Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Angelica Huizar

Committee Member

Peter Schulman

Committee Member

Elizabeth Black


Colonialism is a scheme of standpoint; colonizer versus colonized, West versus East, good versus bad. When put in the foreground, the value of what we see heavily relies on our perspective and knowledge. When learning to dissect, deconstruct, and decolonize spaces, we need to start utilizing decolonial thought as an historical tool rather than a true depiction of reality. Decolonizing spaces and recognizing Western colonization practices means challenging the normative structures in colonial history, thus breaking the cycle of oppression through building community and fostering solidarity. Drawing on theories exploring access to public spheres, representation, protection, permanence, cultural displacement and the creation of crosscultural ecosystems, this study gives special highlight to the (dis)connection between global policy processes and local initiatives through a decolonial feminist lens. Prescribing the need for decolonial discourses in helping bridge the gap between the literary and physical spaces that inform decision-making bodies today, this thesis places emphasis on Françoise Vergès’ A Decolonial Feminism and A Feminist Theory of Violence: A Decolonial Perspective to inform solidarity-centered approaches to future change in policy making. Through a decolonial case study analysis of the Italian occupation of Libya, the exclusive power of language, and observations of NGO work at the United Nations, and by proposing the Solidarity Model based on accountability and representation, the aim of this study is to deconstruct current systems and their discourses to explore future international networks based on human solidarity


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