Postcolonialism and International Political Sociology
This chapter discusses the relationship between a body of literature coalesced under the term ‘postcolonialism’ and an approach to understanding the world around us signified by the phrase ‘international political sociology’. It argues that postcolonialism and international political sociology are convergent in their ideas and approaches to the world around us, and both have a strong preference for historically situated and context-specific scholarship over abstract theories that seek to explain the world without specificity to time or place. The political impulse behind an act of terrorism, the self-fashioning narratives of terrorists seeking to explain why they do what they do, is dismissed from serious consideration, if seen at all, by mainstream international relations (IR). The ‘p’ of international political sociology seeks to move the discipline of IR away from its fascination with economistic models and state-centric notions of policy relevance and towards a more radical, open-ended and collectivist logic of political action.