The panel analyses the political economy of power, patronage and agrarian relations in rural Pakistan, bringing together for the first time a set of new articles that employ different methodologies to explore the impact of these issues on politics and production in rural Pakistan.
At a time when most scholarship on Pakistan has come to focus on "bombs and beards" discussions focused on the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the country's current security situation, this panel turns its attention to look instead at issues that determine the everyday political and economic situation of its rural areas - home to its agriculture-dominated economy and about 70 percent of its voters, and yet largely ignored in the literature. Specifically, the panel will analyse the political economy of power, patronage and agrarian relations in rural Pakistan to deepen understanding of their impact on politics and rural production. It will bring together a set of articles that are all based on new research in a number of disciplines (including political science, development studies, economics and anthropology), and which employ various methodologies (including archival research, qualitative case study analysis, anthropological work and quantitative methods) to explore these issues. Most of these articles deal with the political economy of rural Punjab in particular, and thus engage directly with one another while presenting quite different perspectives.