Constructing the Pluriverse

The Geopolitics of Knowledge

Book Pages: 352 Illustrations: Published: September 2018

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Postcolonial and Colonial Studies, Sociology > Social Theory

The contributors to Constructing the Pluriverse critique the hegemony of the postcolonial Western tradition and its claims to universality by offering a set of “pluriversal” approaches to understanding the coexisting epistemologies and practices of the different worlds and problems we inhabit and encounter. Moving beyond critiques of colonialism, the contributors rethink the relationship between knowledge and power, offering new perspectives on development, democracy, and ideology while providing diverse methodologies for non-Western thought and practice that range from feminist approaches to scientific research to ways of knowing expressed through West African oral traditions. In combination, these wide-ranging approaches and understandings form a new analytical toolbox for those seeking creative solutions for dismantling Westernization throughout the world.

Contributors. Zaid Ahmad, Manuela Boatca, Hans-Jürgen Burchardt, Raewyn Connell, Arturo Escobar, Sandra Harding, Ehsan Kashfi, Venu Mehta, Walter D. Mignolo, Ulrich Oslender, Issiaka Ouattara, Bernd Reiter, Manu Samnotra, Catherine E. Walsh, Aram Ziai


“Building on the call by Walter D. Mignolo and activists throughout Latin America for scholars to embrace a pluriverse of non-Western values, perspectives, and societies, this volume brings together scholars working in various postcolonial, decolonial, and alternative social theory modes. They question the hegemony of the Western tradition from a variety of perspectives, providing arguments for and examples of ways of thinking and living otherwise. Constructing the Pluriverse will be both widely read and well received by scholars across the humanities and social sciences, especially in the fields of anthropology, cultural studies, geography, and global, international, and Latin American studies.” — John Pickles, coauthor of Articulations of Capital: Global Production Networks and Regional Transformations


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Bernd Reiter is Professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida; author of The Crisis of Liberal Democracy and the Path Ahead and The Dialectics of Citizenship: Exploring Privilege, Exclusion, and Racialization; and coeditor of Bridging Scholarship and Activism: Reflections from the Frontlines of Collaborative Research and The Making of Brazil’s Black Mecca: Bahia Reconsidered.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword. On Pluriversality and Multipolarity / Walter D. Mignolo  ix
Introduction / Bernd Reiter  1
Part I. Toward the Pluriverse
1. Meeting at the Edge of Fear: Theory on a World Scale / Raewyn Connell  19
2. One Planet, Many Sciences / Sandra Harding  39
3. Transition Discourses and the Politics of Rationality: Toward Designs for the Pluriverse / Arturo Escobar  63
4. On Pluriversality and Multipolar World Order: Decoloniality after Decolonization: Dewesternization after the Cold War / Walter D. Mignolo  90
5. Internationalism and Speaking for Others: What Struggling against Neoliberal Globalization Taught Me about Epistemology / Aram Ziai  117
Part II. Other Ontologies
6. Local Aquatic Epistemologies among Black Communities on Colombia's Pacific Coast and the Pluriverse / Ulrich Oslender  137
7. The Griots of West Africa: Oral Tradition and Ancestral Knowledge / Issiaka Ouattara  151
8. Experimenting with Freedom: Gandhi's Political Epistemology / Manu Samnotra  168
9. Development as Buen Vivir: Institutional Arrangements and (De)Colonial Entanglements / Catherine Walsh  184
Part III. Other Sciences and Epistemologies
10. Caribbean Europe: Out of Sight, out of Mind? / Manuela Boatca?  197
11. How Spinoza and Elias Help to Decenter Our Understanding of Development: A Methodological Research Proposal on the Pluriverse / Hans-Jürgen Burchardt  219
12. In Quest of Indigenous Epistemology: Some Notes on a Fourteenth-Century Muslim Scholar, Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) / Zaid Ahmad  240
13. Aneka¯ntava¯da: The Jaina Epistemology / Venu Mehta  259
Part IV. Rethinking Politics, Democracy, and Markets
14. First People of the Americas: Lessons on Democracy, Citizenship, and Politics / Bernd Reiter  279
15. Iran's Path toward Islamic Reformism: A Study of Religious Intellectual Discourse / Eshan Kashfi  298
Conclusion / Bernd Reiter  313
Contributors  319
Index  325
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0016-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0001-3
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