Chakrabarty, Dispesh 2000 : “The idea of Provincializing Europe” in 2007: Provincialing Europe, PostcolonialThought and Historical Difference, Princeton

, Princeton Univeristy Press, 3-23. Research by Mitronatsiou Anastasia Dipesh Chakrabarty's influential Provincializing Europe addresses the mythical figure of Europe that is often taken to be the original site of modernity in many histories of capitalist transition in non-Western countries. This imaginary Europe, Dipesh Chakrabarty argues, is built into the social sciences. The very idea of historicizing carries with it some peculiarly European assumptions about disenchanted space, secular time, and sovereignty. Measured against such mythical standards, capitalist transition in the third world has often seemed either incomplete or lacking. Provincializing Europe proposes that every case of transition to capitalism is a case of translation as well categories into the categories and selfunderstandings of capitalist modernity. In a sentence, his aim is to make room for a different way of analyzing and describing things, not instead of the European way, but alongside it. In opening his discourse, Chakrabarty informs us that he is not going to be dealing with "the region of the world we call 'Europe, ("but rather the "imaginary figure that remains deeply embedded in clichéd and shorthand forms in some everyday habits of thought." In doing so, he produces an exemplary piece of philosophy of history, proposing four major premises: that European thought is no longer the sole property of Europeans and can be used by postcolonialists to good effect, when revised for local conditions, that there are two broad and useful ways of looking at history, one based on capital and the other on non-capital, as Chakrabarty understands from his readings of Marx, that history is not a continuously linear progression through time in an evolutionist sense; and that time itself is worth reanalysis. For Chakrabarty, the best perspective with which to answer this argument is the European one. To him, it is the most universal. He points out that concepts such as citizenship, the state, human rights, the individual, equality before the law, social justice, democracy, and more were originated in Europe, more or less codified during the Enlightenment era and the nineteenth century, and spread throughout the world by European colonizers who "both preached this Enlightenment humanism at the colonized and at the same time denied its practice." In essence, his argument here is that postcolonial scholars should not dismiss the European heritage of their thought as a "matter of what Gandhi has aptly called 'postcolonial revenge,'" for "provincializing Europe is not a project of rejecting or discarding European thought," but one that is able to use European thought "renewed from and for the margins."

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