This essay, part of a roundtable celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Charles V. Carnegie’s Postnationalism Prefigured (2002), explores the theoretical effects of Carnegie’s insistence that we release ourselves from the thrall of liberal Western sovereignty. It addresses Carnegie’s prescient interventions in relation to three canards of political philosophy—race-based notions of belonging, the centrality of secularism to modern notions of political community, and particular discourses of autonomy and self-determination. The author argues that what Carnegie shows us is that the modernity of control and containment is continually one or two steps behind the countermodernity of subalterns, and that autonomy is rooted not in the race-nation-territory triad but in the everyday movements within, across, and beyond it.

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