The Decolonisation Group @ The Centre for Global Challenges at Utrecht University

The ‘Uglobe Decolonisation Group’ seeks to bring researchers at Utrecht University who study how colonialism and decolonisation shaped: human rights, conflict & security, sustainability and development and equity. Specifically, historical explanations as well as theories in International Relations (IR) and law are often developed based on European practices or rooted in European experiences in the imperial age, which requires us to reflect on non-Western conceptions of law and IR.

The current world order is changing fast, which urges us to rethink the categories of our knowledge. This project therefore wants to stimulate the dialogue between UU academics and non-western experts in Asia and Africa as well as intellectuals who have tried to ‘decolonise’ Western ideas. An effort to decolonise culture and society was at the heart of the work of liberationist thinkers, such as Frantz Fanon and Aimé Cesaire, in the 1950s a challenge that has been picked up recently by intellectuals such as Dipesh Chakrabarty, Achille Mbembe and Barry Buzan.

Key in the endeavours of the Decolonisation Group is the establishment of links with universities outside of Europe. In this way, the Decolonisation Group does not only want to give more prominence to non-Western ideas, but also seeks to address a key contradiction in global academia today, namely the embrace of global perspectives in European and American academia and the increased dissatisfaction in Africa and Asia with the ‘failed decolonisation’ of academia.

You can find more information about our activities at Utrecht University for the period 2018-2020, here.