Pakistan has been variously labelled a failed state, based either on an assumption that it was once a successful state that has subsequently failed, or in comparison to developed Western states. The recommendations arising from such assumptions and comparisons lead to policies which focus on multifaceted reforms to repair systems of governance. In this presentation it is argued that this approach is flawed: due to historical factors, and guided by parochial interests, the dominant state institutions in Pakistan have advertently or inadvertently structured the state so that the rural societies within it are still governed through the pre-colonial norms of traditional governance. It argues that in countries such as Pakistan, with regions of effective statelessness-within-a-state, development policy should shift from institutional reforms guided by technocratic norms of policy-making, to the issue of creation of a modern nation-state out of traditional society.
About the Speaker:
Nadeem Malik is a Development Studies scholar and is currently a senior lecturer and Director of the Master of Development Studies program at the University of Melbourne. Before becoming an academic he served in the development sector for 20 years. His areas of specialisation are Third World development, globalisation, gender and development, governance, local governance, governance in failed states, civil society, project and program management, monitoring and evaluation of development projects, development anthropology, political anthropology, development policy, development and social theory and art/theatre and development. He is also a veteran player of the Tabla (an Indian percussion instrument) and a professional painter.