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

Radim Hladík

DOI: https://doi.org/10.46938/tv.2011.139


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.


post-socialism; post-colonialism; traveling theory; comparative perspective

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TEORIE VĚDY / THEORY OF SCIENCE – journal for interdisciplinary studies of science is published twice a year by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies). ISSN 1210-0250 (Print) ISSN 1804-6347 (Online) MK ČR E 18677 web: http://teorievedy.flu.cas.cz /// email: teorievedy@flu.cas.cz