Globally, social science is grappling with the realization that the promise of modernity has turned out to be a bankrupt one. Widening inequality, the failure of development, crises of democracy and the like have spurred leading theorists to work on understanding this failure and on attempting to formulate a set of models in terms of which this failure and potential alternatives can be articulated.  This has given us such formulations for analyzing globalization as ‘liquid society’ (Bauman), ‘multiple modernities’ (Eisenstadt), ‘Glocality’ (Walzer), ‘Global imaginaries’ (Appadurai), ‘Theory from the South’ (Comaroff and Comaroff), ‘death worlds’ (Mbembe), and ‘modernity/coloniality’ (Mignolo).

The Modernity and Coloniality Research Programme unites a broad range of topical debates, from urban anthropology, to heritage, to environmental anthropology, to alternative democracy, to risk and securitization under one thematic umbrella allowing for multidisciplinary engagement via a shared concern with enduring colonial matrices of power.