The Postcolonial Condition

Robert J.C. Young

in The Oxford Handbook of Postwar European History

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560981
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

The Postcolonial Condition

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  • History
  • European History
  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)
  • Colonialism and Imperialism



The phrase ‘the postcolonial condition’ is usually invoked with respect to the particular state, as well as the common circumstances, of the many colonies that were freed from colonial rule during the second half of the twentieth century and are now living on the legacy of colonialism. Postcolonial conditions all over the world remain very substantially the product of European rule, given the extent of the European empires. While the rest of the world gradually frees itself from its postcoloniality, as it earlier freed itself from the shackles of colonialism, it is the Europe from which colonialism came that remains caught within the postcolonial condition: for this reason, the idea of ‘the postcolonial’ has had most currency in Europe. One aspect of the European postcolonial condition was the refusal to recognise its overall historical inevitability even as the decolonisation process was taking place. This article discusses the postcolonial condition in Europe, along with cultural production as well as postcolonial theory and Islam.

Keywords: postcolonial condition; Europe; colonialism; Islam; cultural production; postcolonial theory; postcoloniality; decolonisation

Article.  6328 words. 

Subjects: History ; European History ; Contemporary History (Post 1945) ; Colonialism and Imperialism

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