For much of the twentieth century, critical analysis of the developing world drew upon theories born of the Enlightenment tradition, such as liberalism and Marxism. But, over the past two decades, such theories have been widely criticized by scholars as Eurocentric, ahistorical and statist. A call has gone out for a new framework, free of the Enlightenment baggage and attuned to the particularities of the non-Western world. Postcolonial theory has gained wide acceptance among historians, anthropologists and area specialists as just such a framework. The most influential body of work in postcolonial theory has undoubtedly been the Subaltern Studies series, which originated in India but has spawned similar projects in other regions. In this carefully honed dissection, Vivek Chibber offers an assessment of the main arguments that the theorists linked to Subaltern Studies have developed since its inception. Through a close analysis of the works of Ranajit Guha, Partha Chatterjee, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Gyan Pandey and others, Chibber examines whether they offer a plausible framework for understanding the postcolonial world. The book critically examines key Subalternist arguments about modernity, hegemony, the universalization of capital, colonialnationalism, subaltern agency, peasant consciousness and concepts such as historicism, the fragment, and Eurocentrism.