Religion, violence, and ethnicity are all intertwined in the history of Pakistan. The entrenchment of landed interests, operationalized through violence, ethnic identity, and power through successive regimes has created a system of ‘authoritarian clientalism.’ This book offers comparative, historicist, and multidisciplinary views on the role of identity politics in the development of Pakistan.

Bringing together perspectives on the dynamics of state-building, the book provides insights into contemporary processes of national contestation which are crucially affected by their treatment in the world media, and by the reactions they elicit within an increasingly globalised polity. It investigates the resilience of landed elites to political and social change, and, in the years after partition, looks at the impact on land holdings of population transfer. It goes on to discuss religious identities and their role in both the construction of national identity and in the development of sectarianism. The book highlights how ethnicity and identity politics are an enduring marker in Pakistani politics, and why they are increasingly powerful and influential.

An insightful collection on a range of perspectives on the dynamics of identity politics and the nation-state, this book on Pakistan will be a useful contribution to South Asian Politics, South Asian History, and Islamic Studies.

chapter |12 pages


Themes, theories, and topics in the history of religion, violence, and political mobilization in Pakistan
ByIan Talbot

chapter |25 pages

Elections, bureaucracy, and the law

The reproduction of landed power in post-colonial Punjab
ByHassan Javid

chapter |25 pages

Constructing the state

Constitutional integration of the princely states of Pakistan
ByYaqoob Khan Bangash

chapter |17 pages

Identity politics and nation-building in Pakistan

The case of Sindhi nationalism
BySarah Ansari

chapter |28 pages

Understanding the insurgency in Balochistan 1

ByYunas Samad

chapter |20 pages

A sublime, yet disputed, object of political ideology?

Sufism in Pakistan at the crossroads
ByAlix Philippon

chapter |14 pages

The rise of militancy among Pakistani Barelvis

The case of the Sunni Tehrik
ByMujeeb Ahmad

chapter |12 pages

Pakistan's religious Others

Reflections on the minority discourse on Christians in the Punjab
ByTahir Kamran, Navtej K. Purewal

chapter |15 pages

Violence and state formation in Pakistan

ByGurharpal Singh