The ‘Truth’ About Pakistan: Knowledge Production and Circulation in Area Studies

  • Ahmed W. WaheedEmail author


This chapter begins by exploring the development of the Area Studies enterprise beginning in the Cold War. The chapter argues that during the Cold War, Pakistan caught the attention of western policy-makers for primarily security reasons and continues to do so, for this reason most of the scholarship on Pakistan is largely focused on Pakistan’s security and Pakistan’s relationship with ‘international’ security. The chapter further explores Area Studies centers for their potential in producing knowledge on Pakistan. The data on Area Studies centers unveils two distinct patterns. First, it has unveiled the endemic lack of interest on the part of western knowledge producers in knowing Pakistan and the other states that make up the South Asian region. Secondly, while true to their proposed research ambit, South Asian area study centers across the West have intellectually explored India across the depths and breadths of various disciplines, so that the study of India has become a truly multidisciplinary enterprise, in the case of Pakistan, most of the research, however marginal, remains centered on matters of its security and international affairs. Finally the chapter analyzes the contributions on Pakistan in Area Studies journals to observe how Pakistan’s representational identity is discursively constructed.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

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

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