‘’Public Action in Pakistan:
Vacillating between Apathy and Anger’’
November 27-28, 2011
Institute of Social and Policy Sciences Islamabad invites papers for the first annual Colloquium on “Public Action in Pakistan: Vacillating between Apathy and Anger”. The Colloquium is first in the series of annual multi-disciplinary colloquia which will allow different social sciences’ perspectives leverage and enrich each other. Beyond its scholarly goals, we hope that the Colloquium would inform the debates on public policy and development agenda in Pakistan.
I-SAPS is inviting scholars in local as well as international academia to discuss the difficulties in dealing with social change especially in developing and Muslim societies like Pakistan from multi-disciplinary aspects, with special reference to individual’s personal behavior and its relation to societal changes. While noticing the non-presence of robust movements of social action in Pakistan, the academic wisdom identifies the supposedly widespread ‘apathy’ towards public action in Pakistani society as one of the major reasons. Dubbed at times as social malady, many observers claim that apathy is a commonly observed phenomenon in developing countries. Its symptoms include lack of participation and social responsibility resulting in meek public actions, allowing either the status quo or worsening of individual rights and civil liberties. While most continue with daily toil despite a perception of worsening social milieu, many are caught by raw anger which could vent out itself in self-destructive individual or group behavior. Before the recent upheavals in the Arab world, it was generally believed that apathy has become an epidemic in Muslim societies. The phenomenon also exists in the developed world where mass apathy towards political events and social movements has recently been getting a serious and closer academic attention.
The Colloquium aims to study the dynamics of social change with special reference to Pakistan. I-SAPS would welcome theoretical and empirical contributions from historians, anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, economists, psychologist, media specialists, development practitioners etc., elaborating the historical and cultural contexts of the phenomena of apathy and anger in Pakistan and proposing solutions to the social problems caused by them.
We are accepting the Abstracts of proposed papers by 15th June, 2011. The Institute hopes to sponsor the participation of a limited number of scholars in the Colloquium in the beautiful city of Lahore. Finalized Papers shall be submitted by October 5, 2011 which will be sent out for a peer review. The accepted papers will be circulated to participants prior to the event. After the colloquium, developed versions of the papers presented in the colloquium will be eligible for publication by March 2012.
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