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Decolonizing Global Ethics: Thinking with the Pluriverse

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 June 2019

Abstract

This essay examines the idea of the pluriverse as one response to recent calls for the decolonization of international and global ethics. It argues that taking pluriversality seriously challenges prevailing understandings of global ethics as the acquisition and application of moral expertise. Instead of aiming to know the meaning of global justice and then apply it to particular contexts, a pluriversal ethics addresses the question of how to cultivate a practical ethic of coexistence and collaboration with others in an ontologically plural and radically hierarchical world.

Type
Essay
Copyright
Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 2019 

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References

1 See, for example, Bell, Duncan, ed., Empire, Race and Global Justice (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Lu, Catherine, Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Flikschuh, Katrin, What Is Orientation in Global Thinking? A Kantian Inquiry (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Odysseos, Louiza, “Prolegomena to Any Future Decolonial Ethics: Coloniality, Poetics and ‘Being Human as Praxis,’Millennium: Journal of International Studies 45, no. 3 (April 2017), pp. 447–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

2 Blaney, David L. and Tickner, Arlene B., “Worlding, Ontological Politics and the Possibility of a Decolonial IR,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 45, no. 3 (June 2017), pp. 293311CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Rojas, Cristina, “Contesting the Colonial Logics of the International: Towards a Relational Politics for the Pluriverse,” International Political Sociology 10, no. 4 (2016), pp. 369–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

3 Dunford, Robin, “Toward a Decolonial Global Ethics,” Journal of Global Ethics 13, no. 3 (September 2017), pp. 380–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 William James, A Pluralistic Universe: Hibbert Lectures at the Manchester College on the Present Situation in Philosophy, Project Gutenburg, under “Lecture 8,” www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/11984/pg11984.html. Emphasis in the original.

5 Blaser, Mario, “Political Ontology: Cultural Studies without ‘Cultures’?,” Cultural Studies 23, nos. 5–6 (2009), pp. 873–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Conway, Janet and Singh, Jakeet, “Radical Democracy in Global Perspective: Notes from the Pluriverse,” Third World Quarterly 32 no. 4 (2011), pp. 689706CrossRefGoogle Scholar; de la Cadena, Marisol, “Indigenous Cosmopolitics in the Andes: Conceptual Reflections beyond ‘Politics,’Cultural Anthropology 25, no. 2 (April 2010), pp. 334–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Chaves, Martha, Macintyre, Thomas, Verschoor, Gerard, and Wals, Arjen E. J., “Towards Transgressive Learning through Ontological Politics: Answering the ‘Call of the Mountain’ in a Colombian Network of Sustainability,” Sustainability 9, no. 1 (December 2016), 119CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Escobar, Arturo, “Thinking-Feeling with the Earth: Territorial Struggles and the Ontological Dimension of the Epistemologies of the South,” Revista de antropologia Iberoamericana 11, no. 1 (January–April 2016), pp. 1132Google Scholar; Esteva, Gustavo and Escobar, Arturo, “Post-Development @ 25: On ‘Being Stuck’ and Moving Forward, Sideways, Backward and Otherwise,” in “The Development Dictionary @25: Post-Development and Its Consequences,” ed. Ziai, Aram, special issue, Third World Quarterly 38, no. 12 (June 2017), pp. 2559–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Mignolo, Walter D., The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options (London: Duke University Press, 2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

6 Blaser, “Political Ontology,” p. 890.

7 Blaney and Tickner, “Worlding, Ontological Politics and the Possibility of a Decolonial IR,” p. 304; Blaser, “Political Ontology,” p. 888.

8 Escobar, “Thinking-Feeling with the Earth,” p. 22.

9 Ibid., p. 20.

Ibid

10 Mignolo, Darker Side of Western Modernity.

11 Dunford, “Toward a Decolonial Global Ethics,” p. 11.

12 Ibid., pp. 12–13.

Ibid

13 Ibid., pp. 14–15.

Ibid

14 Chaves et al., “Towards Transgressive Learning through Ontological Politics,” p. 5.

15 Cadena, “Indigenous Cosmopolitics in the Andes,” p. 30.

16 Lear, Jonathan, Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006)Google Scholar.

17 Ibid., p. 144.

Ibid
8
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