Call for Papers: State, Society and Democracy in the Postcolony (Lahore, Aug 4 - 6, 2016)

Amen Jaffer's picture
Call for Papers
April 20, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Political Science, Sociology, South Asian History / Studies


State, Society and Democracy in the Postcolony

An American Institute of Pakistan Studies funded Collaborative Conference organized by Clemson University, USA and the Lahore College for Women University, Pakistan.

August 4 - 6, 2016.

Hosted at the Lahore College for Women University, Pakistan.

Keynote: Partha Chatterjee (Columbia University/Centre for Studies in Social Sciences)

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 conference will focus on the 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 remodelling and rebranding of state institutions.


We invite proposals from junior and senior scholars, graduate students, artists, social workers, activists, journalists, governmental employees and others interested in the theme of the conference.


Possible paper topics include but are not limited to: 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 state-sponsored Islam promote coexistence in a plural 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?


Paper proposals should be sent electronically to no later than April 20th, 2016. The proposal should include an abstract (upto 300 words) and the presenter’s name, and affiliation. Selected applicants will be informed of the organizing committee’s decision by May 1st, 2016.



Mashal Saif, Clemson University

Amen Jaffer, LUMS

Sarah Shahed, Lahore College for Women University

***Limited accommodation is available for presenters. Kindly indicate whether you would like to be considered for this facility when submitting your abstract***


Contact Info: 

Amen Jaffer