Decolonization, Postcolonialism, Multiple Modernities, and Persistent East–West Divide in African Studies
In this chapter volume editors try to determine the disciplines through which the analysis of decolonization in modern science is carried out, and to reveal the ‘disciplinary proportions' in the issue in recent years. The shift of decolonization studies from predominantly material into intangible sphere is demonstrated. In this context, the mechanisms of the transition in the academic discourse from the actual problems of the Third World decolonization to postcolonial and decolonial studies are indicated. Much attention is paid to the relations in the triangle “First World” (former metropoles) - “Second World” (former socialist countries) and “Third World” (now - countries of the “Global South”) and modern interpretations of these relations. The real role of the USSR as a ‘Second World' major power in the process of decolonization of Africa is shown both in the international political arena (with the adoption of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in 1960) and in the case of the economic and technical assistance to African countries. Neo-colonialism, which replaced colonialism, manifests in Africa the “Wrong Side” of Western Modernity. One of the most consistent critics of this phenomenon was Ian Taylor, an outstanding political economist and a brilliant expert on Africa, to whom this monograph is entirely devoted. According to the authors, in order to understand what is better, more humane for an ordinary African, what provides more reasonable hopes for the real socio-economic development of the continent it is advisable to compare not the modernities themselves, but their “flipsides” —Western, Chinese, Russian, Turkish ones.