Antiracism and Decolonization

The year 2020 saw remarkable mobilizations for Black Lives Matter and, throughout Canada, in support of members of the Wet’suwet’en nation. It was also marked by striking violent racist events, such as the deaths of George Floyd and of Joyce Echaquan. These examples, among many others, have made clear the racist and colonial features of our contemporary societies, and yet neither racism nor colonialism are new. It is then not because of recent political development or of unprecedented theoretical development that we should focus on racism and colonialism. Rather, it is because many members of the public and researchers have now come to realize that we can no longer accept racism and colonialism as given features of our societies and that we all have a role to play in deconstructing them.

Considering this realization, this theme phare seeks to investigate the role of ethics within antiracist and decolonial movements. This covers practical questions about the best ways to pursue antiracist and decolonial objectives, but also theoretical questions about the ways in which political and moral theories can improve our understanding of relevant concepts and problems. Furthermore, this theme seeks to investigate the role of ethics and moral theory in societies organized and structured by racism and colonialism. For one thing, it is essential to question the specific responsibilities of academic researchers in the production and reproduction of knowledges and cannons that consolidate white supremacy and colonial domination. It is also essential to pay attention to the voices that are included and those that are excluded from ethical and political theorizing, about racism and colonialism more specifically but also more broadly, and to the ways in which this can contribute to these forms of oppression and domination.

Yann Allard-Tremblay holds a PhD from the Universities of St Andrews and Stirling. He is currently an assistant professor in political science at McGill University. He previously was an assistant professor in sociology and political science at Glendon College, York University. He is a member of the Huron-Wendat First Nation.

His current research is concerned with the decolonization and indigenization of political thought. More specifically, he is interested by the ways in which Indigenous political thoughts, practices and traditions can transform diverse core concepts of political theory. He is also interested by the ways in which some western political traditions, like political pluralism and classical conservatism, offer the basis of a fruitful engagement.