Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg


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Jamal Ali Bashir

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Petra Dobner

Title:Examining the Everyday State and Political Society in “Tribal” Southeastern Baluchistan, Pakistan

I  graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lahore  University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in 2014 and commended my MA in  Democratic Governance and Civil Society funded by DAAD PPGG program at  the University of Osnabrück in 2015. I finished my MA in 2017 and began  working as a Project Assistant in March 2018 at Re: work research center  in collaboration with the Humboldt University Berlin. I joined the  Graduate School "Society and Culture in Motion" and the Politics  Department of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg as a Ph.D.  Candidate in October 2018.

My  research will trace the concurrent processes of state formation and the  expansion of irrigation in the mid-nineteenth century in Upper Sindh  along the border of Baluchistan. Superimposition of colonial state  structure, through mechanisms of water control, on a society organized  along tribal lines, essentially gave birth to a new kind of power  structure with distinctive social relations and new forms of resource  distribution. With the birth of Pakistan, and the expansion of the  post-colonial state in this area, manifested in the form of new canal  construction projects, state-society relationships and interactions went  through another shift.  Such a historical context of state-society  relations is pertinent to understand the existing claim-making  processes, negotiations, and exchanges in “political society.” “Seeing  like the state” (Scott 1998) and “seeing the state” (Corbridge et al.  2005) will serve as two important analytical tools to apprehend how the  “everyday state” attempts to make sense of the claims made by the  people, and how the people justify such claims. Such an analysis will  necessarily challenge culturalist, totalizing and essentialist  conceptions of “western” or “eastern” forms of state.


Conference Report

Servants’ Pasts.” 2nd International Conference held in Berlin (11.04.2018–13.04.2018). Available on the H-Soz-Kult website: