Postcoloniality and Mythologies of Civil(ized) Society

Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review, Vol. 26, p. 41, Spring 2006

28 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2007 Last revised: 29 Nov 2011

Tayyab Mahmud

Seattle University School of Law - Center for Global Justice

Date Written: November 28, 2011

Abstract

This article argues that the discourse of viability of civil society in postcolonial polities is theoretically ungrounded, and helps to further marginalize subordinated sections of these societies. These failings result from the imprisonment of dominant social theories in Eurocentric unilinear evolutionism, an imprisonment that blinds one from the particularities of supposedly universal categories that issue from Europe's experience of modernity. Furthermore, enthusiasm for civil society ignores the truncated colonial career of modernity and the nature of the postcolonial state. In order to substantiate these propositions, the paper traces the genealogy of the concept of civil society, examines the colonial career of modernity, and analyses the nature of the postcolonial state using Pakistan as an example.

Keywords: postcolonial, civil society, modernity, colonialism, social theory, Pakistan, Foucault, Carl Schmitt, Giorgio Agamben

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K33, Z00

Suggested Citation

Mahmud, Tayyab, Postcoloniality and Mythologies of Civil(ized) Society (November 28, 2011). Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review, Vol. 26, p. 41, Spring 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1004758

Tayyab Mahmud (Contact Author)

Seattle University School of Law - Center for Global Justice ( email )

901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

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