Chapter

Self-Determination Reconsidered

Kohn Margaret and McBride Keally

in Political Theories of Decolonization

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195399578
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894437 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195399578.003.0004
Self-Determination Reconsidered

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This chapter argues that our understanding of revolution can be enhanced by examining twentieth-century movements for independence. These movements wanted to do more than just replace foreign rulers with indigenous elites who would ensure the smooth functioning of existing forms of exploitation. Reconfiguring Confucian ideas about virtue, Ho Chi Minh saw revolution as a process of self-cultivation and transformation for both leaders and citizens. Frantz Fanon has a similar emphasis upon the libratory aspects of struggle, but becomes trepidatious about the manipulation of the masses by nationalist leaders. How can we understand democratic revolutions of independence that did not create governments with democratic accountability? This chapter starts to unpeel the difficulties of establishing democracy in postcolonial regimes.

Keywords: revolution; virtue; self-cultivation; leadership; Fanon; Ho Chi Minh; education; citizenship; liberation; struggle

Chapter.  10295 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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