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16-04-2017, 23:02   #1
mzungu
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Post-Colonialism and beyond

As noted by Robotham (1999), theorists have suggested that rapid progress (economic and social) has changed society at a speed than does not allow for meaningful theorising of its consequences. This has come at a high cost for the ex-colonies attempting to construct both a society and national identity in the time after gaining independence in the post-colonial era.

Post-colonialism comes in two phases, with the first being in the 1970s where post-colonial theory focussed heavily on the process of decolonisation itself. The arguments of this process focussed on the "class character of the state" in the newly independent nation states. The second phase, however, was different in that theorising developed to become more concerned with epistemological concerns, as opposed to sociological ones.

The problem, as some theorists have stated, was the transplanting of western intellectual traditions onto cultures it bore little relation to. This, they suggest, is the reason behind the difficulties in getting ex-colonies to stand on solid political, national and economic ground. However, Robotham (1999) disagrees, he says this presents the political failures of ex-colonies as being the result of a rejection of rationalism from western intellectual traditions. He believes this can't be true, mainly because there is deep opposition to rationality in western culture itself and therefore it cannot be the bane of the cultures in the developing world, nor can it explain the failures in attempting to build functional states in the post-colonial era.

Thoughts?


Robotham, D. (1999). Post-Colonialism and Beyond. (In: Browning, G., Halcli, A., & Webster, F.).Understanding contemporary society: Theories of the present. Sage.
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01-06-2017, 23:05   #2
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As noted by Robotham (1999), theorists have suggested that rapid progress (economic and social) has changed society at a speed than does not allow for meaningful theorising of its consequences.
An alternative to those theorists that suggest "rapid progress" has not allowed for "meaningful theorising" for such countries as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the State of Qatar may have failed to examine Max Weber's theory of rationalisation (Economy & Society, 1922, translated by Talcott Parsons, et al).

For example, the UAE united 7 tribes and declared independence 2 December 1971 from British rule, as well as the British exploitation of their oil and gas resources, and has exhibited extraordinary "rapid progress" since 1971. Weber's theory explains and predicts this increasingly "rapid progress" with a structural continuum that begins with "Traditional" (UAE tribal before independence) to "Charismatic" (UAE independence) to "Rational-Legal" (implementation of the UAE 2030 strategic plan).

Referencing an anecdotal case, I am currently working with a doctoral student who is using this Weberian rationalisation for structural and rapid transitional change as a part of his conceptual framework to explain and predict such rapid change in a former colony.
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04-06-2017, 22:38   #3
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An alternative to those theorists that suggest "rapid progress" has not allowed for "meaningful theorising" for such countries as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the State of Qatar may have failed to examine Max Weber's theory of rationalisation (Economy & Society, 1922, translated by Talcott Parsons, et al).

For example, the UAE united 7 tribes and declared independence 2 December 1971 from British rule, as well as the British exploitation of their oil and gas resources, and has exhibited extraordinary "rapid progress" since 1971. Weber's theory explains and predicts this increasingly "rapid progress" with a structural continuum that begins with "Traditional" (UAE tribal before independence) to "Charismatic" (UAE independence) to "Rational-Legal" (implementation of the UAE 2030 strategic plan).

Referencing an anecdotal case, I am currently working with a doctoral student who is using this Weberian rationalisation for structural and rapid transitional change as a part of his conceptual framework to explain and predict such rapid change in a former colony.
Interesting point on the UAE post-independence. The examples Robotham talked about (i.e.. what was in the OP) were mainly in Africa and the sub-continent. I guess with the UAE being much smaller, having much less tribes, and of course being oil rich, made it quite a great deal easier to merge into a fully fledged nation state? Compared with parts of east and west Africa and the sub-continent where the countries are vast, there are lots more tribes, and the oil and mineral riches have largely been squandered, it was always going to be a tough job to build a collective national identity.
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04-06-2017, 22:57   #4
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Extraordinary rapid growth since unification and statehood have exhibited serious developmental problems. There has been a heavy reliance on foreign nationals for both labour, technical, and executive level employment, now several times exceeding the citizen population in numbers. Foreign nationals cannot become citizens, so they remain for years in foreign status. In addition to this, most UAE born citizens seek government employment rather than private sector business employment, a problem the UAE recognises, but has failed to successfully address in the past 10 years. The UAE 2030 Strategic Plan acknowledges this problem, and welcomes studies that may improve the emiratisation of citizens towards private sector employment.
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12-06-2017, 21:58   #5
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As noted by Robotham (1999), theorists have suggested that rapid progress (economic and social) has changed society at a speed than does not allow for meaningful theorising of its consequences. This has come at a high cost for the ex-colonies attempting to construct both a society and national identity in the time after gaining independence in the post-colonial era.
Immanuel Wallerstein suggested World-systems Theory. Review 3rd stage world-economies model. Lacks unified political system. Imaginary national boundaries become less important. Extracts surplus materials and labor where found. Elites at core. Surplus labor and materials continue to be exploited from non-elite semi-periphery and periphery.
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23-06-2017, 14:55   #6
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Immanuel Wallerstein suggested World-systems Theory. Review 3rd stage world-economies model. Lacks unified political system. Imaginary national boundaries become less important. Extracts surplus materials and labor where found. Elites at core. Surplus labor and materials continue to be exploited from non-elite semi-periphery and periphery.
There is a lot to be said for Wallerstein's World Systems Theory. That said, he does have his critics who believe he gives far too much power to things like the nation state and a limited conceptualisation of globalisation (e.g. Robinson 2011). Essentially, Robinson says that world-systems theory does not acknowledge the emerging transnational social forces and the relationships built up between both them, and the worldwide institutions that serve their interests. All of these forces operate on a worldwide, as opposed to the state system and hence can not be understood by Wallerstein's nation-centered approach.

Robinson, W. I. (2011-11-01). "Globalization and the sociology of Immanuel Wallerstein: A critical appraisal". International Sociology. 26 (6): 723–745.
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26-06-2017, 01:49   #7
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theorists have suggested that rapid progress (economic and social) has changed society at a speed than does not allow for meaningful theorising of its consequences.
Too soon for grand theories? What about theories of "middle range?" Paradigms? Conceptual frameworks? See Robert Merton in Social Theory & Social Structure (1968 enlarged edition).
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30-06-2017, 20:34   #8
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Too soon for grand theories? What about theories of "middle range?" Paradigms? Conceptual frameworks? See Robert Merton in Social Theory & Social Structure (1968 enlarged edition).
There has been theories, but as of yet they do not seem to be having much influence on the ground in the ex-colonies. Intellectuals in the developing world have played a role, but their theorising is largely off the back of western intellectual traditions and informed by their own western lifestyles, instead of something more localised. Perhaps it is a case of having far too many social and economic issues to contend with. There are a lot of social and economic issues to contend with, maybe those need to be fixed first before theorising for a successful post-colonial nation can begin.
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30-06-2017, 20:37   #9
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Your username is very appropriate for this thread, op
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01-07-2017, 00:48   #10
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There has been theories, but as of yet they do not seem to be having much influence on the ground in the ex-colonies. Intellectuals in the developing world have played a role, but their theorising is largely off the back of western intellectual traditions and informed by their own western lifestyles, instead of something more localised.
Emiratisation. Relatively recent, emergent concept. Middle Eastern origin, not Western. Concepts have been building blocks of theory. Emiratisation a beginning.
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11-07-2017, 15:14   #11
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Emiratisation. Relatively recent, emergent concept. Middle Eastern origin, not Western. Concepts have been building blocks of theory. Emiratisation a beginning.
It will be interesting to see how that pans out, given the wealth of the nations involved it will most likely be a roaring success. I wonder if similar measures could be taken in less wealthy nations (eg. Africa), although, given the disparate interests and rival tribal factions within those nation states, a completely new approach independent of all others may need to be used.
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19-07-2017, 16:13   #12
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As noted by Robotham (1999), theorists have suggested that rapid progress (economic and social) has changed society at a speed than does not allow for meaningful theorising of its consequences.
Cultural Lag theory of William Obgurn (1922). Culture (dependent variable) has been struggling to adapt to advancing technology (independent variable).
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19-07-2017, 17:28   #13
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Cultural Lag theory of William Obgurn (1922). Culture (dependent variable) has been struggling to adapt to advancing technology (independent variable).
There has been a slow response to getting things like stem cell research debated in the public sphere. Like all new technologies, or medical practices helped by advancing technology, getting experts to argue the ethical questions is paramount , otherwise distrust and anti-science movements spring up around it (Marshall 2008).

Marshall, K. P. (2009) "Has Technology Introduced New Ethical Problems?." Journal of Business Ethics 19.1 (n.d.): 81-90. SocINDEX with Full Text. EBSCO.
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