PSCI 367
Decolonizing International Relations Spring 2022
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity

Class Details

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Decolonization as “the withdrawal from its colonies of a colonial power; the acquisition of political or economic independence by such colonies.” The emergence of an international system of sovereign states–the core foundation of international relations–presumes the process of dismantling systems of domination, extraction, and exclusion ended long ago. However, there is increasing recognition that International Relations in all forms, including theory, research, and policy, continue to be structured by traditional paradigms of power (e.g. white, male, elite). This course begins with the premise that knowledge is embedded within, and often reproduces, power hierarchies. Thus, this class is organized as a collaborative investigation with the aims of: 1) examining how whiteness and other historically dominant perspectives shape International Relations theory and research areas; 2) expanding and improving our understanding of International Relations through different lenses (e.g. race, class, gender, disability, indigenous, queer, subaltern); and 3) exploring the implications of a more inclusive approach to International Relations, both within the classroom as well as contemporary decolonization movements in the US and around the world.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3624
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Participation, 3 response/reflection papers, annotated bibliography
Prerequisites: One prior course in International Relations or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Juniors and Seniors
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
DPE Notes: This class encourages students to recognize the power dynamics inherent within, and reproduced by, the study of International Relations as structured by traditionally dominant paradigms. This class provides students with the tools to critically identify, decenter, and deconstruct dominant lenses as well as the opportunity to engage with, and apply, an inclusive approach centering a more expansive range of theoretical perspectives and knowledge production.

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