Decolonising the political theory curriculum

Choat, Simon (2020) Decolonising the political theory curriculum. Politics, ISSN (print) 0263-3957 (Epub Ahead of Print)

Abstract

Recent calls to ‘decolonise the curriculum’ are especially pertinent to the teaching of political theory, which has traditionally been dominated by a canon made up overwhelmingly of White (and male) thinkers. This article explores why and how political theory curricula might be decolonised. By mapping core political theory modules provided at UK universities, and examining associated textbooks, the article shows that non-White thinkers and discussions of colonialism and race are marginalised and neglected. It then argues that there are intellectual, political, and pedagogical reasons why this neglect is problematic and should be reversed. Finally, the article reflects on the experience of rewriting and delivering a core second-year undergraduate modern political thought module at a post-92 London university, including assessing the impact of the changes on the attainment gap between White students and Black and minority ethnic students.

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