Non-Western Anarchisms and Postcolonialism

  • Maia Ramnath


This chapter offers a very brief overview of non-Western anarchisms (while criticising that very terminology), touching upon historical and contemporary manifestations of anti-authoritarian movements in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, closing with a consideration of two comprehensive liberation projects in progress in Chiapas and Rojava. In analysing manifestations of anarchism and related formations across various contexts, it’s necessary to map power relations and relevant forms of oppression, exploitation and hierarchy as they manifest in each specific context, and their corresponding histories of resistance and alternative-making, drawing on cultural repertories which practitioners may or may not choose explicitly to identify as connected to the modern genealogy of anarchist tradition. Although each example is unique, one important factor shared by most non-Western anarchisms is a history of colonisation, foreign occupation or intervention. This adds an additional layer of complexity to the analysis of power and resistance, requiring a systemic awareness of where a given society is located in relation to global structures of capital and empire, dispossession and extractive industry, as these intersect or collude with locally rooted forms of domination, hierarchy and authority. Looking beyond “the West” for radical alternatives, this exploration alights on a note of hope.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maia Ramnath
    • 1
  1. 1.Writer, Organiser and Adjunct Professor of HistoryFordham UniversityNew YorkUSA

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