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Provincialising Europe.Reflections on questions of method and strategy

Provincializing Europe. Postcolonial thought and historical difference. By Dipesh Chakrabarty. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2000. 320 pp. Pb.: $ 16.95. ISBN 069 1049 092. Hb.: $55. ISBN 069 1049 084.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 August 2001

Vassos Argyrou
Affiliation:
University of Hull
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Extract

To ‘provincialise’ Europe is to undertake the enormously difficult task – because of the intractable paradoxes involved and the blind alleys encountered at every turn – of demonstrating what from a certain perspective should be obvious enough: that Europe is not the centre of the world, but only a small group of nations occupying a small region of the world that has attracted attention to itself during the last few centuries – an instant in the wider scheme of things. It is to show that far from being the source of all legitimate signification, Europe and more broadly the west is simply one among many other such sources – past and, no doubt, future ones; and that therefore it cannot decide for all of us, once and for all, what it means to be. To provincialise Europe, in short, is to try and make room in the world for other ways of being.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
© 2001 European Association of Social Anthropologists

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