Four foundations of settler colonial theory: Four insights from Argentina

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How might analysis of Argentina, its history and social relations, complicate and enrich our understanding of settler colonialism? This is the key question that drives this article which explores four of the conceptual foundations that underpin settler colonial theory: the labour/land distinction; terra nullius; the black/slavery category; and the settler/native binary. From these, four key insights emerge around the following themes: capitalism; geopolitics; slaveability/elimination; and mestizaje. As such, the article builds on existing critiques of binary thinking in settler colonial theory by considering ‘settling’ from locations and experiences beyond the usual locus of study. By disarranging our ‘definition’ and expectations of settler colonial regimes, it aims to both enhance established theory and to foster a bridge between Latin American Studies and Settler Colonial Studies as intellectual fields.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-365
Number of pages22
JournalSettler Colonial Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2020


  • Argentina
  • Latin America
  • capitalism
  • geopolitics
  • mestizaje
  • race
  • whiteness


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