Do pluriversal arguments lead to a ‘world of many worlds’? Beyond the confines of (anti-)modern certainties

Katsu Masaki


The notion of pluriversality has entered development studies in reaction to the one-world metaphysics universalising Western modernity as the pinnacle of progress. The proponents of pluriversality explore a pathway towards the attainment of a pluriverse, or a ‘world of many worlds’, that values diversity, autonomy, oneness with nature, non-hierarchy and non-violence. In doing so, however, its proponents uphold a linear idea of progress similar to that of their rival modernists, albeit in the opposite direction, away from Western modernity. This stance is flawed in failing to ascertain that transformative initiatives for advancing pluriversality are implicated in modern institutions of the state and capitalism. Transformative initiatives and Western modernity can cross-fertilise each other for a common cause. A non-dualist stance is called for which cultivates their relationality, in order to examine how transformative initiatives are enacted in concrete practices in sites where different worlds are entangled with each other.


Pluriversality, Western modernity, partial connections, political ontology

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