Crossfire: Postcolonial Theory between Marxist and Decolonial Critiques

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This article stages a confrontation between postcolonial theory and the decolonial option on the terrain of their respective engagements with Marxism. While prominent decolonial critics accuse postcolonial theory of relying too much on ‘Eurocentric’ theories, including Western Marxism, the article argues that this critique ignores what has been in fact a long-standing debate between postcolonial theory and its Marxist critics. Thus, the article questions this decolonial characterization and locates postcolonial theory itself in the crossfire of Marxist and decolonial critiques. First, it outlines the main objections that Marxist critics have formulated against postcolonial theory. Next, it discusses the decolonial critiques of postcolonial theory with an emphasis on the role played by Marxism in this confrontation. Finally, it proposes a ‘relinking’ between postcolonial theory and Marxism, understood not as a closure of the debate between these two theoretical formations but rather as an effort to hold that debate open. The article identifies the space of this open debate between postcolonial theory and its Marxist critics as a vantage point from which to articulate a critical response to the decolonial intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-72
Number of pages19
JournalPostcolonial Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Marxism
  • Postcolonial
  • colonial modernity
  • decolonial
  • delinking


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