Ali A. Mazrui, postcolonialism and the study of international relations

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1 Citation (Scopus)


First as intellectual ally and then as adversary, Kenyan political scientist Ali A. Mazrui was embraced by the North American discipline of international relations (IR) in the 1960s and 1970s; he was virtually neglected in the 1980s; and a measure of interest in his scholarship revived in the 1990s and beyond. But Mazrui has not found a place in postcolonialism ever since that school emerged in the critical margins of IR. This essay argues that the estrangement between Mazrui and IR was primarily due to the changing nature of the discipline and his unchanging approach to it. Mazrui became the methodological 'Other' in the mainstream discipline. The essay also claims that Mazrui's marginalisation in postcolonialism is ultimately attributable to his image as the cultural and ideological 'Other'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-535
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of International Relations and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Ali A. Mazrui
  • cultural analysis
  • identity politics
  • international relations
  • postcolonialism
  • triple heritage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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