July 7: Private Initiatives for Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan: Faith and Philanthropy in an Islamic Republic

July 7: Christopher Candland

(Click to enlarge) Dr. Christopher Candland, a professor at Wellesley College, discusses his findings from his field research in Pakistan at the East-West Center in Washington.

Private Initiatives for Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan: Faith and Philanthropy in an Islamic Republic

WASHINGTON, DC (July 10 , 2011) -- Tens of millions of Pakistani citizens survive without health services, clean water, adequate nutrition, or formal education. Even as the Pakistani economy grows, poverty in Pakistan increases – in both absolute and in proportional terms. Philanthropists have stepped up to provide millions of Pakistanis with essential social services; each of the major political parties now operates social welfare associations. What are the implications of private poverty alleviation initiatives for the legitimacy of the Pakistani state? How does the Islamic identity of the state influence the work of private philanthropies? And what are the political implications of the partisan organization of essential social welfare services in Pakistan? It was with these questions in mind, Dr. Christopher Candland traveled to Pakistan in the summer of 2011 as part of his fellowship with the East-West Center in Washington. He delivered his findings in an off-the-record presentation upon his return, which will be featured in a forthcoming publication.

Christopher Candland is a visiting fellow with the East-West Center Washington’s South Asia Fellowship Program. He teaches on human development and the politics of South Asia at Wellesley College. Dr. Candland earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University and taught at the University of California Berkeley before joining Wellesley. He has written many articles in edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals, such as International Labour Review and Critical Asian Studies, and has published two books; his latest is Labor, Democratization, and Development in India and Pakistan. Currently, he is working on a book project that relates to Islamic charities and human security in Pakistan. His presentation is based, in part, on research that he conducted in Pakistan from October 2010 to January 2011 and in June 2011. ###