Mar 16, 2017
Third Worldism re-considered: the multiple lives of an (unrealized) political project
This paper re-examines Third Worldism as a political ideology, with a specific focus on a number of Algerian intellectuals (Kateb Yacine, Jean Amrouche, and Jean Sénac), and the links between them and the Parisian metropole. By taking Algeria as a privileged locus of investigation, the project zooms into a specific context of Third Worldism, the Algerian War and the decade after (1950s and 1970s). Their involvement in Algeria’s decolonization struggles translated into translocal solidarity with other decolonization projects, whether in Vietnam or in Palestine, or with the political activism of Western intellectuals, such as Jean Genet. The poetic and political engagements of the above mentioned Algerian intellectuals tell a different story of Third Worldism: beyond the usual discourse of political futility, these voices sketch out the contours of a different kind of political horizon that struggles ‘to hold together revolt and revolution, poetry and action’ (Yacine 1994). Put differently, these voices both attempt a kind of diagnosis (however partial and incomplete) for the reductionism into which the Third World liberation state (inevitably) fell, while suggesting an alternative political horizon that comes closer to Fanon’s idea of ‘national consciousness’, especially in its attention to the ‘international dimension.’
About the Speaker
Alina Sajed is an Assistant Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at McMaster University. Her research has been published in Review of International Studies, Third World Quarterly, International Studies Review, Globalizations, Citizenship Studies, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, and Postcolonial Studies. She is the author of Postcolonial Encounters in International Relations: The Politics of Transgression in the Maghreb, published by Routledge in 2013; and the co-author (with William D. Coleman) of Fifty Key Thinkers on Globalization, published by Routledge in 2012.