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Title: Market power : traders, farmers, and the politics of accumulation in Pakistani Punjab
Author: Amirali, Asha
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 5752
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines traders' strategies of accumulation in agricultural commodity markets in Pakistani Punjab. It contributes to the literature on markets as social and political institutions as well as to broader debates on patronage, informality, urbanization, and class formation in South Asia. The principal aim of the thesis is to identify the institutions and ideologies facilitating exchange and study how they function in the market. It also aims to account for the increased political importance of traders, understood as members of Pakistan's intermediate classes, and reflect on the nature of their political participation. Non-programmatic, functional alignments are shown to be the norm and compatible with both military and democratic regimes. Through a close look at activities in one agricultural commodity market - or mandi, as it is known in Punjab - the present work explores the practices and linkages traders cultivate to bolster their economic and political power. Plunging into everyday mandi life in small-town Punjab, it illustrates how customary institutions articulate with the state and capital to co-regulate economic activity and create conditions for durable domination. Enmeshment in patron-client relations, links with the local state, associational activity, ownership and control of capital, and thick social ties are demonstrated to be key means by which wealth and power are accumulated. Class is shown to articulate closely with caste and kinship while being irreducible to them, and the role of dominant social institutions is demonstrated to be highly variable across the many processes ongoing in the market.
Supervisor: Harriss-White, Barbara Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Agricultural markets ; Caste ; Governance, Informal ; Class ; Informal sector (Economics) ; Patronage, Political ; Pakistan