2. IN DEFENSE OF PROVINCIALIZING EUROPE: A RESPONSE TO CAROLA DIETZE

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ABSTRACT

This response to Carola Dietze's critique of Provincializing Europe takes up for examination three key expressions or ideas on which the original argument of the book was founded: hyperreal Europe, historicism, and political modernity. I appreciate the spirit of Dietze's engagement with the book, but I show that her critique is based on a degree of misapprehension of these three central ideas. While clarifying the details and the degree of my disagreement with Dietze, I provide my own critique of Dietze's proposal of “equal histories” by arguing that Dietze has not named or explained the unit with respect to which different histories could be considered equal. I also argue that Dietze's proposals about judging societies only by their “own” standards, and basing human dignity on the idea of a “human nature” that could be seen as a “constant,” do not solve the problems she sees with my book and are themselves open to some serious historical and logical criticism.

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