The Politics of “Development” in Pakistan: An Anti-Politics Machine?

21/04/20166:00 pm-7:30 pm
Tariq Rafi Lecture Theater, Habib University

Villages in Pakistan are sites where “development” policies and practices are employed to “develop” villages and villagers. The world of “development” and its reigning paradigms regarding health, education, micro-finance, human rights, and governance are brought to the village both as ideas and practices mainly through local foot-soldiers of “development.” The forays of non-government organizations (NGOs) in villages implies arrival of a “development” project that will possibly temporarily employ some villagers and expect target population of villagers to receive goods, services, and information along lines decided by the higher-ups in the NGO. Focusing on a village in Sindh, this talk is simultaneously a narrative of arrival of “development” projects and apparatus in the village and an analysis of locating what goes on in a village in Sindh in the name of “development” in wider context of global development paradigms. Using the concept of ‘development as an anti-politics machine,” this lecture argues that what may appear as a paradox, i.e., increase in poverty when there are more efforts to alleviate it, is defining feature of the “anti-politics machine.”

Dr. Haider Nizamani teaches Political Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. He has also taught courses on various aspects of South Asian politics and the politics of the developing world at the Simon Fraser University, also in Canada. A graduate of UBC, he was a Global Security and Cooperation Fellow of the Social Science Research Council at UBC‘s Institute of International Relations from 2001 to 2003. He subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (2000-2001) and a visiting research fellow at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad. Dr. Nizamani is the author of The Roots of Rhetoric: Politics of Nuclear Weapons in India and Pakistan and is currently completing a book-length manuscript on the politics of development. His academic writings have appeared in academic journals such as Millennium: The Journal of International Studies, Contemporary South Asia, and Contemporary Security Policy. He also regularly contributes to the op-ed pages of daily Dawn, Pakistan.

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