Masterclass with Dr. Meera Sabaratnam (SOAS University of London):
Decolonizing Intervention in Peace and Conflict Studies – A perspective for a more Global IR?
Monday, 9th of July 2019 // 09:00am - 01:00pm
Ort: Marburg, tbc
Postcolonial and decolonial research appears to be entering a new stage: Moving past early, de-constructive critiques of academic disciplines as colonial, and towards showing the potential of decolonial approaches in studying concrete problems in international politics. Decolonising Intervention is an important contribution to this effort. With her book, Dr. Meera Sabartnam challenges ‘critical’ narratives of statebuilding by exploring the historical experiences and interpretive frameworks of the people targeted by intervention. The analysis focuses on Mozambique, which for a long time was perceived as one of international donors’ great success stories, but whose peaceful and democratic future is contested. The book’s conclusions underscore the significance of thinking with rather than for the targets of international intervention, and appreciating its historical and material conditions.
Dr. Meera Sabaratnam is a senior lecturer at SOAS in London. Her main research is concerned with decolonizing strategies for IR research, a field in which she published widely. In the Masterclass we will take her book on Decolonizing Intervention as the starting point to develop research perspectives for peace and conflict studies. Dr. Meera Sabaratnam will provide a brief input on new perspectives of decolonizing intervention. Afterwards, research perspectives will be discussed by focusing on three issue areas: PhD candidates and Master students are invited to connect their research project to the discussions on postcolonial / decolonial dynamics relating to issues such as historical approaches (What is the role of postcolonial continuities and Southern voices in history?), subjectivity, race, and interactions (How is subjectivity constructed along different divides?) and the canon (To what extent is the discipline of Peace and Conflict Studies prone to neocolonial tendencies?). Participants are asked to read the chapters of Sabaratnam’s book listed below and prepare questions for discussion.
To apply, students are invited to submit a brief statement of interest concerning the three identified issue areas, and a short biographical note, before July 5th. The workshop will be held in English.
- Sabaratnam, M. (2017). Decolonising intervention: international statebuilding in Mozambique. Rowman & Littlefield International. Chapter: one, Chapter three and chapter seven (available open source)
- Sabaratnam, M. (2011). IR in dialogue… but can we change the subjects? A typology of decolonising strategies for the study of world politics. Millennium, 39(3), 781-803.