Can the post-Soviet think? On coloniality of knowledge, external imperial and double colonial difference


  • Madina Tlostanova Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)

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The article considers the main challenges faced by the post-Soviet social sciences in the global configuration of knowledge, marked by  omnipresentcoloniality. In disciplinary terms this syndrome is manifested in the social sciences/ versus area studies divide from which the post-Soviet is either excluded or equalized with postcolonial discourses. The situation can be described as a general invisibility of the post-Soviet space and its social sciences and scientists for the rest of the world and the refusal of the global North to accept the post-Soviet scholar in the capacity of a rational subject. The reasons for this complex intersection of the post-Soviet, postcolonial and other post-dependence factors are both internal and external, political and epistemic. Following the methodological principles of decolonial option the author analyses such specific elements of the post-Soviet stagnant configuration in knowledge production as the external imperial difference and the double colonial difference, the geo-politics and body-politics of knowledge the way they are reflected in the knowledge production and distribution, paying specific attention to the possible ways out of this epistemic dead-end.

Author Biography

Madina Tlostanova, Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)

P.D., Full Professor, Department of Philosophy, Institute of Social Sciences, RANEPA. 

Research interests: decolonial options, postcolonial theory, contemporary activist art, critical social theory, post-Soviet culture and imaginary. 


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How to Cite

Tlostanova, M. 2015. Can the post-Soviet think? On coloniality of knowledge, external imperial and double colonial difference. Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics. 1, 2 (Jun. 2015). DOI: