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Title: Affect as a technology of rule : service, sacrifice and the Pakistani military
Author: Rashid, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 059X
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis argues that affect is a technology of rule deployed by the military institution in Pakistan to shape its relationship with soldiers and their families and draw their service and sacrifice. This affective disciplining extends to the military's relationship with the nation, in which the bodies and families of dead soldiers serve as conduits for communication. The thesis explores service and death in the Pakistani military ethnographically, privileging the lived experiences of subaltern soldiers and their families. The research material is drawn from in-depth interviews and participant observation spread over a period of 13 months in rural Punjab and at the ceremonies and recruitment centres of the military itself. Building on Michel Foucault's notion of governmentality, according to which statecraft is invested in governing both the polity and the affective selves of subjects, this thesis situates militarism as a set of gendered governing practices which not only control affective selves but also produce them by reworking affect and attachment through the concerns of the military. It records the limits of the military's hegemonic power by documenting spaces for contestation in these complicit relationships and analyses the reasons for these moments of disaffection being folded back into tropes of sacrifice and service for the nation-state. To support its claims, the thesis analyses various disciplinary practices set in motion by the Pakistani military, such as the manufacture of the soldier, the management of grief, the crafting of commemorative spectacles and the masking of regimes of compensation for military death. It argues that affective disciplining works closely alongside the material gains that the military offers its subjects, and that it is these two drivers, not the scripts of nation and religion, that bind soldiers and their families to the military institution.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral