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This is not about the film…


At the time of writing this post, fourteen people have already been killed in Karachi after the protests turned violent today.  The reports of violent protests have been pouring in from Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar as well.  I say this can’t just be about the anti Islamic film.  Its much more than that. Its much […]

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Future of Blasphemy


Came across this critique of ‘criminalisation of personal blasphemy’ by UN and European Court of Human Rights, which I thought was a good example of Judith Butler’s argument about critiques as already bound up in the normative frameworks. The following critique involves defending an ‘ethical model of blasphemy,’ from within the normative framework of political liberalism and […]

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Friends or competitors: Uneasy Relationship between Politics and Policy Sciences?


Following my last post, I had a fascinating exchange of emails with Lynn Fendler.  I am reproducing it below after some cleaning up of and additions to my own comments.  Lynn used the term ‘monetocracy’ to speak about the current shifting of balance from politics to markets.  This was enough of a prompt for me […]

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Education as a Political Issue? (2)


This post continues the conversation started in a previous post on the topic of education as a political issue. In the last post, I had referred to Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen who lamented the absence of education from the political domain–or let us say the public domain. This post is about the rhetoric of […]

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The Fault Lines


This post was motivated by Al-Jazeera’s documentary, Fault Lines: The Top 1%.  The facts and opinions in this chilling documentary, i.e. the rising inequalities in the United States and their social implications, are familiar by now. So nothing new there.  An added aspect though is a strong note on the function/role of ivy league schools […]

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The other side of the coin | pakistanpolicyideas | Some Reflections


A couple of days ago, I wrote about some issues related to the use of standardised testing for accountability on this blog.  In an update to the same post, I mentioned a statement issued by a gathering of members of Pakistan’s academic, civil, and political society at the Harvard University.  This statement also mentioned the idea of minimum standards […]

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Reflections on Zizek, continuing…


In my previous post, I attached the You Tube video of a recent conversation between Slovenian Philosopher Slavoj Zizek, Democracy Now’s Amy Gutman, and Julian Assange. In this, Zizek can be seen talking about the work of Julian Assange with his usual and uniquely provocative demeanour: You are a terrorist in the way that Gandhi […]

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Time for School ~ Interview: Amartya Sen | Wide Angle | PBS


Education is the easiest to sacrifice, said Sen, quoting MehbulHaq, in this 2004 interview with PBS: My friend from Pakistan who started the HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT — a great missionary figure who died a few years ago — used to say (he also had the experience of having been in Pakistani government) that the easiest […]

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The Measurement Conundrum!


Michigan’s senate recently approved a broad overhaul to its 1937 teacher tenure act. This overhaul includes “teachers’ effectiveness,” as grounds for dismissal of tenured teachers. Teacher tenure, as the name says it all, is a form of job protection for the public school teachers, which makes it difficult for the school districts to fire the […]

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Chain of Equivalence


In response to my post on ‘interest aggregation,’ Ajay Sharma wrote the following: I guess interest aggregation could need some sort of (Laclau’s) chain of equivalence so that different yet non-competing interests can comingle and aggregate. Getting such chain of equivalence to form and endure is a perennial challenge I just thought another post was warranted […]

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