Conservatism and Postcolonial Politics
This book provides an updated analysis of conservative political thought and a revision of postcolonial politics, thereby producing a novel theoretical synthesis anchored in comparative case studies of postcolonial Africa and India with significant implications for global politics.
The key argument in this book is that a re-reading through a conservative prism of the scholarly and political postcolonial projects provides a coherent theoretical framework with which best to understand the decolonised world. It provides also a suitable grounding for the ubiquitous yet imprecise notion of postcoloniality. Conservatism, rooted in tradition, hierarchy and duty and sceptical of progressivism and rationality, provides a superior framework for understanding and engaging with the formerly colonised world than do the liberal and socialist foundations on which Western thinking about colonialism initially depended, as in de Tocqueville’s defence of imperialism, the ambivalent views in J S Mill and Marx and the unequivocal critiques of Diderot, Hobson and Lenin.
The focus of this book is theoretical and empirical. Firstly, on postcolonial scholarship seeking to understand the impact of colonialism and how ontological and epistemological underpinnings of Western Enlightenment and modernity circumscribe our understanding of postcolonial societies. Secondly, on social movements in colonised regions aspiring to liberation and emancipation, fomenting decolonisation and defining politics in its wake.