"We are accustomed to thinking about self-determination and by extension decolonization as a diffusion of Euro-American ideals and institutions. Drawing on Black anti-colonial critics, intellectuals, and statesman such as Nnamdi Azikiwe, W. E. B. Du Bois and Kwame Nkrumah, this talk charts the emergence of a right to self-determination as a distinctively anti-colonial ideal.
Tracing their critique of empire as a structure of domination situated within hierarchical order, it makes that case that the right to self-determination was conceived as the foundation of a post-imperial world order. The principles of independence and sovereign equality with which the right to self-determination is identified are revealed in the process to be of non-Western provenance."
Adom Getachew is the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. She is a political theorist with research interests in the history of political thought, theories of race and empire, and postcolonial political theory. Her book Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination is available on paperback now.