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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Dan Clawson

Second Advisor

Joya Misra

Third Advisor

Millie Thayer

Fourth Advisor

Obed Pasha

Subject Categories

Asian History | Social and Behavioral Sciences


In Pakistan from the 1960s to the 2000s, with a focus on the latter. The dissertation is composed of three different papers. The first paper is an analysis of the changing civil society in Pakistan. I argue that in order to understand why the two movements were so different, we need to look at not just a snap shot of the civil society, but its evolution over the years. Rather than thinking of civil society as a static collection of different groups and organizations, this research analyzes it as a combination of groups (or structures) as well as processes that changed over time. The second paper is a study of the stark urban-rural and class divides that exist in the country, which I argue, lead to people having different opinions about voting, politicians, and electoral politics in general. A big part of this story is the alignment of the Pakistani military’s business interests with certain sections of the society. Both these factors – the changing civil society as well as the urban-rural and class divides – have implications for who viii participates in the movement and the demands being made. The final paper examines the diversity within the prodemocracy movement of the 2000s, which makes it rather unique compared to other movements analyzed in the social movement literature. I analyze diversity within the movement in terms of the wide array of ideological leanings of movement participants as well as the different kinds of coalitional models that co-existed within the movement: loose coalitions, pragmatic coalitions, Frenemies, and opposing movements. The research is based on interviews conducted with activists who were involved in either or both movements as well as an analysis of blogs, newspaper articles and other secondary sources.