How to avoid the liaison dangereuse between post-colonialism and postmodernism

Philosophy and Social Criticism 37 (4):493-504 (2011)
Post-colonial theories present narratives of discontent based on resentment toward colonial exploitation and cultural hegemony. The substance matter of post-colonial narratives (their first-order argument) is sound. Post-colonial theories often rely on a post-modern philosophical argumentative structure (their second-order argument). The second-order argument is not able to support the first-order argument. In particular, the nihilist consequences of post-modernism make impossible the construction of a (post-colonial) discourse through which the discontent is transformed in a basis for a reasonable political action. The lack of such a discourse is a source of intellectual despair and predisposes to political fragmentation. Moreover, protest without arguments often coincides with violence. Within a liberal view of justice it is possible to represent post-colonialism as a critical stance
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DOI 10.1177/0191453710397983
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