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Sajed Alina, Associate Professor


After obtaining her PhD in International Relations from McMaster University in 2008, Alina took up the position of Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Hong Kong in 2010 (until August 2013).  She joined the Department of Political Science at McMaster in September 2013.

Her core research interests lie in the areas of international relations theory, globalization and transnationalism, the politics of the Global South, and political violence.  She is particularly interested in the global governance of migration and mobility, rights-based discourses of Global South migrants, political Islam, and decolonial/postcolonial approaches to IR.  

She is interested in applying decolonial perspectives to international relations, with a focus on the relationship between colonialism and modernity. One project examined the emergence of Islamic responses to colonial modernity in Southeast Asia (Dutch Indies and British Malaya). In doing so it also interrogated a much present assumption in current critical IR narratives. Such analyses not only project ‘modernity’ as the only possible background to global politics, but they also adopt an analytical frame that eschews any discussion of contestations or alternatives to modernity whether past or present. In focusing on the notion of colonial modernity, she sought to examine not only the Islamic responses the challenges of Western modernity, but also to highlight certain ‘exteriorities’ to modernity that accompanied such responses.  

Her current project engages writings of rarely considered Third World artists and intellectuals (such as Kateb Yacine, Jean Amrouche, Jean Senac, Tahar Djaout). It specifically focuses on Algerian intellectuals: 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 and James Baldwin. These lateral engagements speak of an unrealized potential of Third Worldism as a political and intellectual project, pushing against the rigid boundaries of programmatic nationalism, and gesturing towards a Third World space experienced as lateral engagement, anticolonial connectivity and decolonial promise. 


PhD (International Relations), McMaster University

MA (International Relations), McMaster University

MA (European Studies), Al.I. Cuza, Iasi, Romania

BA (Honours) (English and French Literature), Al.I. Cuza, Iasi, Romania




3LB3 - Globalization and World Order

4KB3 - Non-Western International Relations 


767 (cross-listed with Globalization Studies) - Politics of the Global South: An IR Perspective

777 (cross-listed with Globalization Studies): Global Governance

717 (upcoming 2017/2018): Political Violence and Revolution 



 Sajed 2
 Postcolonial Encounters in International Relations:
The Politics of Transgression in the Maghreb,
Routledge (Interventions books series), 2013.
Paperback (October 2016)



Sajed 1
(with William D. Coleman)
Fifty Key Thinkers
on Globalization
Routledge, 2012.


Journal articles:

(with John M. Hobson) "Navigating Beyond the Eurofetishist Frontier of Critical IR Theory: Exploring the Complex Landscapes of Non-Western Agency." International Studies Review. DOI:

"Race and International Relations – What’s in a Word? A debate around John Hobson''s The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics." Postcolonial Studies, 19:2(2017), 168-172.

(with Naeem Inayatullah) "On the Perils of Lifting the Weight of Structures: An Engagement with Hobson’s Critique of the Discipline of IR." Postcolonial Studies, 19:2(2017), 201-209.

"Peripheral modernity and anti-colonial nationalism in Java: economies of race and gender in the constitution of the Indonesian national teleology." Third World Quarterly, 38:2(2017), 505-523.

"Insurrectional politics in colonial Southeast Asia: colonial modernity, Islamic "counterplots", and translocal (anti-colonial) connectivity", Globalizations, 12:6 (December 2015), 899-912. 

"Fanon, Camus and the Global Colour Line: Colonial Difference and the Rise of Decolonial Horizons", Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 26:1 (April 2013), 5-26.

"The Post Always Rings Twice? The Algerian War, Poststructuralism and the Postcolonial in IR Theory." Review of International Studies, 38:1 (January 2012), 141-163.

"Everyday Encounters with the Global Behind the Iron Curtain: Imagining Freedom, Desiring Liberalism in Socialist Romania."Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 24:4 (December 2011), 551-571.

"Postcolonial Strangers in a Cosmopolitan World: Hybridity and Citizenship in the Franco-Maghrebian Borderland." Citizenship Studies, 14:4 (August 2010), 363-380.

Chapters in edited volumes:

"Securitized migrants and postcolonial (in)difference: the politics of activisms among North African migrants in France" in Peter Nyers and Kim Rygiel (eds), Citizenship, Migrant Activism and the Politics of Movement (Routledge, 2012).

"Waiting for the Revolution. A Foreigners Narrative." In Naeem Inayatullah, ed., Autobiographical International Relations: I, IR, Routledge, pp. 78-92 (Interventions book series; 2011).

"Women as Objects and Commodities." In Robert Denemark et al., eds.  The International Studies Compendium Project.  Feminist Theory and Gender Studies. Vol XI, pp. 7513-7533 (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

"Late modernity/Postmodernity." In Robert Denemark et al., eds.  The International Studies Compendium Project. International Political Sociology. Vol. VIII, pp. 4787-4805 (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010).

Other peer-reviewed publications:

"Empire Writes Back: Between Dreams of Trespass and Fantasies of Resistance." Institute on Globalization and Human Condition. Working Papers Series, McMaster University, November 2006:

"Between Scylla and Charybdis: the Ethical and Moral Dilemmas of Humanitarian Action." Working Paper Series of the York Centre for International Security Studies. Working Paper no. 31, York University, January 2005: