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The Decolonial Mandela: Peace, Justice and the Politics of Life

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The Decolonial Mandela

Peace, Justice and the Politics of Life

Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni

186 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-118-3 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (March 2016)

ISBN  978-1-78533-296-8 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (March 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-119-0 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Ndlovu-Gatsheni’s academic goal is not to impose any fixed, essentialized, or totalizing readings or metanarratives of the idea of Mandela. As such, The Decolonial Mandela is not only a tour de force that shows how the selfless actions of one man can help define the course of history, but also provides important insights for scholars into the dynamics of imperial reason in Africa.” • Biography

“This book is effective in providing different ways of viewing Nelson Mandela and his work that humanize him without either tarnishing or overstating his legacy. The author provides a convincing argument for placing Mandela at the helm of a Third Humanist Revolution though arguably this revolution has yet to reach fruition.” · African Studies Quarterly

“Ndlovu-Gatsheni’s esay offers fresh intellectual perspectives that go far beyond the essay’s original topic…[It] is not only an extremely convincing call for encounters in inter- and trans-, or better, post-disciplinarity within and between the Global North and the Global South, but also an important intervention in current South African debates around identities and interests.” · Africa Spectrum

“This is a completely original contribution to our understanding of Mandela. It provides a long overdue decolonial perspective that situates Mandela’s life and thought within current academic debates and the political and ethical challenges facing global humanity. It will be essential reading across multiple disciplines.” · Ramon Grosfoguel, University of California, Berkeley

“This political-philosophical essay is a profound reflection on the socialization, thought, and impact of an individual who represented an anti-colonial determination to achieve human dignity for all people. It is inspiring reading.” · Henning Melber, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and Nordic Africa Institute


A significant contribution to the emerging literature on decolonial studies, this concise and forcefully argued volume lays out a groundbreaking interpretation of the “Mandela phenomenon.” Contrary to a neoliberal social model that privileges adversarial criminal justice and a rationalistic approach to war making, Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni identifies transformative political justice and a reimagined social order as key features of Nelson Mandela’s legacy. Mandela is understood here as an exemplar of decolonial humanism, one who embodied the idea of survivor’s justice and held up reconciliation and racial harmony as essential for transcending colonial modes of thought.

Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni is the Head of Archie Mafeje Research Institute at the University of South Africa. He is the Editor-In-Chief of Africa Insight and Deputy Editor of the International Journal of African Renaissance Studies. His recent publications include Empire, Global Coloniality and African Subjectivity (2013) and Coloniality of Power in Postcolonial Africa: Myths of Decolonization (2013).

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Africa


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