Empire of Knowledge

Empire of Knowledge : Culture and Plurality in the Global Economy

3 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$99.00

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


During the media frenzy over the Millennium celebrations, there was hardly any mention of the fact that, for the majority of the world, there was no Millennium at all. This linear understanding of time is a specifically Western - and Christian - concept.

This is just one of many examples that Vinay Lal uses to demonstrate that nearly every idea which we take for granted in the west is part of a politics of ideas. Oppression is usually associated with class struggle and other forms of economic monopoly. Lal looks beyond this, deconstructing the cultural assumptions that have emerged alongside capitalism to offer a devastating critique of the politics of knowledge at the heart of all powerbroking.

Other topics examined are the concept of 'development', which has provided a mandate for surreptitious colonisation; and the idea of the 'nation state', something we have lived with for no more than two centuries, yet is accepted without question. Linking this to the emergence of 'international governance' through the United Nations, the US, and imperial economic bodies (such as the IMF and WTO), Lal explains how such universalism came to dominate the trajectory of Western thought.
show more

Out of ideas for the holidays?

Visit our Gift Guides and find our recommendations on what to get friends and family during the holiday season. Shop now .

Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 23.11mm | 498.95g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • notes, bibliography, index
  • 0745317375
  • 9780745317373

Table of contents



1. Reckoning with the Millennium

2. Politics in Our Times

3. Governance in the Twenty-First Century

4. Modern Knowledge and Its Categories

5. Ecology, Economy, Equality

6. Dissenting Futures

Postscript: 911, or the Terrorism That Has No Name


Suggestions for Further Reading

show more

Review quote

'Vinay Lal is a new and important presence in the world of scholars who question the intellectual and cultural assumptions that accompany the processes of modernisation, development and globalization.' Dipesh Chakrabarty, The University of Chicago
show more

About Vinay Lal

Vinay Lal is Professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has written widely on contemporary South Asian politics, Indian and American cultural politics and the global politics of knowledge. He is the author of Empire of Knowledge: Culture and Plurality in the Global Economy (Pluto, 2002).
show more

Rating details

4 ratings
3 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 25% (1)
3 50% (2)
2 25% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X