Title The Ethics of Staying
Subtitle Social Movements and Land Rights Politics in Pakistan
Author Mubbashir A. Rizvi
ISBN 9781503608764
List price GBP 21.99
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 224
Book size 152 x 228 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher Stanford University Press (Combined Academic Publishers)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“In this incisive study Rizvi blends history and ethnography to analyze the continuing impacts of colonial land colonization on relationships between state and society, city and country. Theoretically sophisticated, the book represents a milestone in reorienting how we think about contemporary, agrarian Pakistan.”

—David Gilmartin, North Carolina State University


“A forgotten struggle; a glorious but fated political moment in which peasants took on Pakistan’s military might and for more than a decade seemed to be winning. Rizvi tells this complex story with a lot of flare and feeling, providing historical and social context for a remarkable movement with the most unlikely of heroes.”

—Mohammed Hanif, The New York Times


The military coup that brought General Pervez Musharraf to power as Pakistan’s tenth president resulted in the abolition of a century-old sharecropping system that was rife with corruption. In its place the military regime implemented a market reform policy of cash contract farming. Ostensibly meant to improve living conditions for tenant farmers, the new system, instead, mobilized one of the largest, most successful land rights movements in South Asia—still active today.

In The Ethics of Staying, Mubbashir A. Rizvi presents an original framework for understanding this major social movement, called the Anjuman Mazarin Punjab (AMP). This group of Christian and Muslim tenant sharecroppers, against all odds, successfully resisted Pakistan military’s bid to monetize state-owned land, making a powerful moral case for land rights by invoking local claims to land and a broader vision for subsistence rights. The case of AMP provides a unique lens through which to examine state and society relations in Pakistan, one that bridges literatures from subaltern studies, military and colonial power, and the language of claim-making. Rizvi also offers a glimpse of Pakistan that challenges its standard framing as a hub of radical militancy, by opening a window into to the everyday struggles that are often obscured in the West’s terror discourse.


Preface: From Farmers to Terrorists


Introduction: Masters, Not Friends

Chapter 1: Politics as Process in Okara Military Farms

Chapter 2: The Afterlife of Colonial Infrastructure

Chapter 3: What Remains Buried Under Property?

Chapter 4: Movement and Mobilization

Chapter 5: Solidarities, Fault Lines, and the Scale of Struggle

Coda: The Ethics of Staying




About the Author:

Mubbashir A. Rizvi is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Georgetown University.

Target Audience:

People interested in anthropology, sociology and political science.

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