Understanding Decolonization in the 21st Century
The panel considers what decolonization means and how it can – or cannot – be practically applied in the fields of history, politics and international relations.
In recent years, student-led campaigns including Rhodes Must Fall – which began at the University of Cape Town in 2015 and was then quickly taken up by campaigners at Oxford University’s Oriel College – and Why is My Curriculum White? have sparked wider engagement with demands for decolonization in academia and other elite institutions.
Decolonization takes many forms. In museums, it is often associated with custodianship and the returning of artefacts as well as the full accreditation of events – often violent – that brought historical items into Western collections.
In schools and universities, it involves ensuring curricula accurately reflect a global conversation, while in the field of journalism and media, decolonization involves representation, diversity and appreciating cultural sensitivities.
But how might the history and original purpose of an institution affect its ability to adapt to and reflect contemporary ideological currents? Does decolonizing these disciplines run the risk of decontextualizing? To what extent is decolonization capable of encouraging a more inclusive form of policymaking and debate in current affairs?
And what should be the role of institutions such as museums, news outlets and think-tanks in facilitating discussion?
This event is part of a series, held in the context of the Chatham House Centenary in 2020, bringing together historians, practitioners and current policymakers to discuss contemporary problems of international relations.
Latest News from
Economy Must Not Get Stuck Between Lockdown and Recovery06/07/2020 13:38:00
Despite recent outbreaks in several countries which had appeared to be close to excluding the virus, focusing on suppression and elimination is the best economic as well as health strategy.
Revitalizing Resilience is a Tough but Vital Political Challenge30/06/2020 09:20:00
COVID-19 has been an eye-opener in highlighting significant discrepancies in crisis planning and preparedness at every level. Political leaders must deliver greater public understanding and support of the concept of resilience.
The Hotel Majestic and the Origins of Chatham House29/06/2020 16:25:00
One hundred years ago, Lionel Curtis first proposed the idea of an institute of international affairs. Katharina Rietzler takes us back to this important moment in the history of Chatham House.
To Prevent Second Spike, UK Must Learn from Other Countries’ Infection Rates25/06/2020 11:43:00
As COVID-19 cases fall in the UK and restrictions ease, learning from the global experience and not falling victim to false confidence is essential to avoid walking into a second spike of infections.
Estonia’s Crucial Role in Tackling Growing Cyber Threats24/06/2020 09:20:00
Estonia’s presidency of the UN Security Council refreshes the debate on global cyber security just as the coronavirus pandemic exposes the consequences of failing to protect critical digital infrastructures.
COVID-19 Strengthens the Case for EU Defence19/06/2020 09:20:00
The COVID-19 crisis creates both new challenges and renewed momentum for European defence cooperation. Will it be enough to finally overcome the political and strategic hurdles that have held the process back?
Getting the Most From UK Aid Needs Political Leadership18/06/2020 16:48:00
There is nothing wrong with trying to get more out of the aid budget but, without a clear, consistent vision of Britain’s place in the world, merging DFID will be a damaging stunt and distraction.
Twin Pillars of US Policy Puts Iraqi Dialogue at Risk18/06/2020 12:20:00
A new strategic dialogue between US and Iraqi governments is meant to place the bilateral relationship on a sustainable basis. But current US policy towards the region will make this tough to achieve.