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Decolonial Worldmaking and the Contradictory Ecological Politics of Non-Alignment

Keynote lecture

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), a partnership between decolonial states in the Global South and socialist Yugoslavia, was one of a number of anti-systemic or counter-hegemonic worldmaking projects that emerged after the Second World War. Although critical of the two power blocs dominated by the United States and the Soviet Union, NAM as, indeed, much of the world was largely silent on ecological issues in the 1960s. It advocated, instead, for a kind of „modernity otherwise“ based on national planning, rapid industrialization and efficient agro-business, seeking a new era of equality in international relations based on sovereignty, independence, self-determination, territorial integrity, and general and complete disarmament. As NAM, together with the G-77 and UNCTAD, turned, in the 1970s, more towards socio-economic justice and the articulation of a New International Economic Order, these discourses of modernity, sovereignty over natural resources, and challenging economic neo-colonialism operated in a space that increasingly focused on planetary limits to growth and the ecological impacts of multi-national corporations. This lecture seeks, in a tentative and exploratory fashion, to address the explicit and implicit ecological politics of the non-aligned in the 1960s and 1970s. It also explores the deeply contradictory role played by socialist Yugoslavia within this, including its political elite, intellectuals, and key personnel working within the UN and other international agencies, drawing lessons for ecological
justice today.


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 09:00
Duration: 01:00
Room: ZV-KC-1
Type: Special Session
Theme: Keynote


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