Hybridity and Cultural Rights: Inventing Global Citizenship

In: Reconstructing Hybridity

This article examines the contribution that Homi K. Bhabha’s understanding of hybridity makes to discussion of cultural rights and global citizenship. It argues that the postcolonial perspective renders these entities uncanny through its insistence on process and retrospective construction. The article pursues a close reading of selected recent writings by Bhabha, situating them in the context of ideas drawn from the work of Will Kymlicka and Charles Taylor. In doing so, it also reconsiders key ideas from Bhabha’s work, suggesting that his conceptualisation of hybridity is less celebratory and more strictly critical than is often assumed. There has been much scepticism about the ‘hybridity paradigm’ advanced by postcolonial theory, specifically relating to its relevance in an avowedly transformed world. Bhabha’s recent work demonstrates the consistency with which this paradigm challenges us to re-think important issues relating to globalization, democracy, cultural rights and global citizenship. In short, the hybridity paradigm supplements discourses of cultural rights and global citizenship.

Reconstructing Hybridity

Post-Colonial Studies in Transition

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