SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Waseem, Mohammad (1983) Politics and the state in Pakistan 1947-1975. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (25MB) | Preview


The aim of the thesis is to locate the origins and discuss the development of the modern state in Pakistan. The subject is examined from two perspectives: a) the state's development from colonial times as a structural relationship between economic power and public authority; b) the state as a focus of the power struggle between various groups and classes. In other words, this approach seeks to analyse the Pakistan state both as a product and initiator of capitalist development, and as a structure which, while representing the interests of the ruling classes, enjoys a position of relative autonomy. In the thesis, the evolution of the Pakistan state has been traced from colonial times through the early post-independence period to the populist phase of the 1970s. There is considerable continuity in the locus of power between these three periods. At the same time, however, new class alignments emerged after the ending of formal British control, and the mode of operation of the state changed considerably, particularly as a result of efforts to promote 'modernization' through agricultural and industrial development. These changes produced new contradictions between regions and between classes. In the 1970s, a populist attempt to overcome these contradictions led to an acceleration of the trend towards the centralization of state power. The first part of the thesis therefore examines each of the three periods in turn, and attempts to show the development of the state in Pakistan and its relationship to society. The second part of the thesis moves from the macro to the micro-level, and sets out to show how the interaction of state and society within the framework of 'modernization' produces differing patterns of district politics. Two districts of Punjab are used as case studies to illustrate the operation of the 'state-in-the-field'. Faisalabad is taken as an example of a 'developed' district, and Attock of an underdeveloped. In this way the thesis attempts to take an integrated view of the politics of the Centre and Periphery in Pakistan.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:12

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item