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
New UK bill can fight fresh wave of online racist abuse26/07/2021 09:20:00
The Euros final and Grand Prix put online abuse once more in the spotlight. The UK’s Online Safety Bill provides a strong framework for tackling the problem.
US embargo blocks constructive policy approach to Cuba20/07/2021 09:20:00
Protests in Cuba have brought the US embargo back into the public debate but really are more about a failed regime and unaccountable political system.
Stark choice must be faced to end Saudi-Emirati stalemate12/07/2021 13:38:00
Contrary to media reports, the UAE is not about to leave OPEC and, despite a public stand-off with Saudi Arabia, compromise and agreement will be reached.
How the international system should tackle climate risk30/06/2021 09:20:00
For the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to succeed, there must be an urgent move away from reactive ‘defence-oriented’ mindsets when managing climate risk.
Denmark's immigrants forced out by government policies29/06/2021 16:43:00
Relocating asylum seekers outside Europe is just the latest extreme measure from Denmark’s Social Democrats to outflank the political right.
Collective action can spark innovation for data flows29/06/2021 09:20:00
The UK, Japan, and EU can lead the way in using the G7 ‘data free flow with trust’ roadmap to ensure data transfers with robust security and privacy standards.
Black Sea incident is Russia telling the same old story28/06/2021 15:10:00
Russia claiming it chased off a British warship with warning shots and bombing runs is no surprise – but neither is the fact that little of it seems to be true.
Armenia’s snap election preserves precarious democracy24/06/2021 15:38:00
Despite 2020’s military defeat, Armenia’s fragile institutions are the real winner of Sunday’s poll, but now face the challenge of dominant power politics.