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Political Theories of DecolonizationPostcolonialism and the Problem of Foundations$
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Margaret Kohn and Keally McBride

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195399578

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195399578.001.0001

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Self-Determination Reconsidered

Self-Determination Reconsidered

Revolutions of Decolonization and Postcolonial Citizenship

(p.55) 3 Self-Determination Reconsidered
Political Theories of Decolonization

Kohn Margaret

McBride Keally

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that our understanding of revolution can be enhanced by examining twentieth-century movements for independence. These movements wanted to do more than just replace foreign rulers with indigenous elites who would ensure the smooth functioning of existing forms of exploitation. Reconfiguring Confucian ideas about virtue, Ho Chi Minh saw revolution as a process of self-cultivation and transformation for both leaders and citizens. Frantz Fanon has a similar emphasis upon the libratory aspects of struggle, but becomes trepidatious about the manipulation of the masses by nationalist leaders. How can we understand democratic revolutions of independence that did not create governments with democratic accountability? This chapter starts to unpeel the difficulties of establishing democracy in postcolonial regimes.

Keywords:   revolution, virtue, self-cultivation, leadership, Fanon, Ho Chi Minh, education, citizenship, liberation, struggle

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