lorenzo veracini on settling


Lorenzo Veracini, ‘What’s Unsettling about On Settling: Discussing the Settler Colonial Present’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (2013).

This article considers the current relevance of settler colonial tropes, narratives and idioms by discussing the opening section of On Settling (2012), a recently published book authored by respected political scientist Robert E. Goodin. While Goodin argues that ‘settling’ should be considered a ‘normatively defensible practice’, my critique focuses on his assumed link between ‘settling’ in general and settler colonialism in particular. The first section of this article follows the narrative of settlement that underpins Goodin’s book. The second section discusses this narrative’s inherently exclusionary character, a characteristic that undermines claims to universal normative validity; while the third section appraises the language that supports it. In the fourth, conclusive, section On Settling’s apology of settler colonialism is used as a starting point for an analysis of the settler colonial present in an ‘age of unsettlement’.

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