Seminars and Events in the School


Military Hegemony in the Afterlife of Peasant Struggle: Northwestern Pakistan in the 1980s
Dr. Noaman Ali (Assist. Prof in Political Economy, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan)

Date and Time: 3pm to 4.30pm, Friday 10th June 2022
Location: Gordon Stephenson Lecture Room Theatre 1

How do military regimes exercise and maintain power? This study examines how the military regime of General Zia ul-Haq intervened in struggles between landlords and tenants in the Charsadda District of Pakistan in the 1980s, following a decade of peasant land occupations that shifted the balance of class power in these areas. I contend that significant shifts in practices of power in did not correspond neatly to transitions between military and civilian regimes. Rather, these shifts depended on what a particular regime considered to be effective mechanisms of rule considering the balance of forces between landed elites and an armed peasant movement. I show how military and civilian regimes both sought to sustain the autonomous power of landed elites outside of the state apparatus when it was useful in containing peasants. However, where peasant struggle made the autonomous power of landed elites untenable, both types of regimes pursued new techniques of rule involving similar practices of generating consent and exercising coercion. 

Part of the Seminar Series "Transformations of Land, Labour, and Meaning in South Asia" organised by the Power, Space, and Cultural Change Cluster, Department of Ge​ography and Planning