In addressing the relationship between national and international worldmaking political projects, Adom Getachew's impressive and thought-provoking recent book, Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination, seeks to move beyond recent debates between those who posit an inevitability thesis about the triumph of the nation-state after 1945, on the one hand, and those who insist on the possibilities of alternative pathways, on the other. The argument is compelling in demonstrating that the transcendence of race hierarchies was integral to arguments and aspirations about meaningful sovereignty. Getachew's central characters were visionaries in terms of imagining possible worlds beyond the nation-state. The book is less convincing in demonstrating that an intractable nationalism and indeed underlying racial thinking were not serious impediments to the achievement of these goals.

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