Despite their seemingly different political paths, India and Pakistan have both experienced a shift from the national to the local dimension of politics. The reasons behind this shift are assumed to be of a quite different nature. In the case of India, this evolution is widely connected to the crisis that has affected the Congress since the late 1980s, and, secondly, to the political strategy followed by Indira Gandhi in the 1970s and the early 1980s of disconnecting the traditional links of the party to the regional notables. Both elements contributed to make the Congress increasingly dependent on regional caste/kinship-based political organizations. The similar evolution observed in Pakistan has been explained, in part, with reference to the structural weakness of the mainstream political parties - in particular the Pakistan People Party and the Pakistan Muslim League – and their dependence on kinship and religious structures and hierarchies, and, in part, with the impact of military regimes. The latter would have constantly aimed to depoliticizing society by putting formal and informal obstacles to the activities of the political parties, and reinforced the biradari (extended family/caste) loyalties at the provincial and district level. There is however a relevant difference between the two cases, in so far the role played by castes in India has been since long identified as a factor that favors democratization. A recent analysis has even emphasized a “vernacularization” of democracy (Michelutti 2007). On the contrary, in the Pakistani case, “caste” groups have been identified as an obstacle towards the consolidation of democracy. While in both cases the evolution of the political system seems to emphasize the relevance of political culture for the process of democratization, the result seems to be radically different. The paper will aim to discuss this paradox, through an analysis of the role played by descent groups in the electoral process and the political bargaining in an area of South Western Punjab in Pakistan.

La localizzazione della politica nei regimi ibridi dell’Asia meridionale. “Casta” e democrazia in Pakistan

ABENANTE, DIEGO
2014-01-01

Abstract

Despite their seemingly different political paths, India and Pakistan have both experienced a shift from the national to the local dimension of politics. The reasons behind this shift are assumed to be of a quite different nature. In the case of India, this evolution is widely connected to the crisis that has affected the Congress since the late 1980s, and, secondly, to the political strategy followed by Indira Gandhi in the 1970s and the early 1980s of disconnecting the traditional links of the party to the regional notables. Both elements contributed to make the Congress increasingly dependent on regional caste/kinship-based political organizations. The similar evolution observed in Pakistan has been explained, in part, with reference to the structural weakness of the mainstream political parties - in particular the Pakistan People Party and the Pakistan Muslim League – and their dependence on kinship and religious structures and hierarchies, and, in part, with the impact of military regimes. The latter would have constantly aimed to depoliticizing society by putting formal and informal obstacles to the activities of the political parties, and reinforced the biradari (extended family/caste) loyalties at the provincial and district level. There is however a relevant difference between the two cases, in so far the role played by castes in India has been since long identified as a factor that favors democratization. A recent analysis has even emphasized a “vernacularization” of democracy (Michelutti 2007). On the contrary, in the Pakistani case, “caste” groups have been identified as an obstacle towards the consolidation of democracy. While in both cases the evolution of the political system seems to emphasize the relevance of political culture for the process of democratization, the result seems to be radically different. The paper will aim to discuss this paradox, through an analysis of the role played by descent groups in the electoral process and the political bargaining in an area of South Western Punjab in Pakistan.
9788866031451
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Casta e democrazia in Pakistan.pdf

Accesso chiuso

Descrizione: Scansione dell'originale cartaceo
Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Dimensione 7.43 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
7.43 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2817325
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact