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Decolonising Development Studies

Ilan Kapoor

2023 Canada

This article explores ways of decolonising Development Studies by: (1) examining the discipline’s tendencies towards what some have called ‘imperial amnesia’, that is, proclivities towards disavowing if not erasing European colonialism, most evident in 1950s–1960s Modernisation theory, but also more recently in the work of such analysts as Bruce Gilley and Nigel Biggar; (2) considering the opportunities and perils of ‘epistemic decolonisation’, that is, ways of decolonising knowledge production in the discipline, including the limits of ‘non-Eurocentric’ pedagogies; and (3) reflecting on forms of material decolonisation (e.g., the reduction of socioeconomic inequalities by improving better access to education or resisting the corporatisation of publicly funded research) that need to accompany any epistemic decolonisation for the latter to be meaningful.

Corporate Publishing, Decoloniality, Decolonisation, Development Studies, Epistemic Decolonisation, Free Public Databases, Imperial Amnesia, Material Decolonisation, Open Access, Perils of non-Eurocentric Pedagogies