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A Decolonial Moment in European & EU Studies

Training event

Today’s Europe is a result of the imperial projects of its colonial past. Yet, the acknowledgement of its colonial conquests, dispossession, and enslavement rarely finds a place in contemporary European and European Union (EU) Studies. Subsequent legacies of colonialism continue to permeate European societies, economies and Europe’s relations with the world. They are often overlooked by the European history, philosophy, politics, economy, law, and EU integration studies.


Wednesday 31 May 2023 9.30am to 5.00pm

Featuring Professor Gurminder K Bhambra’s keynote address on ‘Towards a Decolonial Europe,’ this all-day event will explore the connections between decolonial thinking and Europe. It will discuss the varieties of colonialisms that need to be addressed in European studies. For decolonial thinkers, European modernity is grounded in colonial domination that has been part of European history for more than half a millennium. It cannot be fully understood without the perspectives of those ignored and unrecognised by historiography and theory.

The decolonial moment in European & EU Studies places the silenced histories of colonialism, racialisation, hierarchies, and exclusions at the centre of our understanding of the European present. The event will consider how European Studies can look beyond Europe historically and geographically, and to look beyond Eurocentrism philosophically, materially, politically, and culturally to produce a more accurate and inclusive social science. 

Register here. 

Find details about the days agenda in the Event Programme.

If you are unable to attend the event in full, you can register for the event and email Charlotte Ennis ( with which session/s you plan to attend.


Keynote speaker:

Gurminder K Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies at the University of Sussex. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Historical Society and is currently President of the British Sociological Association. She is co-author of Colonialism and Modern Social Theory (2021) with John Holmwood and the award-winning Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination (2007). She also runs the Global Social Theory site, is co-editor of the online magazine Discover Society, and directs the Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project. She is working on a Leverhulme Trust funded project on ‘Varieties of Empire, Varieties of Colonialism’.



Diamond Ashiagbor is Professor of Law, University of Kent. She is an interdisciplinary legal scholar whose work spans labour, equality, race and colonialism, regions (European Union and African Union), economic sociology of law. Her most recent edited book was Re-imagining labour law for development: Informal work in the global North and South. She was previously Professor of Labour Law at SOAS University of London, and is a member of the editorial board of European Law Open. Diamond has been the recipient of a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship; a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship; and a British Academy Senior Research Fellowship. @d_ashiagbor 

Charlotte Ennis is the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) officer in the European Institute (EI) at LSE. She is responsible for applying EDI principles within the EI and supporting the EI to meet the EDI goals embedded in the LSE2030 strategy and LSE’s Inclusive Education Action Plan. Charlotte also supports and facilitates the Beyond Eurocentrism Programme in the EI. Charlotte is also an alumnus of the EI, having completed her MSc degree in International Migration and Public Policy, during which she conducted a research project for LSE Change Makers, The decolonisation of the taught postgraduate curriculum in the European Institute (2022). Charlotte is continuing to focus on topics including, anti-colonial curricula, curriculum enhancement, education for sustainability, going beyond Eurocentrism and de-centring Europe in her work as EDI officer.

Peo Hansen is Professor of Political Science at the Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society, Linköping University. He is a former senior fellow at the Remarque Institute at New York University and visiting professor at the Max Planck Sciences Po Center in Paris. Peo Hansen is the author of several books on European integration, including The Politics of European Citizenship (with Sandy B. Hager, 2012); Eurafrica: The Untold History of European Integration and Colonialism (with Stefan Jonsson, 2014); and A Modern Migration Theory: An Alternative Economic Approach to Failed EU Policy (2021).

Jennifer Jackson-Preece is Associate Professor of Nationalism at the London School of Economics and Political Science, with a joint appointment in the European Institute and the Department of International Relations. Dr Jackson-Preece is an expert on nationalism and identity politics, with a particular focus on minorities and migration. She has published two academic monographs on minority rights, and is currently co-editing a volume on the international protection of minorities in the twentieth century for the Routledge Histories series. Other recent projects include  research on  the graphic novel Ms Marvel and its representation of young Muslim women as well as the Generation Brexit project that crowdsourced a millennial cohort vision of the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Dr Jackson-Preece  has an established track record as a policy advisor to governments, international organisations and NGOs in the area of human and minority rights.  Within the European Institute LSE, she co-chairs the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee and is involved in  efforts to diversify and decolonise the curriculum.*

Jan Orbie is a Full Professor in European Union (EU) External Relations at the Department of Political Science at Ghent University (Belgium). He is a member of the Ghent Institute for International and European Studies (GIES), the Ghent Centre for Global Studies (GCGS) and the Human Rights Research Network (HRRN) at the same university. He researches and teaches about the European Union’s global role with a particular focus on critical and normative approaches to EU external trade, social and development policies. LinkedIn - @janorbie 

Eva Połońska-Kimunguyi is LSE Fellow in European Politics. She joined LSE in 2016 and has taught in comparative politics, democracy and democratisation, and global politics ever since. Earlier she taught in European studies at the European and EU Centre, Monash University, as well as Melbourne and Deakin Universities in Australia. She also held teaching positions at the Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford Brookes University. More recently she taught political philosophy for public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University. Her research explores media representations of refugees in Europe, the discursive construction of race in the EU border regime and the colonial legacy in the EU integration project.**

Olivia Rutazibwa is an Assistant Professor in Human Rights and Politics, Department of Sociology, LSE.Her research and teaching focuses on ways to decolonise (international) solidarity. Building on epistemic Blackness as methodology, she turns to recovering and reconnecting philosophies and practices of dignity and repair and retreat in the postcolony (e.g. autonomous recovery in Somaliland, agaciro in Rwanda and Black Power in the US, Tricontinentalism and the political thought of Thomas Sankara) to theorise solidarity anticolonially. 

Iyiola Solanke is Jacques Delors Professor of European Law at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Somerville College. She is author of Discrimination as Stigma (2017) and a textbook on EU Law (CUP, 2022) and many journal articles. She has been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University School of Public Health as well as a Jean Monnet Fellow at the University of Michigan and Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute. Professor Solanke is also an Academic Bencher of the Inner Temple. She founded the Black Female Professors Forum in 2017 to promote visibility of Black female professors and the Temple Womens Forum North in 2013 to support women in the legal profession. Her most recent projects focus on weight discrimination and decolonising EU law. Solanke is a member of The Runnymede Trust Board of Trustees. Recent research includes;  Generation Delta - Co-POWeR.

Wendy Willems is Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests include global knowledge production and intellectual histories, racialised publics and digital technology, and post/decolonial approaches to media and communication. She is co-editor of Civic Agency in Africa: Arts of Resistance in the Twenty-First Century (James Currey, 2014, with Ebenezer Obadare) and Everyday Media Culture in Africa: Audiences and Users (Routledge, 2016, with Winston Mano). She is currently completing a monograph entitled Racialised Publics: Technology, Coloniality and Identity@WendyWillems_


Chris Anderson is the Ralf Dahrendorf Professor of European Politics and Society. A student of political behaviour, Anderson’s research has centred on the micro-foundations of markets and democracy. Past research projects have investigated the popularity of governments, the dynamics of public opinion about European integration, and people’s satisfaction with democracy. In other streams of research, he has investigated the connection between welfare states and citizen behaviour and the political attitudes and behaviours of immigrants in Europe.

Jennifer Jackson-Preece *

Eva Połońska-Kimunguyi **


More about this event

The European Institute (@LSEEI) is a centre for research and graduate teaching on the processes of integration and fragmentation within Europe.

This event is part of the European Institute's Beyond Eurocentrism Programme. The Beyond Eurocentrism programme aims to explore how the shape and shaping of Europe – its political-economy, its political policy making, or its political culture – needs to be rethought in a time of the exhaustion of Eurocentrism.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEEurocentrism

If you would like to attend this event via Zoom, please email Charlotte Ennis at

31 May 2023 London, United Kingdom