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The sharpening poverty contradictions and their links to a larger governance reality is the theme of this book. Enhanced understanding of the security and human rights situation in South Asia has also led to identification of alternative possibilities for innovative policy at both the micro and macro levels. Action research, which provides the material basis for formulating sustainable policy, differentiates this work from conventional development thinking and action. This material basis is provided by learning from the survival struggles of the poor themselves and new social movements in South Asia, and not from a priori theorizing and received wisdom from distant contexts. The book identifies critical elements in a more holistic interdisciplinary and analytical methodology. Another methodological innovation reflected in this work is the dialogical ...

Poverty, Power and Local Government in Pakistan
Poverty, power and local government in Pakistan
AkmalHussain and SavailHussain

In Pakistan, power has been historically constituted within the framework of patron–client relationships: The ruling elite has accessed state resources for arbitrary transfer as patronage to selected individuals for building political support within a structure of dependency. In cases where the resource transfers within such a power structure trickle down to the poor, they merely reinforce dependency rather than counter the processes that systematically perpetuate poverty.1 Therefore, overcoming poverty would involve empowering the poor within countervailing structures of power. In this context, it may be useful to examine the problematique of recent local government reforms in Pakistan for ‘devolution of power’.

This chapter examines the dialectic of power between the elite ...

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