The Emerging Social Contract: State‐Citizen Interaction after the Floods of 2010 and 2011 in Southern Sindh, Pakistan

  • Ayesha Siddiqi
Volume 44 Number 3
Published: January 21, 2016
This article looks at the post‐disaster context of Lower Sindh, a region devastated by super floods in 2010 and 2011, in an attempt to understand what government policies were implemented to assist people whose lives had been washed away. Based on fieldwork conducted in three districts of Lower Sindh this study emphasises that while a general narrative seems to suggest that the Pakistani state's post‐disaster policies and interventions were insufficient, ineffective or both, there is significant evidence to demonstrate the relative success and universal outreach of government interventions. This also had a significant impact on food security in the aftermath of the disaster. The government response to the floods has in fact contributed towards a fundamental shift in state‐citizen relations. This underdeveloped and still emerging ‘disaster citizenship’ in Pakistan is based on entitlements and rights rather than a citizenship more commonly understood to be based on identity, kinship or patronage.
From Issue: Vol. 44 No. 3 (2013) | Seeing the Unseen: Breaking the Logjam of Undernutrition in Pakistan