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Epistemological Freedom: Activating co-learning and co-production to decolonise knowledge production

Khan, M. and Ruszczyk, H.A. and Rahman, F. and Huq, S. (2022) 'Epistemological Freedom: Activating co-learning and co-production to decolonise knowledge production.', Disaster Prevention and Management, 31 (3). pp. 182-192.


This viewpoint challenges the limitations of traditional systems of knowledge production that are embedded in disaster research and climate change research studies. We argue that knowledge production in research processes conforms to colonialist thinking or west-inspired approaches. Such a system often results in the omission of crucial information due to a lack of wider inclusion and diversity of alternative forms of knowledge. In our viewpoint, we argue for epistemological freedom - the incorporation of multiplicity when it comes to knowledge production. Firstly, we provide a brief literature review on the concepts of decolonisation of knowledge and a definition of epistemological freedom. Secondly, the viewpoint proposes to decolonise knowledge through activating co-learning and co-production. We suggest to specifically decolonise gendered roles prevalent within knowledge production processes. Lastly, we emphasise the need for pluralism in disaster and climate change research studies, and research processes in general, and the opportunities offered by the current COVID-19 pandemic to value different forms of knowledge and praxis.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
Date accepted:16 October 2021
Date deposited:19 October 2021
Date of first online publication:14 December 2021
Date first made open access:06 July 2022

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