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Coloniality in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas

Jurgen Poesche
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Jurgen Poesche: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University

Journal of Developing Societies, 2019, vol. 35, issue 3, 367-390

Abstract: The objective of this article is to contribute to the development of a common narrative on coloniality in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas. Since scholars tend to focus on either Sub-Saharan Africa or the Americas, a gap between these important regions has emerged in the literature on coloniality. This article seeks to bridge this gap by providing a comparative perspective on coloniality, and this hopefully will enhance Indigenous African nations’ and Indigenous American nations’ understanding of what needs to be done to overcome coloniality. The article explores three key theses. First, in spite of the differences in the extant societal power structures in the postcolonial African states and the former settler colonial states in the Americas, this article argues that the continued dynamics of coloniality are similar in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas. The minority status of Indigenous American nations throughout the Americas renders addressing coloniality more challenging than in Sub-Saharan Africa where Indigenous African nations are in the majority although they generally do not have effective sovereignty. Second, the extant societal power structures associated with both coloniality and occidental modernity have weaponized occidental jurisprudence, natural science and social science to defend and proliferate the status quo assisted by state sovereignty. Addressing coloniality effectively therefore requires a renaissance of Indigenous African and Indigenous American cosmovisions unaffected by modernity. Third, addressing coloniality in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas requires the recognition of the comprehensive and supreme sovereignty of the Indigenous African nations in all of Sub-Saharan Africa, and Indigenous American nations in all of the Americas.

Keywords: coloniality; legal pluralism; scientific pluralism; sumak kawsay; Ubuntu (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1177/0169796X19868317

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