Mind the Gap: Indigenous Sovereignty and the Antinomies of Empire

Jodi Byrd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter looks at Ecuador’s 2008 Constitutional Assembly and the April 28- 29, 2012 meeting in Ecuador of the Latin American-Caribbean Network Grito de los Excluidos y Excluidas (Shouts of the Excluded). In a carefully developed reading of the political charters of these groups, she argues that the shouts (gritos) of social movements, organizations and ancestral peoples of Abya Yala are important because they speak from the still colonial reality, conditions and struggles of the global present. But they also express the actions, propositions, and thought increasingly evident in the activism of the global south. In Abya Yala the current conjuncture is not an undertaking based in government, academia, or sectors of the white-mestizio Left, but instead is communicated in the persistent practices and struggles of indigenous and African-origin communities and social movements. These practices and struggles represent an insurgency of social, political, and existential forces that are producing non Western-centric forms of life, nature, knowledge. The force of this movement comes from the re-founding, pluralizing and re-orienting of Carl Schmitt’s Western nomos and its attendant practices of exploitation, domination and control that prescribe the horizon of the decolonial struggle for social transformation. In contrast to this colonial nomos, the movements investigated by Walsh present newly emergent configurations of knowledge, subjectivity and Nature as central components in the reconfiguration of an increasingly polycentric world that address not only the economic cultural axis, but also speak to the appropriation of nature and the model of civilization itself.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Anomie of the Earth
Subtitle of host publicationPhilosophy, Politics, and Autonomy in Europe and the Americas
EditorsFederico Luisetti, John Pickles, Wilson Kaiser
Place of PublicationDurham, NC
PublisherDuke University Press
Number of pages260
ISBN (Electronic)9780822375456
ISBN (Print)9780822359210, 9780822358930
StatePublished - May 2015


  • Abya Yala
  • decoloniality
  • colonial nomos
  • forms of life


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