Empire of Knowledge: Culture and Plurality in the Global Economy

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Overview

During the media frenzy over the Millennium celebrations, there was hardly any mention of the fact that, for the majority of the world, there was no Millennium at all. This linear understanding of time is a specifically Western – and Christian – concept. This is just one of many examples that Vinay Lal uses to demonstrate that nearly every idea which we take for granted in the west is part of a politics of ideas. Oppression is usually associated with class struggle and other forms of economic monopoly. Lal looks beyond this, deconstructing the cultural assumptions that have emerged alongside capitalism to offer a devastating critique of the politics of knowledge at the heart of all powerbroking. Other topics examined are the concept of 'development', which has provided a mandate for surreptitious colonisation; and the idea of the 'nation state', something we have lived with for no more than two centuries, yet is accepted without question. Linking this to the emergence of 'international governance' through the United Nations, the US, and imperial economic bodies (such as the IMF and WTO), Lal explains how such universalisms came to dominate the trajectory of Western thought.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Vinay Lal is a new and important presence in the world of scholars who question the intellectual and cultural assumptions that accompany the processes of modernisation, development and globalization.' —Dipesh Chakrabarty, The University of Chicago
Dipesh Chakrabarty
Vinay Lal is a new and important presence in the world of scholars who question the intellectual and cultural assumptions that accompany the processes of modernization, development and globalization.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745317373
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 10/20/2002
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.83 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Vinay Lal is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has written widely on contemporary South Asian politics, Indian and American cultural politics and the global politics of knowledge. He is at present co-editing A Dictionary for The Twenty-First Century: The Future of Knowledge and Culture - to be co-published by OUP Delhi.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Reckoning with the Millennium
2. Politics in Our Times
3. Governance in the Twenty-First Century
4. Modern Knowledge and Its Categories
5. Ecology, Economy, Equality
6. Dissenting Futures
Postscript: 911, or the Terrorism That Has No Name
Notes
Suggestions for Further Reading
Index
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