Social Enterprise Seminar
Imran Ali, Professor of Business Policy, KSBL
Chair: Asim Khwaja, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Cosponsored by the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN)
Dr. Ali will present his paper that aims to develop a cohesive narrative around some significant historical themes that have impacted Punjab and Pakistan. The paper attempts to explore the structures of authority and economic change in the Punjab in the pre-colonial and colonial environments, and then the political economy of Pakistan as it has evolved over the past six decades. The continuities and disjunctions between pre-1947 Punjab and sovereign Pakistan are a central consideration in this analysis, positing a long view that has remained relatively unexplored in historical research on this region. From this perspective, three emergent paradigms are analyzed in the paper. The first, ‘thwarted nationalism’, discusses the reasons for and consequences of an inadequate nationalist movement in the Pakistan area. The second, ‘mutated modernity’, explores why economic backwardness and social atavism became further entrenched despite significant growth. The third, ‘anarcho-vassalage’, traces how governance and economic trends interfaced with global geo-political imperatives, leading to highly contestable outcomes for Pakistan’s sovereignty and even survival. Hopefully, an understanding of these factors will enhance our comprehension of Pakistan’s complex past and problematic future.
About Dr. Imran Ali
Professor Imran Ali has an Honours degree from the University of Sussex, UK, and a Doctorate from the Australian National University. He has been Professor of Economic History and Business Policy at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan. He has also taught Economic History at the University of New South Wales and the University of Melbourne in Australia, and Asian Studies at the Australian National University. He has been an Honorary Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London; a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Business School, the ANU Graduate School of Management, and the School of Economics, University of Sydney; and a Visiting Professor in the School of Economics, University of New South Wales. He is currently Professor of Business Policy at the Karachi School for Business and Leadership; as well as Professorial Research Associate, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Professor Ali has a large number of international publications on Pakistan and the Punjab, including The Punjab under Imperialism, 1885-1947 (Princeton and Oxford University Presses), and co-editor of Pakistan: The Contours of State and Society (OUP). His research interests are in political economy, agribusiness, the water sector and business development and strategy. He has also served as a consultant to several national and international organizations, most recently with the World Bank on Pakistan’s irrigation system, with USAID on parliamentary strengthening, and with the United Nations Development Program on governance and institution building. He interacts regularly with Pakistan’s business community through executive courses and case studies.
Professor Ali has also served on various boards and committees in the public and private sectors in Pakistan, including the Punjab Finance Commission, Syndicate of Punjab University, Academic Council of the Lahore College for Women University, Institutional Review Board of the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Board of Governors of the Dairy and Rural Development Foundation, Advisory Board of Al Razi Healthcare, and the Pakistan Railways Board. He is also an Associate Fellow and Member of the Global Council of the Asia Society (USA), as well as a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Pakistan Strategy Support Program.