This chapter establishes the theoretical and methodological basis that informs the study of the discursive construction of Pakistan’s representational identity. Within the International Relations literature purporting to understand Pakistan’s reality, there is a propensity to intellectually secure Pakistan within a resolute system of ontological ‘truths’. These debates then depend on, produce and reproduce knowledge on Pakistan which consequently generates Pakistan’s ‘reality’. In essence then, Pakistan is what we know about it. Considering that knowledge does not exist independently of our theories, concepts, ideas and language, the ‘reality’ of Pakistan does not exist outside our appropriations and interpretations. The chapter moves on to explore the interplay between knowledge and power and provides a comprehensive theoretical understanding of the relationship between discourse and representational practices. The chapter argues that knowledge production is not a neutral, value-free, ‘objective’ exercise and discourse is never impartial, rather knowledge constructs ‘truths’. Consequently, within the ‘truths’ constructed by a western-dominated International Relations, Pakistan’s ‘reality’ is produced and circulated. The chapter finally explores the three main tentacles of the International Relations community namely, the disciplines of International Relations and Area Studies and the think tanks.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for International Peace & StabilityNational University of Sciences and TechnologyIslamabadPakistan

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