Sarkar Discusses Decolonizing International Relations

On November 6, 2020, Jayita Sarkar, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, spoke on a panel as part of the two-day Decolonizing International Relations (DIR) Conference 2020 hosted by Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

For the panel, titled “Decolonizing International Relations 101,” Sarkar joined two other historians – Professors Ayesha Jalal and Kris Manjapra – to discuss themes that included power structures and hierarchies in knowledge production, and how that impedes the process of decolonization of the field. The Decolonizing International Relations 101 panel was envisioned to directly support the conference theme, “Decolonization(s): From the Ground-Up.” This panel was created with the aim of first, introducing attendees to the concept of decolonization more broadly and within international relations, and, second, helping attendees understand that decolonization is plural, not singular.

The DIR Conference was created with the goal of interrogating the colonial-era origins of modern International Relations as a discipline and practice. In doing so, the conference helps confront the past of International Relations – and its own legacy – honestly.

The full panel recording can be viewed below.

Jayita Sarkar is Assistant Professor at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, where she is also the founding director of the Global Decolonization Initiative. She teaches diplomatic and political history at graduate and undergraduate levels. Professor Sarkar’s areas of research expertise are 20th century South Asia, history of U.S. foreign relations, politics of nuclear technologies, and connected partitions. Her book, Ploughshares & Swords: India’s Nuclear Program in the Global Cold War, (Forthcoming, Cornell University Press, 2022), examines the first forty years of India’s nuclear program through the prisms of geopolitics and technopolitics. Read more about Professor Sarkar on her faculty profile