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State, Society and Democracy in the Postcolony

AIPS Sponsored Collaborative Conference

Clemson University
State, Society and Democracy in the Postcolony
Hosted at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)
August 5-6, 2016

State, Society and Democracy in the Postcolony
Exploring contemporary scholarly debates in the social sciences and humanities leaves one with a sense that we are on a cusp of a momentous transformation. As neoliberal policies, institutions, and rationalities take root across the globe, scholars from a range of disciplines are increasingly paying attention to their impact on society and politics. In postcolonial contexts, neoliberalism takes its own distinct forms that are different from its manifestations in the West. This AIPS sponsored conference will focus on the impact of neoliberalism on state, society and democracy in the postcolonies, particularly Pakistan.
Taking an interdisciplinary approach, we specifically seek to interrogate transformations in the structure of the state and its relations with society. Going beyond arguments that emphasize the shrinking of the state in the era of globalization, we are interested in understanding the remodeling and rebranding of state institutions. Some of the questions we ask are: How are state structures and capacities changing? What new state institutions are emerging and how are they organized? How does the state present itself? What is the impact of neoliberalism on diversity and tolerance in the political realm? Does statesponsored Islam promote coexistence in a diverse society? Furthermore, we are also interested in the shifting terrain of state-society relations and seek to inquire into the nature of democratic processes. How do the state and political parties garner support? How do different societal groups understand and define citizenship? How are social and political movements addressing and engaging with the state? What is the location of religion in the state-society nexus?
This AIPS sponsored conference aims to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines to engage with these questions as well as raise other queries regarding the state and its relationship with society in the postcolonial world, with a specific focus on Pakistan. In addition to works by scholars, we also strongly encourage papers and presentations by artists, social workers, activists, and governmental employees who are interested in the promotion of diversity and the deepening of democratic values.

Conference Program

Conference Final Report