Decoloniality, decolonial perspectives, decolonial methods and the decolonization of thought have all become significant buzzwords in the academic debates of recent years. What do these terms and concepts mean, and what demands do they entail for peace studies and activism? This chapter pursues three goals: First, to create an understanding of what decolonial perspectives argue and propose as a transformative decolonizing practice. Second, to create an understanding of what this means within peace studies. Third, to highlight some topics that should be addressed to avoid that decolonizing peace studies and peace psychology becomes a metaphor. The chapter discusses along four dimensions how coloniality is reflected there and what added value decolonial perspectives can provide for peace research and peace psychology: (a) knowledge (re)production, (b) research methods, (c) institutions and structures, and (d) intra- and interpersonal mechanisms. All sections are accompanied by examples and orientation questions. In this respect, the chapter does not offer a blueprint but appeals to understand decolonial perspectives as a transformational practice that is imperative for engaging in peace research and practice.

Keywords: decolonial perspectives, coloniality, critical race studies, peace studies, privilege

María Cárdenas

María Cárdenas is a German-Colombian researcher and lecturer at Goethe-University of Frankfurt (Germany). After extensive activist research in Colombia, she is now finalizing her dissertation on the decolonizing potential of ethnic(ized) agency within the transition period of armed conflicts. Her research interests include decolonial and anti-racist perspectives on peace research and practice. She also works as advisor for conflict-sensitive and decolonial peace and youth development and is active in the Colombian-diasporic and German peace movement. Since 2021, she is co-speaker of the working group “Critical Peace Research” of the German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies.