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Decolonization: An International History

This course would offer an opportunity to analyse which particular aspects of interactions between the global—an ideology, a set of economic processes, shifts in the international order, and the ‘transnational’ features of empire building—and the local—leaders, their constituencies, party rivalries and communities—interact in order to produce a set of changes to the international order. We will examine how decolonisation is defined, the different contexts in which it played out, and how these can be used as models for examining the different ways in which a transfer of power is carried out. At the same time, we will also consider how this was a process that reshaped, but also further re-entrenched existing hierarchies of international politics. Secondly, the course will show how different ways of conceptualising territory—the empire, the nation-state, the locality the mandate, or the ‘buffer zone’—were influenced by the debates around decolonisation, and how these favoured the rise of the nation-state as the fundamental premise in international relations. Finally, the course will consider the different sets of conversations that were set up by this process-- across diverse locations and time periods-- about coloniser and suppressed; core and periphery; self-determination and paternal liberalism.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka