The Postcolonial Subject: Claiming Politics/Governing Others in Late Modernity, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Postcolonial Subject

Claiming Politics/Governing Others in Late Modernity, 1st Edition

By Vivienne Jabri


188 pages

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This book places the lens on postcolonial agency and resistance in a social and geopolitical context that has witnessed great transformations in international politics. What does postcolonial politics mean in a late modern context of interventions that seek to govern postcolonial populations? Drawing on historic and contemporary articulations of agency and resistance and highlighting voices from the postcolonial world, the book explores the transition from colonial modernity to the late modern postcolonial era. It shows that at each moment wherein the claim to politics is made, the postcolonial subject comes face to face with global operations of power that seek to control and govern. As seen in the Middle East and elsewhere, these operations have variously drawn on war, policing, as well as pedagogical practices geared at governing the political aspirations of target societies. The book provides a conceptualisation of postcolonial political subjectivity, discusses moments of its emergence, and exposes the security agendas that seek to govern it.

Engaging with political thought, from Hannah Arendt, to Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, and Edward Said, among other critical and postcolonial theorists, and drawing on art, literature, and film from the postcolonial world, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of critical international relations, postcolonial theory, and political theory.

Table of Contents

1. Tracing the Postcolonial Subject 2. Policing Access to the Modern: Power, Fear, Resistance 3. Resistance as the Claim to Politics 4. Reclaiming the International: Resistance in Cosmopolitan Space 5. Governing Others: War and Operations of Power in Late Modernity 6. Creative Politics and Postcolonial Agency

About the Author

Vivienne Jabri is Professor of International Politics in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. She is author of 3 books: Mediating Conflict (Manchester University Press, 1990); Discourses on Violence (Manchester University Press, 1996); and War and the Transformation of Global Politics (Palgrave, 2007). She is co-editor of 2 books: with Stephen Chan, Mediation in Southern Africa (Macmillan, 1993); and with Eleanor O’Gorman, Women, Culture and International Relations (Lynne Rienner, 1999). She has contributed articles to the journals, Millennium, Review of International Studies, Security Dialogue, Alternatives, and International Political Sociology. She has held funding from the European Commission frameworks 5 and 6. Her most recent book, War and the Transformation of Global Politics (Palgrave 2007), is to appear in paperback in spring 2010

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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