Global Coloniality and the World Disorder

Decoloniality after Decolonization and Dewesternization after the Cold War

A Paper by Walter D. Mignolo, William H. Wannamaker Professor, Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke University, prepared for the 13th Rhodes Forum

On Decolonial Politics

We have been invited to the Plenary Panel of the World Public Forum to address a set of fundamental questions:

-    What are the reasons or underlying causes of the prevailing chaos in today world disorder? What are the main contributing factors, and what are the major social or political agents contributing to the disorder?

-    How can we overcome the present disorder? Are there alternatives to the present chaos? How can we find pathways pointing in the direction of a more just and sustainable world order?

I would argue that the underlying causes of the prevailing chaos are, on the one hand, the persistence of global coloniality and, on the other, the fact that since approximately the year 2000 we have been witnessing the economic and political reemergence of cultures and civilizations that have historically been undermined by global coloniality.

The preface is organized into four main parts. In Part I, I outline what I mean by “global coloniality”. In Part II, I explain how global coloniality has been challenged in recent years by a shift towards “dewesternization”, led mainly by Russia and China, and how the West has responded with a violent effort to reassert itself. In Part III, I consider possible pathways toward a more livable world order within the current clash between dewesternization and rewesternization. In Part IV, I discuss the importance of the decolonial project within this search for more just and sustainable ways of being in the world.

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