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Decoding "decoloniality" in the academy: tensions and challenges in "decolonising" as a "new" language and praxis in British history and geography

Rai, R. K. & Campion, K. ORCID: 0000-0002-8501-6479 (2022). Decoding "decoloniality" in the academy: tensions and challenges in "decolonising" as a "new" language and praxis in British history and geography. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 45(16), pp. 478-500. doi: 10.1080/01419870.2022.2099750


The academy in Britain has witnessed the rise of a “decolonial turn”, which ironically is set against the backdrop of persistent racial disparities amongst staff and students within higher education. Taking the cases of the disciplines of history and geography and drawing from qualitative interviews and focus groups among students and academics in these disciplines, this paper examines “decolonising” as– (a) a “new” language being articulated by various actors within the neoliberal university; and (b) an emergent praxis at the levels of learned societies, university departments and beyond, to address racialized inequalities and coloniality. This paper outlines some key tensions and challenges faced by “decoloniality” at both conceptual and practical levels, and overall suggests the need for an anti-racist collaborative effort to make meaningful “decolonial” changes within higher education in Britain.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: Decoloniality; decolonizing; higher education; neoliberal universities; diversity; anti-racism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
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