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Creolizing Political TheoryReading Rousseau through Fanon$
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Jane Anna Gordon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254811

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254811.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Creolizing Political Theory

Jane Anna Gordon

Fordham University Press

The introduction defines the concepts of “creolization” and “creolizing” and what it means to have a creolized or creolizing approach to politics, political theory, and political science. This involves distinguishing creolization from other ways of understanding the relations among meaningful, politically salient forms of difference. In particular, creolization is differentiated from multiculturalism, hybridity, and decreolization and from the respective disciplinary counterparts of each. This is because ways of conceiving of “culture” overdetermine how scholars understand the nature and significance of the academic disciplines of which they are part. It advances the reading of Rousseau and Fanon in a way that breaks with comparative political theory since the focus is not on the contributions of each to their distinctive political and social worlds but to understandings of questions of method and political legitimacy more generally. Finally, this section introduces the idea of creolization as the progressive generalizing of political will through which syntheses that better approximate the needs and hopes of the society at large can emerge. While creolization does not have a necessary relationship to colonized peoples, it is likely to be opposed by those who benefit from claiming that existing arrangements are as representative as is possible.

Keywords:   Rousseau, Fanon, democratic legitimacy, methodology, creolization, political theory, colonized peoples, multiculturalism, hybridity, decreolization

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