Monday, April 3, 2023 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM EDT
Horizon Hall, #6335
The Global South Research Hub is organizing a book talk by Ijlal Naqvi, who will be discussing his recent book "Access to Power: Electricity and the Infrastructural State in Pakistan", Oxford University Press (2022). Dr. Naqvi is Associate Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean at the School of Social Sciences of Singapore Management University.
Pakistan would desperately like to produce enough electricity, but it usually doesn't. Despite prioritization by successive governments, targeted reforms shaped by international development actors, and featuring prominently in Chinese Belt and Road investments, the Pakistani power sector continues to stifle economic and social life across the country. Why?
In Access to Power, Ijlal Naqvi explores state capacity in Pakistan by following the material infrastructure of electricity across the provinces and down into cities and homes. Naqvi argues that the national-level challenges of crippling budgetary constraints and power shortages directly result from conscious strategic decisions that are integral to Pakistan's infrastructural state. As he shows, electricity governance in Pakistan reinforces unequal relations of power between provinces and the federal center, contributes to the marginalization of subordinate groups in the city, and cements the patronage-based relationships between Pakistani citizens and the state that have been so detrimental to development progress.
Looking through the lens of the electrical power sector, Access to Power reveals how Pakistan actually works, and to whose benefit.
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About the Author
Ijlal Naqvi's research agenda is based in the sociology of development with interests in political sociology and urban studies. He uses the management of infrastructure and related services as an entry point for studying state processes of inclusion and exclusion. He is also a multi-scalar, mixed-methods researcher, and uses a range of techniques from ethnography to hierarchical linear modeling to move beyond the limitations of any one vantage point in building a holistic perspective.(Read more)