IR437      Half Unit
Postcolonial Perspectives in International Relations

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr T Barkawi, STC 5.76


This course is available on the MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research) and MSc in International Relations Theory. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

All students are required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the Student Statement box on the online application form linked to course selection on LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed.


No specific requirements but students should have a background in the social sciences or humanities. 

Course content

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the postcolonial turn in the social sciences and humanities and in the study of world politics. The course is based on one book per seminar. These will include classic statements on Eurocentrism and Orientalism as well as efforts to 'provincialize' Europe.

What happens when world politics are seen through the lens of empire and imperialism rather than that of the nation-state? What is the significance for world politics, and for social and political inquiry, of resistance to empipre in practice and in theory? We will consider historical and contemporary answers to these questions from an interdisciplinary range of scholars.

Watch a short introductory video on this course:


20 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will be required to produce two short pieces of formative coursework.

Indicative reading

Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe; Partha Chatterjee, Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World; Faisal Devji, The Terrorist in Search of Humanity: Militant Islam and Global Politics; Prasenjit Duara, Rescuing History from the Nation; Frantz Fanon, Wretched of the Earth; CLR James, The Black Jacobins; Jasbir K. Puar, Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times; Edward Said, Orientalism; Gayatri Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason; Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest of America.


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in the MT.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 26.1
Merit 54.3
Pass 19.6
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2012/13: 16

Average class size 2012/13: 14

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information