Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World
Decolonization and Postnational Democracy
This chapter begins by discussing the respective failures of Senghor and Césaire to realize their federalist visions of nonnational decolonization. It discusses the contradiction for each between having a revolutionary vision of postnational democracy yet devoting their lives to political parties and electoral politics rather than building social movements through which to realize their programs. The second part of the chapter explores the linkages and resonances between the postwar order, within which Senghor and Césaire sought to envision, anticipate, and enact a postnational future, and the historical conjuncture of the present day, which Jürgen Habermas calls a postnational constellation. It discusses how, in productively timeless ways, Césaire’s and Senghor’s writing can speak to us across the epochal divide about precisely the issues that concerned them and confront us today: legal pluralism, plural democracy, postnational politics, translocal solidarity, and cosmopolitan political forms.