World makers of the Black Atlantic: Adom Getachew talks to Ashish Ghadiali

Summer 2020
DOI: 10.3898/SOUN.75.12.2020

In Worldmaking After Empire, Adom Getachew challenges standard histories of decolonisation, which chart the story of a simple shift from empire to independent nationhood. She shows that supporters of decolonisation have always sought to create something much more than nationalisms: they have engaged in a dynamic and rival system of revolutionary worldmaking, seeking an alternative international system that could replace the old inequitable dispensation. She charts this decolonial project from its roots in the works of Black Atlantic thinkers like W.E.B. Du Bois and C.L.R. James in the 1920s and 1930s. The key events she tracks are the challenges the project faced in the United Nations in the 1940s and 1950s; attempts at regional federation in late 1950s and 1960s; and the emergence of the New International Economic Order in the 1960s and 1970s. This a twentieth century tradition now ripe to be reclaimed and revived. 

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Soundings 75: System change