What Goes Around Comes Around: From the Coloniality of Power to the Crisis of Civilization

Leonardo E. Figueroa Helland, Tim Lindgren


This article combines world-systems, decolonial, eco-feminist and post-human ecological approaches to deconstruct the planetary crisis of the hegemonic civilization. Underpinned by anthropocentric, androcentric, hetero-patriarchal, Euro/Western-centric, modern/colonial and capitalist systems of power, this civilization causes devastating socioecological effects. Globalized through (neo)colonialism/(neo)imperialism, it has subjugated the rural under the urban and the Global South under the North, becoming globally hegemonic. Through the coloniality of power hegemonic conceptions of progress, growth, development and modernity have been spread, procuring the loyalty of semi-peripheral and peripheral regimes into a civilizational obsession with endless accumulation based on the “mastery of nature.” Most “postcolonial” elites, especially across “emerging economies,” have not broken with this coloniality. They often reproduce govern-mentalities aimed at “catching-up” with, cloning, emulating, imitating or conforming to hegemonic models enacted in the North’s metropolitan cores. Overcoming this crisis requires not only a critique of neoliberal capitalist modernity, but a world-systemic transformation towards ecosufficient lifeways based on indigenous, eco-feminist, and post-human alternatives.


World-System, Hegemony, Civilization, Crisis, Coloniality, Transition

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2016.631


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