COVID-19, Democracies, and (De)Colonialities

in Democratic Theory
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  • 1 Quinnipiac University, USA marcos.scauso@quinnipiac.edu
  • 2 University of Notre Dame, USA fitzgerald.116@nd.edu
  • 3 Universidad de Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia arleneb.tickner@urosario.edu.co
  • 4 University of Delhi, India navnita.behera@gmail.com
  • 5 Deakin University, Australia chengxin.pan@deakin.edu.au
  • 6 National Taiwan University, Taiwan cyshih@ntu.edu.tw
  • 7 Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan shimizu@world.ryukoku.ac.jp
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Abstract

Liberal democracies often include rights of participation, guarantees of protection, and policies that privilege model citizens within a bounded territory. Notwithstanding claims of universal equality for “humanity,” they achieve these goals by epistemically elevating certain traits of identity above “others,” sustaining colonial biases that continue to favor whoever is regarded more “human.” The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these fault lines, unveiling once more the often-hidden prevalence of inequalities that are based on race, gender, class, ethnicity, and other axes of power and their overlaps. Decolonial theories and practices analyze these othering tendencies and inequalities while also highlighting how sites of suffering sometimes become locations of solidarity and agency, which uncover often-erased alternatives and lessons.

Contributor Notes

Marcos S. Scauso is Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Department of Philosophy and Political Science at Quinnipiac University. He has directed two research documentaries about indigenous activisms in Argentina and Bolivia, which inspired his book: Intersectional Decoloniality: Reimagining IR and the Problem of Difference. E-mail: Marcos.Scauso@quinnipiac.edu

Garrett FitzGerald is a postdoctoral research and teaching fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His research explores questions of power and difference at the intersections of decolonial theory, Western democratic theory, and the theory and practice of peacebuilding. E-mail: fitzgerald.116@nd.edu

Arlene B. Tickner is Professor of International Relations in the Faculty of International, Political and Urban Studies at the Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia. Her research focuses on the sociology of knowledge in the field of international relations and the evolution of international thought in non-Western settings. E-mail: arleneb.tickner@urosario.edu.co

Navnita Chadha Behera is Professor of International Relations at the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. She is also an Honorary Director of Institute for Research on India and International Studies and was Vice-President of the International Studies Association (2019–2020). Her research interests include international relations (IR) theory, knowledge systems and the global South and IR pedagogy. E-mail: navnita.behera@gmail.com

Chengxin Pan is Associate Professor of International Relations at Deakin University. He is the author of Knowledge, Desire and Power in Global Politics: Western Representations of China's Rise and has published in journals such as European Journal of International Relations, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, and Review of International Studies. E-mail: chengxin.pan@deakin.edu.au

Chih-yu Shih teaches anthropology of knowledge and international relations theory at National Taiwan University. His project on the intellectual history of China Studies is accessible at www.china-studies.taipei/. E-mail: cyshih@ntu.edu.tw

Kosuke Shimizu is Professor of International Relations at Department of Global Studies and the Dean of Research of Ryukoku University, Kyoto. He also holds a research position at the University of Pretoria. His publications include Critical International Relations Theories in East Asia: Relationality, Subjectivity, and Pragmatism (Routledge, 2019). E-mail: shimizu@world.ryukoku.ac.jp

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