Decolonizing PoliticsAn Introduction
Decolonizing Politics
An Introduction

Political science emerged as a response to the challenges of imperial administration and the demands of colonial rule. While not all political scientists were colonial cheerleaders, their thinking was nevertheless framed by colonial assumptions that influence the study of politics to this day.

This book offers students a lens through which to decolonize the main themes and issues of political science - from human nature, rights, and citizenship, to development and global justice. Not content with revealing the colonial legacies that still inform the discipline, the book also introduces students to a wide range of intellectual resources from the (post)colonial world that will help them think through the same themes and issues more expansively.

<i>Decolonizing Politics</i> is a much-needed critical guide for students of political science. It shifts the study of political science from the centers of power to its margins, where the majority of humanity lives. Ultimately, the book argues that those who occupy the margins are not powerless. Rather, marginal positions might afford a deeper understanding of politics than can be provided by mainstream approaches.​

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  • April 2021
  • 192 pages
  • 143 x 214 mm / 6 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509539383
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509539390
  • Open eBook $18.00
  • 9781509539406
Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Political Theory
3. Political Behavior
4. Comparative Politics
5. International Relations
6. Conclusion
About the Author
Robbie Shilliam is Professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University. His last book, Race and the Undeserving Poor, was listed in The Times newspaper’s “twelve anti-racism books everybody should read” in 2020.
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Decolonizing Politics is a necessary book as it peels back the Western assumptions about politics and political life. This is a vital text for all students of political studies.”
Anthony Bogues, Brown University

“This is the kind of book that unlocks doors in people’s minds. Most of all, it brings new energy to the urgent quest, the world over, to challenge Western dominance of the social sciences and humanities.”
Amy Niang, University of the Witwatersrand 

“In Decolonizing Politics, Shilliam provides a brilliant, erudite but also accessible and enjoyable guide to how to de-center the production of our knowledge about politics. This is a ‘must read’ for all students of Political Science, Political Theory and International Relations.”
Kimberly Hutchings, Queen Mary University of London

“Written with spunk and verve, this book is the refreshing and exciting introduction that the discipline of political science has been waiting for! While revealing the imperial, racial, gendered, and class hierarchies that shaped the intellectual roots of the discipline’s core subfields and organizing concepts, the book introduces readers to anticolonial thinkers from the margins and borderlands, who offer compelling alternative routes to reimagining the human, the citizen, the path to development, and the causes of war and peace.”
Catherine Lu, McGill University

“This is a vital text for anyone committed to teaching Politics with honesty and rigour. Shilliam re-engages faithfully with canonical figures, such as Kant and Aristotle, confronting the constitutive dehumanising exclusions which have since been airbrushed from their theories, before introducing routes to repair by way of thinkers, such as Wynter and Anzaldúa, who imagine humanity without exclusions.”
Lisa Tilley, Birkbeck, University of London 

“Political Science needs to be decolonized and Robbie Shilliam has done it. Crisp, clear and accessible, this book exceeds the ambition of a conventional textbook by developing and applying a decolonial method of reading across the discipline’s subfields.”
David L. Blaney, Macalester College

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