Posts Tagged ‘Elinor Ostrom’

More on the South Asian Liberal

March 19, 2011

By Anjum Altaf

The following is the issue: If a South Asian were introduced to, say, a first-time visitor from Norway with the preamble “He/She is a liberal,” would the Norwegian be able to guess correctly where the South Asian might stand on a number of salient policy issues?

I expressed my doubts in an earlier article (The Peculiar Nature of the Pakistani Liberal) that concluded as follows: “On closer examination, the Pakistani liberal turns out to be a breed apart. The easy transfer of ideological labels – “conservative,” “liberal,” “progressive,” “reactionary” – across political and social contexts obscures the nuances and complexities necessary for understanding the juncture at which we have arrived in Pakistan today.”

To be useful, a label has to convey an accurate representation of reality and many of the labels we use in South Asia today fail this test. (more…)

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