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Crafty oligarchs, savvy voters: Democracy under inequality in rural Pakistan

Bush House South East Wing, Strand Campus, London

2 Oct
islamabad monument
Islamabad monument
Part of International Development and Emerging Economies Seminars

Speaker: Dr Shandana Khan Mohmand (Institute of Development Studies)

crafty oligarchs book
Crafty Oligarchs, Savvy Voters book cover by Dr Shandana Khan Mohmand

How does democracy empower marginalised voters under conditions of inequality? Shandana probes into this question grounding her research in the context of Pakistan, an emerging democracy whose voters have actively been involved in defining its political history but about whom we know very little.

They turn up in sizeable numbers to vote during elections, even under military rule, prompting all kinds of contradictory stereotypes about how Pakistani rural voters behave as electoral cannon fodder. But no one has looked very closely at why they vote as they do, or why they vote at all when their political agency is severely limited by high socio-economic inequality.

By using original data collected across different villages and households in rural Pakistan, her book finds that electoral politics enables even the most marginalised voters to strategically further their interests vis-à-vis elite groups, but that persistent inequality limits their ability to organise or compete.

About the speaker

Shandana Khan Mohmand is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies and an Associate Fellow at the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives in Pakistan. Her research and writings explore the fields of political participation, inequality, and the political economy of public policy and service delivery. She has contributed to both policy and social science research in these areas.

*If you are external to King's, please contact the event organiser to let them know you are coming.

Organisers: Dr Andres Mejia-Costa (Political Economies research group, King's College London)


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