International Conference on Local Representation of Power in South Asia 2014

The Department organized a Two-Day International Conference on Local Representation of Power in South Asia on October 09–10, 2014.

Scholarly traditions often associate improved governance outcomes with the devolution of fiscal, political, and administrative responsibilities to lower tiers of government (Laerhoven, 2008; Ostrom, 2001). Theoretical and empirical studies hypothesize that decentralization of power is expected to be directly proportionate to increased public sector efficiency and local development through strengthened local governance. It is supposedly done through citizens’ direct participation in governance, public delivery, dispute resolution, revenue generation, and spending functions by bringing legitimate power of the state ‘closer to the people’. It is therefore, important to explore who gets to represent whom at local level in ‘developing’ countries of world’s most populous region – South Asia – with comparatively less stratified governmental structures.

Devolution of power – primarily that of administration and finance – to local level helps orderly provision of goods and services at grass root level. Most of public issues that local governments aim to address are manageable within their particular jurisdiction; and benefits from their actions and delivery of services or safety is limited to a specific area and confined to the populous of that area. However, many public issues at local level do not fall so easily into geographic jurisdictional limits. They are either impossible to tackle or are severely limited or degraded by the presence of geographic jurisdictions. Hence defining this ‘localness’ of issues and that of geographic area is of crucial importance and varies from country to country (Perlman & Jimenez, 2010).

Local self government units fulfill their existence with providing participation, autonomy and efficiency as three main principles of local democracy (Rozen, 2013). Research now focuses local governance and representation of power in terms of “diverse and varied set of institutions and processes” (Stoker, 2004). South Asia exhibits a variegated spectrum of forms of local representation of power ranging from colonial legacies and traditional/indigenous power structures to borrowed and innovative systems of local self governments with varying degree of success, public delivery, and local acceptance. These structures are shaped and in turn shape social structures.

The conference seeked to explore various forms of local representation of power in South Asia, their degree of success in providing public services and safety, their role in arbitration and adjudication, and the issues like electoral process, administrative capacity, financial autonomy, and accountability of local governments.

Day 1  Wednesday November 12, 2014

08:00 09:30 Registration for the Conference
09:30 11:00 Inaugural Session and  Keynote Address
Governance, Governmentality and Governability of Local Governments in South Asia: Constraints and Possibilities by Dr. Chanchal Kumar Sharma
Venue: Bukhari Auditorium
11:00 11:25 Tea / Coffee Break
11:25 11:30 Conference Photograph
11:30 01:30 Session 1: Theory of Local Representation of Power
Venue: Bukhari Auditorium
Chair: Dr. Farhat Mahmud–   Local Governance, politics, and the state – a theoretical view
Dr. Katja Mielke

–   Urban governance devolution and unauthorized colonies regularization programme in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India
Helena Cermeño

–   Rethinking representation with Thomas Paine
Mariana Assis

–   Rights and politics of the governed: Interactions between state and communities in urban Lahore
Ali Mohsin

–   Accountability Mechanism at Decentralized Governance in Pakistan: Challenges and Perspective
Dr. Muhammad Ali
–   China’s government financial expenditure system In employment training
Dr. Xiaoqing Xie, Dr.  & Muhammad Tayyab Sohail

01:30 02:30 Lunch Break
02:30 4:30 Session2:  Traditional Power Structures and Local Governments
Venue:  Bukhari Auditorium
Chair: Dr. Chanchal Kumar Sharma–  Traditional Mechanisms of Conflict Resolution: An Analysis of Jirga in Pashtoon Society
Fehmeedah Khalid

–  Transformation from Wali’s to State Judicial System in Swat: Positioning of the Chessboard Pieces
Hanif Ullah Sajid & Muhammad Usman Amin Siddiqi

Dera System and Their Role in Electoral Politics of Lahore
Ch. M. Afzaal & Muhammad Usman Amin Siddiqi

04:30 5:00 Tea / Coffee

Day 2  Thursday November 13, 2014

09:00 11:00 Session 3: Assessing Decentralization and Devolution in South Asia 
Venue: Bukhari Auditorium
Chair: Dr. Khalid Manzoor Butt–   The State and Polity in India: Assessing the roots of authoritarianism in dichotomous application of devolution of power in state-centre relationship of Indian political frame of rule
Raja Qaiser Ahmed

–   Issues and Relationship between Local Government and Central Government in Pakistan
Asia Khatak

–   Elitism- an impediment in the way of de facto decentralization or local representation of power in South Asia: A Case Study of Pakistan and India
Tasmia Tahira

–   Mortgage Finance in the Housing Sector of Punjab and Urban Land Records
Dr. Nasir Javed, Atta-Ur-Rehman & Duryab Fatima

11:00 11:30 Tea / Coffee Break
11:30 01:30 Session 4: Participative Democracy, Representation, Elections, and Politics at Local Level
Venue: Bukhari Auditorium
Chair: Dr. Muhammad Waseem–    Electoral System in Local Government (LGs): A Case Study of Pakistan
Lubna Batool

–    Party Basis versus Non Party Basis Elections at Local Level
Dr. Mughees Ahmed

–    Socio political Power structure and indigenous politics in colonial district Multan (1849-1901)
Abida Kausar Chuadhary

–    Neither Tragedy Nor Farce: The Contradictions of Bourgeois Democracy in Pakistan
Raza Naeem

01:30 02:30 Lunch Break
02:30 04:30 Session 5: Women Empowerment through Local Representation of Power
Venue: Bukhari Auditorium
Chair: Mr. Shaigan Shareef Malik–    Women Empowerment by Local Representation: A case study of Pakistan
Dr. Khalid Manzoor Butt & Tabita Victor

–    Socio-Political Obstacles to Women’s Political Empowerment: Perspectives of Women Members of Political Parties in Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Tasmia Matloob & Zakia Batool

–    Political Empowerment of Women in Local Government System of Pakistan
Dr. Mussarat Jabeen

–    Potentials and Constraints of Decentralization: the Experiences of Women in Rahim Yar Khan
Sadia Rafique

–   Hierarchy of Women Political Participation and Incommensurability between Women Representation and Empowerment in South Asia with Special Emphasis on Pakistan
Muhammad Usman Amin Siddiqi

04:30 05:00 Tea / Coffee Break (Salam Hall)
05:00 06:30 Policy Dialogue
Venue: Bukhari Auditorium
Chair: Dr. Katja Mielke
Dr. Jiangfeng Li                                                 Dean, School of Public Administration, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China
Dr. Xiaoqing Xie                                                Associate Professor, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China
Dr. Chanchal Kumar Sharma                      Fellow, Centre for Multi-Level Federalism, New Delhi, India
Dr. Khalid Manzoor Butt                               Chairperson, Department of Political Science, GC University, Lahore
Mr. Shaigan Shareef Malik                            Former Federal Secretary Capital Administration & Development Division
Mr. Kazi Afaq Hossain                                    Thomas Jefferson Fellow Former Federal Secretary Government of Pakistan
Mr. Yawar Najaf                                                 Chairperson, Department of Management Studies, GC University, Lahore
Mr. Muhammad Usman Amin Siddiqi    Conference Coordinator
06:30 07:00 Concluding Session : Certificates and Souvenir Distribution
07:00 08:00 Dinner & Music Programme

Day 3  Friday November 14, 2014

09:30 05:00 Discovering Historic Places of Lahore 


Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.