Rejecting the rigid dichotomy between anticolonial nationalism and postnational solidarity, Adom Getachew's Worldmaking after Empire argues that anticolonial leaders in the Caribbean and Africa did not outright reject the nation-state in their quest for self-determination. Instead, they internationalized the nation-state through the construction of new constituted powers that linked national sovereignties together in global juridical, political, and economic bodies. This essay explores a neglected question in this account: What were the constituent powers—the underlying sources of authority —that corresponded to these new global institutions? What, in other words, was the constituency of self-determination? Focusing on C. L. R. James and W. E. B. Du Bois, Dahl shows how anticolonial constituencies are at once the referent and effect of claims for self-determination. For James and Du Bois, politically delineating the constituency of self-determination is central to the institutional project of securing nondomination against international hierarchies of empire and enslavement.

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