A Theory's Travelogue: Post-Colonial Theory in Post-Socialist Space

Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 33 (4):561-590 (2011)
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This essay examines theoretical arguments surrounding the use of post-colonial theory as a way to fill in the epistemological lacuna in the studies of post-socialism. It reviews the various streams of this theoretical development and employs Edward Said’s notion of “traveling theory” to demonstrate that theoretical claims made by proponents and opponents of this particular comparative perspective are historically, socially, and geographically situated, although not fixed. Disciplinary, national, and institutional affiliations, instead of theoretical justifications, are identified as important factors in the propensity to accept or resist the introduction of post-colonial perspective on Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The essay concludes by acknowledging the potential usefulness as well as the limits of post-colonialism in the conceptualization of the post- socialist space.
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