My experience with geopolitics of knowledge in political philosophy so far

by Macarena Marey on January 1, 2024

Geopolitics of knowledge is a fact. Only few (conservative) colleagues would contend otherwise. Ingrid Robeyns wrote an entry for this blog dealing with this problem. There, Ingrid dealt mostly with the absence of non-Anglophone colleagues in political philosophy books and journals from the Anglophone centre. I want to stress that this is not a problem of language, for there are other centres from which we, philosophers from the “Global South” working in the “Global South”, are excluded. In political philosophy, the centre is composed of the Anglophone world and three European countries: Italy, France, and Germany. From my own experience, the rest of us do not qualify as political philosophers, for we are, it seems, unable to speak in universal terms. We are, at best, providers of particular cases and data for Europeans and Anglophones to study and produce their own philosophical and universal theories. I think most of you who are reading are already familiar with the concept of epistemic extractivism, of which this phenomenon is a case. (If not, you should; in case you don’t read Spanish, there is this).

Critical political philosophy is one of the fields where the unequal distribution of epistemic authority is more striking. I say “striking” because it would seem, prima facie, that political philosophers with a critical inclination (Marxists, feminists, anti-imperialists, etc.) are people more prone to recognising injustice than people from other disciplines and tendencies. But no one lives outside a system of injustice and no one is a priori completely exempt from reproducing patterns of silencing. Not even ourselves, living and working in the “Global Southern” places of the world. Many political philosophers working and living in Latin America don’t even bother to read and cite their own colleagues. This is, to be sure, a shame, but there is a rationale behind this self-destructive practice. Latin American scholars know that their papers have even lesser chances of being sent to a reviewing process (we are usually desk-rejected) if they cite “too many” pieces in Spanish and by authors working outside of the academic centre.

In many reviews I’ve received in my career, I have been told to cite books by people from the centre just because they are trending or are being cited in the most prestigious Anglophone journals, even if they would contribute nothing to my piece and research. I have frequently been told by reviewers to give more information about the “particular” social-historical context I am writing from because readers don’t know a lot about it. This is an almost verbatim phrase from a review I got recently. I wonder if readers of Anglophone prestigious, Q1 journals stop being professional researchers the instant they start reading about José Carlos Mariátegui or Argentina’s last right-wing dictatorship. Why can’t they just do the research by themselves, why should we have to waste characters and words to educate an overeducated public? This is as tiresome as it is offensive. When I cite the work of non-Anglophone authors from outside of the imperial centres (UK, USA, Italy, Germany, and France, no matter the language they use to write), reviewers almost always demand that I include a reference to some famous native Anglophone (or Italian / German / French, without considering gender or race; the power differential here is simple geographical procedence) author who said similar things but decades after the authors I am quoting. I’ve read all your authors. Why haven’t they read “mine”? And why do they feel they have to suggest something else instead of just learning about “our” authors? This is what I want to reply to the reviewers. Of course, I don’t. I dilligently put the references they demand. I shouldn’t have to, but if I don’t, I don’t get published. There’s the imperial trick again.

English is also always a problem, but not for everyone who is not Anglophone. In 2020 I was in London doing research at LSE. I attended a lecture by a European political theorist. They gave the talk in English. Although they work at a United Statian University, their English was poor. The room was packed. The lecture was mediocre. I was annoyed. “Why do they feel they don’t have to make an effort to pronounce in an intelligible way?”, I thought. When I speak they don’t listen to me like that, with concentrated attention and making an effort to understand me. The reason is in plain view: coloniality of power. If you come from powerful European countries, you don’t need to ask for permission. You don’t need to excel. You don’t need to have something absolutely original to say. You just show up and talk. If you are from, let’s say, Argentina, and you work there (here), you have to adapt to the traditional analytic way of writing and arguing so typical in Anglophone contexts, including citing their literature, if you want to enter the room in the first place. You are not even allowed to use neologisms, although the omnipresent use of English as a lingua franca should have already made this practice at least tolerated. One cannot expect everyone to speak English and English to remain “English” all the same. Inclusion changes the game, if it doesn’t, then it is not isegoria what is going on but cultural homogenisation. (Here is a proposal for inclusive practices regarding Enlgish as a lingua franca). The manifest “Rethinking English as a lingua franca in scientific-academic contexts” offers a detailed critique of the idea and imposition of English as a lingua franca. I endorse it 100 %. (Here in Spanish, open access; here in Portuguese).

In my particular case, I am frequently invited to the academic centre, sometimes to write book chapters, encyclopaedia entries, and papers for special issues, sometimes to give talks and lectures. Not once have I not thought it was not tokenism. Maybe it is my own inferiority complex distorting my perception of reality, but we know from Frantz Fanon which is the origin of this inferiorisation.

I used to be pretty annoyed by this whole situation until I realised that I don’t need to try to enter conversations where I am not going to be heard, understood, or taken seriously. The fact is that we don’t need to be recognised as philosophers by those who willingly ignore our political philosophy. And this is why it is hard for me to participate in forums such as this blog. I just don’t want to receive the same comments I get when I send a paper to an Anglophone, Q1 journal, to put it simply.

But I also want to keep trying, not to feel accepted and to belong, but because I do believe in transnational solidarity and the collective production of emancipatory knowledge. It is a matter of recognition, and a question of whether it is possible for the coloniser to recognise the colonised, to name Fanon once more.



Ingrid Robeyns 01.01.24 at 8:44 pm

Thank you for this very necessary post, Macarena.
My sense is that there are degrees of ‘being the center’ and ‘being periphery’, and that language, perceived status of the university you teach at, pedigree (e.g. where did you get your PhD and who was your supervisor), etc. all matter. The reason why I think language is such a big factor, is that it is taken as an indicator that someone is not from the US/Canada/UK/Australia (and some smaller English-language countries), and hence that in itself moves that author outside of the Center – at least, for the philosophy I am engaged with, where there is a complete dominance of English. And the same with references to your colleagues – authors who are not based in the academic center. They are also taken as a signal that you are also in that place, and hence not the Center. And then all the prejudices (implicit biases etc.) kick in. That’s why I believe that in essence, the geopolitical inequalities in academia have the same problems that have been debated at such length regarding gender inequalities (although there may well be other issues at stake too).


Macarena Marey 01.01.24 at 10:16 pm

I agree :-)


Alejandro De Oto 01.01.24 at 11:33 pm

Thank you very much for contributing so clearly to a specific issue, without excessive tears and without irrelevant regrets. This is a serious problem. You cited Fanon and there is one very interesting thing about his writing. Many of his English-speaking readers do not know French, nor do they even read French, which is a serious matter since they resolve their political and theoretical dilemmas by comparison. In this way, it seems natural that we have to cite those who write in English to understand Fanon (ironically) who wrote in a language far closer to Spanish. A few years ago Cioran wrote something in the same spirit about Borges. I think it was never translated into another language but it was called “Borges, el último delicado.” There he says something profound and accurate about the universal and the provincial. After reading your text I ran to look for it, which seemed very good to me because the effect of your text is that we make connections, as Fanon wanted.


John Q 01.02.24 at 9:12 am

In analytic philosophy and (to a lesser extent) economic theory, Australia is in the inner circle. But it’s a very different story when it comes to policy-related work. I wouldn’t even think of submitting a policy paper using Australian evidence to a US or European journal. For my popular books, I’ve stuck to American evidence, with my Australian background as local colour.
I’ll have to look into epistemic extractivism – it may be the concept I need to understand this


Miroslav Imbrisevic 01.02.24 at 11:50 am

This is indeed a problem, Macarena. It is a great example for cultural hegemony at work. 1. There is the issue of the ‘colonial attitude’: philosophers/scholars outside of the anglophone world are not taken seriously/valued. 2. Many European countries have given up on their own traditions and worship analytic philosophy. As a consequence, scholars feel the urge to publish in anglophone journals. They organise conferences in their own countries, but the conference language is English – although most contributors (sometimes all) and the audience speak the same language (e.g. German). They have ‘surrendered’ to English. 3. Being a monoglot (in anglophone countries) is not a barrier to advancement. But this is a recent development. In anglophone countries philosophers (and other scholars) used to have a grasp of modern foreign languages (e.g. Ayer, Austin). Many UK universities have given up on the foreign language requirement ( In the past, universities required not just knowledge of classical languages, but also two modern languages; that’s how it was at the University of Mainz/Germany, where I did my undergraduate degree. We could do classes, reading Rousseau in French and J.S. Mill in English. 4. English is considered to be the lingua franca in academia. This discourages anglophone scholars from learning foreign languages (and perhaps it encourages the colonial attitude?), and it discourages non-anglophone scholars from publishing in their native languages and to value their own scholarly tradition. If you are a monoglot you will, of course, ignore what is being published in other languages; only occasionally will ideas from abroad enter the anglophone mainstream and only then will they be published in translation. 5. There is an economic subtext to all of this – neoliberalism may have been a major driver in these developments – as I have argued here:


Macarena Marey 01.02.24 at 12:39 pm

I agree, but the point of my text is coloniality in academia. Of course neoliberalism has a lot to do with this.


engels 01.02.24 at 1:55 pm

Without wanting to be That Guy (naive liberal techno-optimist) I wonder if the progress of machine translation will eventually weaken some of the linguistic boundaries and status markers (without a revolution in Anglo-Saxon polyglottery).


Macarena Marey 01.02.24 at 2:05 pm

the answer is simple: no, it will not.


Filippo Contesi 01.02.24 at 4:07 pm

Thanks for this post, Macarena (if I may). I have shared it with my colleagues in the Linguistic Justice Society ( ).

When I launched the Barcelona Principles manifesto, I had language in mind as one of the roots of the explanation of many forms of academic injustice in philosophy, but also as a proxy for many of the remaining roots (as the previous comment from Ingrid Robeyns suggests as well). Part of the issue is also that political philosophy and philosophy of science (both in a broad construal) seem to me to be more cosmopolitan than the rest of analytic/mainstream philosophy. The latter only have a single big centre of power, which is the Anglosphere.

But I have no intention of denying that there are roots of academic injustice that lie outside of language altogether! To ameliorate some of them, I also (co-)launched additional initiatives aimed at greater democratization and global inclusivity in philosophy, e.g.:

And I always welcome (and am happy to offer) help with these and other initiatives to make philosophy more open, accessible and globally inclusive. Change is more possible than it may seem, if there is a critical mass of people willing to work towards it.


Nemux 01.02.24 at 7:22 pm

We have to read their baseball examples ad nauseam, but they can’t accept a non-English reference. Don’t know what to do about it, though. This is how cultural imperialism with a provincialist core works.


oldster 01.02.24 at 9:20 pm

“We have to read their baseball examples ad nauseam, but they can’t accept a non-English reference.”
As someone raised fairly near the center, allow me to say that many of us parochial and narrow-minded Anglophones still detest baseball examples. Baseball is internationally nauseating.
Though I wonder whether political philosophers in Japan and Korea are less repelled by it, given their familiarity with the sport?
In any case: using baseball metaphors is just not cricket.

More to the point — this was an excellent and eye-opening essay, M.M.. As a superannuated member of a different discipline, there is not much I can do to make things better. But it is still very interesting to hear this diagnosis of the problem.


Matt 01.02.24 at 10:41 pm

I’ve been thinking about related issues for some time, for two main reasons. First, having moved to another country some years back, and teaching (mostly) law, it’s been interesting and revealing to me to see the ways how different assumptions and histories make for important (if sometimes subtle) differences in legal practice and analysis even in systems as similar as the US and Australia. Many of these differences are simply not noticed by people working primarily or only in one system. (This is usually not to the serious detriment to legal practictioners, I think, but can be to some theorists or scholars.)

Second, one of my main areas of scholarly work is immigration. This is a field where there are, plausibly, some universal principles, or at least quazi-universal ones (*), when looked at from a modestly high level of generality. But, it’s also an area where there are lots of specific local issues that depend heavily on factors like history, geography, and other things. Despite that, people writing in the area – legal scholars, philosophers, sociologists, etc. – have a strong tendency to use local examples and issues in a way that’s not fully happy – to treat them as if they were more central and more universal than they are, rather than to look carefully and see how far they are mostly local, or how solutions to these problems may involve adapting universal rules to local situations in ways that may not apply so clearly to other locations or situations. No doubt some of my own work displays these problems, though I have been trying to be more conscious of it. I think that pretty similar issues arise in several other areas of legal and political philosophy as well. (Discussions of nationalism is another area where this seems clear to me, for example.)

Thinking on this, though, and related issues, I’m unconvinced that it’s properly put in terms of justice. Rather, the issue seems to me to be one of parochialism, where this is better seen as a matter of vice and virtue than justice and injustice. Parochialism is (almost always?) an intellectual vice. It differs from merely having a local focus, which can be useful and unproblematic. But, I’m unconvinced that the badness of intellectual parochialism is, in most cases, properly thought of as an injustice. Sometimes the badness in question might rise to the level of prejudice. In these cases there is a clearer example of injustice, though I think it’s probably not especially useful to call it “epistemic” or “academic” in these cases – it’s just the injustice of prejudice applied in a particular setting.
In my experience, people from the “core”, in all sorts of ways, are particularly hesitant to think they might be parochial. You can find this in lots of areas, such as they often absurd parochialism of people from New York City. This is likely so of academic “cores”, too. But if one of the issues here is the intellectual vice of parochialism, the way to address it is probably somewhat different than if it’s a matter of injustice.

(*) Quazi-universal in that, for example, we might think there are principles that would apply in any world that is pretty similar to ours, including being divided into distinct states, but of course that’s not the only way that the world has been or could be, and if the world was different enough, different rules might apply.


engels 01.03.24 at 1:08 am

many of us parochial and narrow-minded Anglophones still detest baseball examples

It’s funny how the top examples in ethics (Thomson’s “trolley”) and political theory (Crenshaw’s “intersection”) are both initially unintelligible even to native non-American speakers of English.

I think there’s a passage in Dennett somewhere about the “fun” he had discussing Searle’s Chinese room and Block’s Chinese nation thought experiments with a class of Chinese students…


notGoodenough 01.03.24 at 9:43 am

Many thanks to Macarena Marey for the thoughtful and thought-provoking post, which provides an interesting and important perspective alongside Ingrid Robeyns’ commentary (I’ve not been an academic for a long time, but as a scientist I appreciate the link to “Rethinking English as a lingua franca in scientific-academic contexts”).

But I also want to keep trying, not to feel accepted and to belong, but because I do believe in transnational solidarity and the collective production of emancipatory knowledge. It is a matter of recognition, and a question of whether it is possible for the coloniser to recognise the colonised

Very well put.


MisterMr 01.03.24 at 10:14 am

What perplexes me is that it seems to me that this behaviour is largely caused by the periphery: Argentinian scholar wants to write for a respected journal, and this is, say, an italian journal with a certain bias to italian scholars. Thai scholar also wants to publish in the italian journal and therefore will have to learn more about italian theorists.
The Argentinian will not learn about thai scholars and the Thai will not read about argentinians, and this way they are propping up the center, with the italians being, in some sense, lucky that the fruit of this falls in their lap.

Do the italian journal have a responsibility to be more international? Well if they claim to be International probably they have. Do/can the reviewers have a responsibility to know everyone who is not part of the center? This is a bit tricky because, AFAIK, philosophy works on a prestige principle, so reviewers are probably expected to know about scholars with prestige, which as things are means in the center, which is circular.

So on the whole I don’t know what is the solution, it seems to me that this is a consequence of the globalisation of academy (previously I think the various national schools would have referred more to themselves and less to the center).


Chris Bertram 01.03.24 at 11:24 am

A few thoughts:

The “core” does not discriminate much on grounds of nationality alone: it is easy to think of academics from Albania, Mexico, Brazil (just off the top of my head) who have appointments in core institutions.

But it does discriminate on grounds of provenance: the academics from Albania etc who have succeeded have come through core institutions as grad students, postdocs etc.

Provenance hits people from institutions located outside the core countries that Macarena identifies (though I think the core also includes a wider group of countries: Belgium, Netherlands, Scandinavia, but this is a minor point) but it also hits people from despised institutions inside those countries. Your chances of getting published in Philosophy and Public Affairs are not great if your as submitting from Hicksville State, or from Bolton Institute. It is just that nearly all institutions in, say, Latin America or Asia are on the “despised list”. Partly that’s cultural prejudice, partly unthinking snobbery: “nobody from there could have a good idea.”

Journal reviewers are in a bit of bind when they encounter submissions from despised places that do not cite existing debates featuring mainly “core” literature, insofar as their job is (among other things) to help the author to connect with and be taken seriously by the likely journal readership. A suggestion that this literature be cited or taken into account might be seen by the author as reflecting prejudice, but might also be a good faith attempt to help the author secure entry to a conversation that is unfairly dominated by the core. But requiring such citations also reinforces core dominance.


Macarena Marey 01.03.24 at 1:20 pm

Yes, prestige bias is real. This is why I explicitly referred to people working in the Global South, not just from here. There are lots of Argentinians working in core institutions and they get published in journals such as Philosophy and PA. As you correctly point out, if we send a paper from Argentina, it won’t even be sent to the reviewers. But if you send it from, say, LSE, it does. I mean: the very same paper.

I do understand that many reviewers have good intentions, but good intentions are also part of the problem, as you also correclty suggest.


Macarena Marey 01.03.24 at 1:21 pm

Agree 100 %


Macarena Marey 01.03.24 at 1:21 pm

thanks :-)


Macarena Marey 01.03.24 at 1:24 pm

Yes. The main problem is that most universals in philosophy are actually parochialisms.


Macarena Marey 01.03.24 at 1:27 pm

Thank you for these links, Filippo! I’ll read them all.


steven t johnson 01.03.24 at 2:09 pm

There are only two obvious solutions presenting themselves to me.
1)Set higher quotas for citations from geopolitically oppressed academics and bibliographical listings for geopolitically oppressed academics and for publications by geopolitically oppressed academic in the journals of the geopolitically oppressive academics. Allegedly critical venues especially should perhaps require a majority of papers come from the geopolitically oppressed academics?

2)Deny the premise of a strongly differentiated hierarchy of value that is also reliably distinguished by gatekeepers at elite journals. Accept that random sampling—which will automatically include larger sampling of the geopolitical majority—is necessary and quit wasting time on elite journals. There is a strong tendency to claim that the truly competent have read everything recent in their field but I strongly suspect that admirable as such a goal may be, it’s not feasible. And tacitly premising that reading everything elite is the same thing doesn’t work doesn’t help solve the practical problem.

One of these solutions I suspect would be perceived more like flipping the chess board over than a solution.


nastywoman 01.03.24 at 3:18 pm

‘Aus so krummen Holz, als woraus der Mensch gemacht ist, kann kein ganz Gerades gezimmert werden’.


Ingrid Robeyns 01.03.24 at 4:58 pm

Chris @16 – I disagree with you that in political philosophy Belgium, the Netherlands, etc. are the core. Almost all well-published and high-status political philosophers from those countries spend or spent a lot of time in Ivy league places. And I do think language does play a role – and the only chance non-anglophone scholars have to become as fluent as anglophone is by migrating to an English-speaking country and basically switching what the use as their first language.
I think it makes more sense to see core and perifery as concentric circles, and agree with you that we must make a distinction between ‘poorly regarded’ vs. elite/high-status universities within countries, and that someone working in Utrecht or Amsterdam is closer to the core than someone working at, say, a underresourced community college in the US South.
To the best of my knowledge, we have very little empirical information on the geopolitics of academic prejudices, but my hypothesis is that those exist. When I wrote my earlier post to which Macarena links, someone wrote me in private that a dominant view in the US is that jobs in Europe (presumably: continental Europe) are allocated based on nepotism. I’ve heard this too by expat-Italians about Italian academic jobs, but whether it is true or not: it is definitely not the case in any of the universities I worked at. More importantly, the prejudices also work in the other direction, e.g. that all scholars from Harvard, Yale, or Stanford must be brilliant, since otherwise they wouldn’t work there. Yet whatever their qualities, their affiliation does open doors which adds to a virtuous circle of networking, feedback, intellectually interesting interlocutors etc, so in the end they might also have better outcomes than the smart but overworked and underresourced scholar in Eastern Europe or Latin America who doesn’t get onto anyone’s radar screen.
Overall, I find it striking how so much attention has been given (and very rightly so!) to gender inequalities in academia, but hardly any to geopolitical inequalities (though I think the mood is changing – but the problem is: we don’t have much data…).


Gretchen Reydams-Schils 01.03.24 at 5:37 pm

Well, as someone of Belgian origin who now works in the US, I can attest to the fact that in Anglophone circles working on Ancient Philosophy/History of Philosophy, there is less and less attention paid even to European scholarship, even when it is written in English. This situation is the result of the dominance of analytic philosophy (yes, even in History of Philosophy)–which also has led to frightening cultural compression, with fewer and fewer thinkers making the cut of meriting the label ‘philosophers.’ But yes, the further one is perceived to be from the center (however defined), the worse it becomes.


Filippo Contesi 01.03.24 at 6:18 pm

It seems to me there are at least three key components with respect to linguistic and geopolitical injustice in academic philosophy: lack of attention, lack of data and lack of action. The causal relationships between the three seem complex and multi-directional. As to which of the three is really missing, I am no longer sure either attention or data is the most likely candidate. Perhaps they were when I started work on these issues around 2014, and indeed I would have said that then. However, since then many of us have been working to fill that gap. My current impression is starting to be instead that what is still crucially lacking is a critical mass of people willing to join forces to take/continue action, especially those in/from non-Anglophone countries. Compare for instance how much more support the individual Barcelona Principles manifesto gained ( ), as opposed to its institutional version ( ).

Re. data on academic injustice in philosophy (though not necessarily in political philosophy specifically), as well as elsewhere, they are available and increasingly so, e.g.:


oldster 01.03.24 at 9:37 pm

Nastywoman reminds us that even Kant suffered from the geopolitics of knowledge. So long as he wrote in German, his work went unread. Only later in his career, after he started publishing in English, did his works get cited by the core Anglophone blogging circles.


engels 01.03.24 at 9:40 pm

I’ve sometimes wondered why political philosophy—a subject of universal import and one which doesn’t seem to require expensive equipment to engage in—should be centred so clearly in some of the wealthiest places on the planet in the first place. and how far that fact is consistent with its self-understanding as a critical project.


nastywoman 01.03.24 at 10:23 pm

‘So long as he wrote in German, his work went unread. Only later in his career, after he started publishing in English, did his works get cited by the core Anglophone blogging circles’.

Like ?????? ???????? ????????????


nastywoman 01.03.24 at 10:27 pm

and I posted the words ‘Plato’ – ‘Socrates’ and ‘Aristoteles’ in Greek but somehow this Anglo Platform changed it in a bunch of question marks?


YL 01.04.24 at 5:14 am

As a political philosopher from China I feel much the same as OP about our field. In fact, a paper of mine discussed how the interactions between Chinese academia and the anglophone academic “core” (and the resultant knowledge productions at both ends) are severely impacted, not just by anglophone hegemony and the “core-periphery” relationship, but also by their complicated intertwinements both with China’s own authoritarian condition and with the peril of what I call “spectacularized postcoloniality”:


Jerónimo Rilla 01.04.24 at 9:17 am

Really interesting piece! I can relate to much of what is discussed, particularly regarding the perception of never being heard.

In terms of data, I found Cristian Pérez Muñoz’s recent article quite illuminating and a good point of departure (although not exhaustive): “The Strange Silence of Latin American Political Theory”:


eg 01.04.24 at 9:59 pm

Metropole and periphery part N …


Nester 01.04.24 at 11:44 pm

I find this conversation a bit odd, because the top US-based political science journals have been substantially (~30% in my subfield) colonized by scholars based outside the US (making those precious publications necessary for tenure and promotion in the US all the harder to come by).

This conversation seems to flow from an implicit assumption that any scholar anywhere has a “right” to publish in American (or British, or European) journals. While I would agree, it does not seem to me to be an unproblematic assumption.


notGoodenough 01.05.24 at 8:11 am

Nester @ 33

But then the problem would seem to be with the system which makes “precious publications necessary for tenure and promotion in the US”…


engels 01.05.24 at 11:05 am

Change the name to Philosophy and American Affairs. And add a baseball section.


semi-peripher philosopher 01.05.24 at 1:36 pm

Nester @ 34

The “implicit assumption that scholars anywhere has a ‘right’ to publish in American (or British, or European) journals” is obviously (mostly) correct, no?

Very few journals in political theory/philosophy have aims and scopes that exclude on the basis of the ‘geopolitical features’ of scholars or their manuscripts. (An exception might be area-specific specialty journals: it would indeed be strange if papers on, say, EU politics were frequently published in ‘The Journal of Theoretical Basis of Midwestern US Politics’.)
The top US/UK-based journals often are called things like ‘Political Theory’ and ‘Philosophy and Public Affairs’. It is reasonable to assume that such journals should be open to accept manuscripts from scholars anywhere in the world despite being US-based. In fact, when these journals mostly doesn’t publish authors from outside the anglo-core of the discipline, we have some reasons to suspect that the discipline is insular and clubbish, or at least not sufficiently inclusive.
The top US/UK-based journals are the top journals for the whole international field. Plausibly, they thus ‘belong’ to the field and not just its American division. They are contingently based in the US/UK because of these countries’ historically dominant global position in academia and publishing. The journals would be based elsewhere if things were different. It thus cannot be unfair for US-based scholars that foreign scholars also fight for scarce publication space in the same journals. Political philosophers from all over the world, not just the US, need to publish in these journals to stay and/or advance in academia.


engels 01.05.24 at 5:37 pm

More seriously (as per the Aussie proverb about how fast you need to run when a crocodile attacks you and your buddy) I don’t understand how non-Americans publishing in American journals makes it harder for Americans to get jobs unless the non-Americans are actually taking those jobs—and the latter concern sounds like Make Analytic philosophy Great Again.


MisterMr 01.05.24 at 10:24 pm

The main problem is why aren’t there important latin american, chinese or whatever journals; the answer that “core” academics don’t read them is circular.


MisterMr 01.05.24 at 10:36 pm

Or to put it in a different way: how important is it for, say, an argentinian scholar to publish something in a USA (or other core) journal to get a job in argentinian academia?


steven t johnson 01.06.24 at 12:57 am

As near as I can tell, anglophone political philosophy is not only about anglophone politics, but it’s fundamental principles reject the critique of anglophone religions (or as it’s imagined, Religion, period.) Could it be, other geopolitical philosophy is informed by its domestic religion (Religion) too? And thus other geopolitical philosophy is like a guest sermon by a preacher of another religion entirely, not simply another familiar denomination, and thus simply doesn’t fit? Or to put it another way, anglophone secularism is an incompatibility overlooked?


Ingrid 01.06.24 at 8:15 am

Filippo @26 – thanks for the links to the data, I’ll have a look as soon as I have caught up with all the overdue deadlines. I wonder though whethere we have data of the same kind of specificity that we have to analyse gender injustice in academia; there, the data are all the way up to the level of giving us proof of the underlying prejudices. Population-level data on outcomes are important too (and I know some of those studies), but in order to eliminate among possible explanations of those outcomes, we need differnt type, more finegrained, data. To be continued :)


engels 01.06.24 at 10:13 am

Is it really certain (as per the Barcelona manifesto, #26) that the reason for analytic philosophy’s global dominance is that is uniquely universalist and scientific, and the reason for Anglophone countries dominance of analytic philosophy is that they are native English speakers?


engels 01.06.24 at 10:57 am

It sounds a bit like saying Catholicism triumphed because it is the true religion but popes have been disproportionately Italian because it’s closer to Latin.


Filippo Contesi 01.06.24 at 11:56 am

I am not sure either of those are claims the BP make. For more context, you could look at:


engels 01.06.24 at 6:01 pm

Maybe not, and thanks for the link. I was referring to this:

[Analytic philosophy] is in large part based on the idea that philosophy should adopt, as far as is appropriate, the shared and universalistic standards of science. Accordingly, the analytic tradition has now spread worldwide

non-native English speakers, who have not had the chance to perfect their knowledge of the language, are at a structural disadvantage

I interpreted “accordingly” to mean the spread of AP was due to its universalism and scientificity. I withdraw the second claim, but the focus on linguistic deficits and the silence about other possible causes of underrepresentation might seem to presuppose that’s particularly important; it doesn’t imply monocausality though.


Filippo Contesi 01.06.24 at 8:43 pm

I would have agreed with your two initial claims had you used ‘one of the reasons’ instead of ‘the reason’. In both cases, multiple reasons and causes are at play… However, the analogy between the analytic philosophy echelon and the papacy is not terribly off the mark (as well as very amusing for someone who was born and grew up in Italy). :)

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