Adom GetachewApr 26, 2021
Worldmaking After Empire
The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination
Princeton University Press 2020
Adom Getachew, the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, is the author of Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination (Princeton University Press, 2019). The work has received immense praise from academics and non-specialists alike, winning a plethora of awards, including the Frantz Fanon Prize, the W.E.B. Du Bois Distinguished Book Award, and the J. David Greenstone Book Prize. Getachew renarrates the twentieth-century history of decolonization and shows that African, African American, and Caribbean anticolonial nationalists were not solely nation-builders. Responding to the experience of racialized sovereign inequality, dramatized in the book by interwar Ethiopia and Liberia, Black Atlantic thinkers and politicians challenged international racial hierarchies and articulated alternative visions of worldmaking. Seeking to create an egalitarian postimperial world, they attempted to secure a right to self-determination within the newly founded United Nations, constitute regional federations in Africa and the Caribbean, and structure a New International Economic Order. Worldmaking after Empire traces the richness and ambition of postwar efforts to reimagine the international order, uncovering a multiplicity of political projects that decolonization entailed.
Vladislav Lilic is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University.