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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography$
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Robin Winks

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205661.001.0001

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Pakistan’s Emergence

Pakistan’s Emergence

(p.253) 15 Pakistan’s Emergence
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography

Ian Talbot

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the development of historical writing in the creation of Pakistan from the 1940s to the present. The historical debate is overwhelmingly élitist in tone, with few concessions to the concerns of the so-called ‘new history’ of the subaltern groups and ‘post-structuralist’ distrust of universal narratives. Two important historiographical developments have occurred since the 1970s: firstly, scholars have switched their focus from All-India to provincial politics; and, secondly, there has been a revision of established views concerning the ‘high politics’ of the endgame of British rule. Many books were published to mark the golden jubilee of Pakistan’s creation in 1997. However, most of these celebrated achievements in various fields during the past fifty years rather than examining afresh the background to independence. As the Subcontinent entered the new century, it is likely that two themes which have recently emerged in scholarship will receive further encouragement. The first focuses on the colonial inheritance for contemporary Pakistan, while the second is on the participation of ordinary Muslims in the Pakistan movement and the impact of partition upon them.

Keywords:   Pakistan, historical writing, provincial politics, high politics, British rule, Muslims, partition

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