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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter develops a postcolonial critique of comparative political theory by engaging with its theoretical and methodological reflections on its enterprise, including how it anticipates and refutes the postcolonial critique that this chapter offers. While efforts to deparochialize political theory are welcome, the means by which this laudable aim is pursued in comparative political theory undermines the end that is sought. If the idea that there is an activity or practice called “political theory” that has been cultivated for centuries, even millennia, in “the West” is an unhelpful and misleading fiction, to extend it to include the non-West is doubly so. It is to impose a modern, Western category on thinkers, texts, and modes of writing and reflecting that it does not fit and that distorts our understanding of such traditions.

Keywords: postcolonialism, universalism, comparative political theory, politics of knowledge, Eurocentrism, Orientalism

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