The dawn of 21st century has seen a growing interest in civil society organizations and their potential role in achieving development goals and sharing the burden of governance and public management. These civil society organizations have shaped up in the backdrop of modern concepts such as public accountability, policy advocacy and social and political change, and have also played their role in defining the new paradigms of public administration and global governance. Pakistan has seen a remarkable growth in the number of civil society organizations as well as their scope and role in the public space. This paper lays the foundations of exploring the idea of civil society, its philosophical connection with political liberalism and various challenges it poses as new social and administrative phenomena. The paper argues that NGOs, with their organized mobilization of citizenry for social and political change on the one hand, and while competing for provision of public goods and services due to privatization and contractualism on the other hand, have become a powerful tool of political and administrative control. Continue reading “NGOs and Challenges for the State”
This one, titled Muasharti Tabdeeli Aur Humara Nafs (transliteration: “Societal Change and Our “Self”), was written after the elections on June 7th, 2013, discussing briefly how we want to bring “change” in the country without changing ourselves for the better – which, in my opinion, is our gross national folly. Continue reading “Change and the ‘Self’”
Pakistan has been traditionally characterized as a collectivist society, where individuals recognized themselves as part of a group or a community, and where values and norms were collectively shared, and people took responsibility of the group or the community they identified themselves with. Continue reading “Selfie and Rising Individualism in Pakistan”
In a very stimulating recent article, David Dubois of the INSEAD has studied the patterns and reasons of bad behavior in different levels of social classes. Initially, he refers to the anecdotal evidence that suggests that people higher in social class are more likely to behave unethically; he goes on further to acknowledge that people in the lower social class can also have unethical behaviors. However, what differentiate the two are the reasons for which people in different social classes behave unethically. David Dubois’ work “found that higher-class individuals are more likely to cheat when the unethical behavior benefits the self but lower-class individuals are more likely to cheat when the unethical behavior benefits another person”. Continue reading “Social Justice and Motivated Violence”
Written on April 14, 2013
As national elections in Pakistan draw closer, there are still some who doubt that the elections will be held as per schedule. It is widely believed that many in the political mainstream, the civil and military bureaucracy, and judiciary, as well as in the media are not only hoping but striving to postpone the general elections. It is also widely believed that only one political party would suffer if the elections are postponed i.e. Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) which is currently considered to be the front-runner in the run up to the elections, as if all others including the country itself would benefit from the delay.
However, statistics as well as the historical precedence would say otherwise. Continue reading “Stability in Pakistan and Lack of Optimisim”