Decolonial Thinking, Southern Theory, and the Search for Alternative Epistemologies in the Social Sciences

Jayadeva Uyangoda



A new discussion among Indian scholars has begun to initiate a critical dialogue between the postcolonial and decolonial approaches to historical and social analysis with radical traditions of social and political thought in India. Akash Singh Rathore’s book Indian Political Theory: Laying the Groundwork for Swaraj (2017) is an important intervention that raises important questions of the politics of theory, philosophy and epistemology while also suggesting that decolonial scholarship should be aware of the dangers of ‘hyper nationalism.’ Taking a clue from this book, this essay critically surveys the major scholarly strands that have attempted at producing ‘non-Western’ epistemologies and social –historical analysis and calls for an agenda that is broader than those proposed by Indian subaltern, postcolonial, and decolonial projects.


Keywords: Decolonial thinking, Southern theory, Subaltern approach, decolonization, western epistemology, alternative epistemologies