(Under)development, modernity and epistemologies of the South

Walter Rodney, Simon Gikandi, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Achille Mbembe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In Chapter 8, we define the difference between modernity and modernisation. This involves an interrogation of the subject of European Enlightenment. Development and underdevelopment are central to our discussion. We start with Guyanese scholar-activist and Marxist intellectual Walter Rodney's (1942-1980) radical Marxist critique of development in Africa. Rodney's central contention is that Western Europe underdeveloped Africa and Africa developed Western Europe. Next, we turn to Kenyan academic and postcolonial scholar Simon Gikandi (1956-), who helps us think about modernity as an important but contested term. We interrogate Africa's place within the discourse of Western modernity differentiating between modernity, modernisation and tradition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoads to Decolonisation
Subtitle of host publicationAn Introduction to Thought from the Global South
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781040018507
ISBN (Print)9781032735948
StatePublished - Apr 16 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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