Decolonizing Situations

The Rise, Fall, and Rise of Colonial Studies, 1951-2001

in French Politics, Culture & Society
Author:
Frederick CooperNew York University

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When Georges Balandier published “The Colonial Situation” in 1951, colonial empires were at the heart of profound debates and struggles. By the 1970s, colonialism had been banished from the realm of legitimate forms of political organization. What remained “colonial” in world politics passed itself off as something else. The burst of scholarship on colonial societies in the 1980s and 1990s thus appears paradoxical, and so too does the lack of response and follow-up to Balandier’s brilliantly incisive article in the two decades after its appearance.

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