Vol. IV / No. 6 | September 2023

Devina Ayona (currently working under the KaLi Project)



Recent political events have brought the word “woke” to the center of public and media attention. What began as a domestic issue in the U.S. has begun to spread to other parts of the globe and become a heated topic of discussion. This commentary suggests that it is time for IR scholars, especially from non-Western countries, to contribute to the discussion. Nevertheless, IR scholars will need to take note that “wokeism” scholarship is characterized by (1) a lack of academic literature using “wokeism” as their keyword; (2) political quarrels over the meaning of “wokeism”; and (3) lack of non-Western perspective. IR scholars may begin approaching the subject using structural, postcolonial, and transnational frameworks of analysis.

Keywords: woke, wokeism, wokeness, postcolonialism, non-Western IR