ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Conceptualising Transitional Societies

Multi-ethnic states, certainly those that emerged with the collapse and shrinking of western colonial empires in Asia and Africa, mid-20th century onwards, necessarily retrospect on imperialism, in an attempt to comprehend the ever-growing complexities within post-colonial societies, in their engagement with the construction of a cohesive political community. A major quantum of ‘imperialism literature’ is inextricably located in the historicity of rise and fall of empires, virtually marginalising the contextuality of at times potentially explosive and fragile processes that went into the making of what D A Low calls “new political orders in which the greater part of humanity lives”.

The new political orders provided a broad canvas for scrutinising the applicability of integration theory, as Arthur Rubinoff argues in the case of Goa, in striking contrast to many Eurocentric formulations that espouse the spectre of doom and challenge the viability of the Indian nation state as an integrating force. Clearly, therefore, the post-colonial challenge subsists in the entrenchment of new state formations in a colonial past and their potential to redefine society to create a space for the varied culture world of its people, asserting diverse identities.

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