Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-9-2018

Major Department or Program



Arash Davari


Mainstream political science approaches political abnormality through what scholar Mahmood Mamdani has termed “Culture Talk.” I argue that due to Culture Talk’s tendency to promote colonial and imperial violence, political science ought to re-imagine abnormality as an opportunity to re-evaluate and critique the methodologies and tools of political analysis. Through a comparison of the United Arab Republic and the Islamic State, I argue that political abnormality ought not be viewed as the result of innate cultural characteristics, but rather seen as a the result of a complicated anti-colonial process of constructing local autonomy through imitation and subversion of Western political and economic institutions.

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Subject Headings

Mamdani, Mahmood -- 1946- -- Culture Talk‚ IS (Organization)‚ Abnormalities, Human -- Political aspects‚ Violence‚ Postcolonialism‚ Autonomy‚ Political science‚ Social sciences‚ United Arab Republic‚ Middle East -- Political activity‚ Whitman College 2018 -- Dissertation collection -- Politics Department

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Public Accessible Thesis



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