
Global Challenges
Issue no. 9 | March 2021
The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality

While poverty has been diminishing in absolute terms and relative income has been growing on a global scale for over two centuries, inequality – as measured by instruments such as the Gini coefficient – has been increasing steadily since the early 1980s. With the financial crisis of 2007, the growing digitalisation of the economy and the current pandemic, global inequality has further worsened, seeing the fortunes of the superrich attaining unprecedented levels and revenue concentrating in the top percentiles of societies.

Concurrently to the aggravation of the social fracture, additional fault lines have been opening or hardening along logics of race, gender, ethnicity and religion. Identarian revendications and logics of difference and exclusion have come to complement, compete with or supersede more traditional struggles for equality in a postmodern and neoliberal context that has normalised inequality, homogenised societies and done away with earlier grand narratives and collective agendas. 

The consequences of inequality(ies) are dramatic, as reflected in the polarisation and fragmentation of societies, worsening health and mortality indicators, political tensions and violence, a decline in democracy, and mistrust in state institutions. The objective of the current issue of Global Challenges is therefore – by reverting to the analytical tools of social science – to reflect on the causes behind the multifaceted growth of inequality(ies), anticipate their noxious fallouts and explore potential remedies.