Macquarie University
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Challenges to Nationhood in Postcolonial States: The Case of Pakistan

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posted on 2022-03-29, 02:21 authored by Fatima Aftab
Popularly known as an Islamic state, Pakistan is a post-colonial state composed of diverse nations that have distinct languages and associate with different faiths. In heterogenous states, political institutions play an important part in the forging of ethnic ties, as Weber would argue. Pakistan, however, has inherited a colonial legacy and has, thus, adopted a centralised state structure that exploited religion and language to maintain power over its citizens. While other states such as USA, India and Switzerland have managed diversity to the extent that national identity supersedes any other identity, the policy of internal colonialism in Pakistan encouraged communalism, separatism and secession. Even after having suffered the consequences of state centralisation in the case of Bangladesh, the state did not amend its policies to incorporate diversity. Rather, post-1971 Pakistan aggressively exercised control which has challenged the sense of national identity in Pakistan. The aim of this thesis is to identify and explore the challenges to establishing a sense of unified national identity in Pakistan, which is essential for the state to operate in a coherent fashion. It is important to recognise the challenges that a post-colonial state encounters in creating a sense of nationhood for the security and the prosperity of the state.


Table of Contents

Abstract -- Statement of Originality -- Introduction -- Chapter 1: The Significance of Islam and Religious Policy Development in Pakistan -- Chapter 2: The Significance of Urdu and Language Policy Development in Pakistan -- Chapter 3: The Significance of ‘Internal Colonialism’ in Pakistan -- Conclusion -- References.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 62-68

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Department, Centre or School

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Lloyd Cox


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1 online resource ( 68 pages)

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