Coloniality and the inadequacy of localisation


  • Farah Mihlar



coloniality, localisation, global north


This article uses coloniality as an analytical framework to critique the concept of localisation. It argues that localisation is inadequate to respond to the asymmetrical power dynamic that it seeks to dislodge. Fundamentally, this is because localisation does not account for coloniality, which is the underlying logic of colonialism embedded within the humanitarian sector. Positionality and funding are two factors that enable organisations in the ‘Global North’ to remain powerful even through localisation, but this article goes further to interrogate how epistemic and methodological coloniality reinforces and
maintains subordination of organisations in the ‘Global South.’ Ironically, localisation seeks to recognise knowledge and experience from the ‘local’, but largely, this knowledge and experience must be produced through the methods and systems of the ‘Global North’. This is self-defeating because institutions in the ‘Global North’ gatekeep methods and practices and perpetuate a capacity gap that prevents effective localisation.


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Author Biography

  • Farah Mihlar

    Dr Farah Mihlar is a senior lecturer in human rights and conflict at the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice, Oxford Brookes University. Prior to academia she had a long career working for INGOs in conflict contexts, focusing on minority rights.


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How to Cite

“Coloniality and the inadequacy of localisation” (2024) The Humanitarian Leader, 6(1), p. Working paper 044, April, 2024. doi:10.21153/thl2023art1971.