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Virtual Conference on Decolonizing International Relations | November 6 & 7, 2020
Decolonization(s): From the Ground Up

Decolonizing International Relations Conference has quickly become a staple at The Fletcher School, and the organizing committee wanted to offer a truly curated experience for conference-goers. This year’s conference will exist in the context of – among many other moments – a global pandemic, a resurgent and powerful movement against systemic injustice and racism that cuts across borders, and a general confrontation with our past and future.

Decolonization is, now, an imperative; but what does that mean? What roles can we play in the decolonial project? Is there a singular “Decolonization”? Our panels, workshop, and keynote will confront these questions, and help conference-goers find where they fit in the mission of Decolonizing International Relations.

Aims & Objectives

Create a “Shopping Day” style experience for attendees, such that they have a degree of autonomy in choosing the panels and workshops they wish to attend, thus elevating their understanding of Decolonization in the realms most relevant to their interests, skills, and career trajectories.

Equip attendees with skills and frameworks that further the mission of Decolonizing International Relations, and their own perspectives within/of International Relations.

Leave attendees brimming with ideas and new ways of thinking that they will then utilize and disseminate in their lives, whether that is as a student, or as a professional in the world of International Relations and beyond.

Make Decolonization as a field and mission more accessible; that is, bringing the discourse down from the ivory tower and to the level of laypersons who will do the groundwork of Decolonization every day (“From the Ground-Up”). Within the context of speakers, this means that panels and workshops will be curated such that they underscore the urgency and relevance of each topic to the everyday lives (and beyond!) of attendees. Speakers will thus be a mix of academics, practitioners, and activists.

Ground Decolonization in global perspectives, and avoid US-centricity, while centering the role that existing structures in International Relations have played in perpetuating the problem of systemic racism (especially anti-Blackness) and inequity.


Tufts University is located on colonized Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) and Massachusett Tribe traditional territory.