Decolonising to reimagine International Relations: An Introduction

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Seeing as colonialism is ubiquitous to where International Relations (IR) comes from, what it explains and who it represents, many have argued that the decolonisation of the discipline is impossible. However, in this agenda-setting introduction, I place decolonisation squarely in the realm of possibility and ask, ‘what would a decolonised field look like?’. In answering this question, the contributions in this forum take point of departure from varied sites within the discipline, as they seek to materialise real change that reimagines what IR is and does as a discipline that was established as a scholarly defence for colonialism. Herein they propose decolonisation as a structure that upends the discipline’s colonial epistemological roots, rethinks core concepts and underlines the need to forefront geographies, peoples, and perspectives that were underrepresented in a colonial discipline. Equally, they recognise that decolonisation is a messy affair, that takes a non-linear trajectory. However, seeing as colonialism did not just inflict material impoverishment but also sought to alienate the colonised from their sense of self, this messiness is only expected. So, rather than be discouraged by this, this forum views the non-linear trajectory to be an unavoidable facet of any attempt at decolonising the discipline.
TidsskriftReview of International Studies
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)339-345
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 5 jul. 2023


  • colonialism
  • decolonisation
  • eurocentrism
  • Imperialism
  • international relations

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