Modern South Asian Studies seminar TT21 Wk 2: Maoists, Peasant Rebellion and State Formation in Post-colonial Northwest Pakistan

Conveners: Imre Bangha, Polly O'Hanlon, and Kate Sullivan de Estrada

Speaker: Noaman G. Ail (LUMS)



This paper examines how the encounter of radical activism and peasant militancy reshaped economic and political relations—indeed, the forms and functions of informal and state institutions—in northwestern Pakistan. The 1970s Frontier peasant movement achieved lasting de facto land and tenancy reforms that were ultimately regularized by state intervention. I argue that both the de facto land reforms and the state intervention itself were consequences of the rising organizational (and armed) power of tenants and landless labourers under the radical Mazdoor Kisan Party. In making this argument, I also enquire into the place of class analysis in the study of radical politics and state formation in South Asia.



Noaman G. Ali is assistant professor of political economy at the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan. His research and teaching concerns, broadly, the political economy of underdevelopment, and particularly the relationship between rural movements, institutions and agrarian change. Noaman has published in the Journal of Agrarian Change and Rethinking Marxism, and he has also written for Tanqeed.


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