Politics of Identity: Ethnic Nationalism and the State in Pakistan

Politics of Identity: Ethnic Nationalism and the State in Pakistan

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`Excellent and compelling'

- Partha Chatterjee, University of Columbia

`A provocative, passionate and stimulating new interpretation of ethnic nationalism'

- Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago

`A significant study that informs us of the politics and group interests in one of the most volatile regions of the world'

- Stephen Castles, Oxford University

`Very interesting intellectual and political ideas - refreshing'

- Gyan Pandey, Johns Hopkins University

`An informed and lucid work that demystifies the politics of nationalism'

- Howard Brasted, University of New England

A major challenge Pakistan has been confronted with since it came into existence is the self-assertion of various ethnic groups, which have actively contested the legitimacy of the state structure. However, despite the seriousness of this ethnic challenge, there exists no detailed study of these movements, Politics of Identity fills this vacuum.

Ethnic nationalism, the author argues, is a political issue and is essentially a struggle for power between dominant and non-dominant groups. Highlighting the role the state plays in the lives of individuals, the book:

- studies both the pre-colonial and colonial state system in India and the changes it effected until India's independence and the creation of Pakistan;

- assesses the state in Pakistan and explains its role in giving rise to ethnic discontent;

- studies four ethnic movements - Pukhtun, Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir - demonstrating how their proximity to or distance from state power have influenced their politics.