I am a fifth-year PhD candidate in the department. My research interests are broadly located in the subfield of comparative politics with a focus on urban contexts of South Asia. I am particularly interested in how South Asian cities respond to the pressures of climate change and skyrocketing urbanization in terms of governance and popular politics.
My dissertation, entitled “Precarious Pipes: Governance, Informality and the Politics of Access in Karachi, Pakistan”, examines these issues through the lens of water access in Pakistan's largest, notoriously conflict-prone and most water-stressed city. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and an analysis of the city’s planning practices since independence in 1947, this project explores how the state has evolved new forms of "temporary rule" to address rising urban uncertainty and scarcity in Karachi. It further demonstrates how, in engaging and responding to the structures that seek to govern them, everyday urban residents are changing the nature of Karachi's precarious social order.
Going forward, my research agenda aims to apply insights learnt from South Asian cities to better explain and understand the social and political effects of environmental and demographic change in cities of the global North. My goals are twofold in doing so. First, I seek to bridge the theoretical divide between studies of cities in the developed and developing worlds. Second, I hope to use the South Asian experience to shed new light on urban transformations in a time of social, political, and environmental change.
- Political Science