Delusional States: Feeling Rule and Development in Pakistan’s Northern Frontier is the first in-depth study of state power and social struggle in Gilgit-Baltistan – the only Shia-majority region of Sunni-dominated Pakistan and a contested border zone that forms part of disputed Kashmir. For seven decades, the political conflict over Kashmir has locked India and Pakistan in brutal wars and hate-centered nationalisms. This book illuminates how within this story of hate lie other stories – of love and betrayal, loyalty and suspicion, and beauty and terror. Placing these emotionalities at the centre of its analysis, Delusional States rethinks the state–citizen relation in deeply felt and intimate terms, offering a fine-grained ethnographic analysis of power and subjection in contemporary Pakistan. A powerful contribution to studies of state-making and Muslim sociality in South Asia, the book additionally offers distinct theoretical insights in the fields of social movements, political ecology, education, and global development studies.


The first full-length, ethnographic study of state-making and social struggle in the conflict zone of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistani Kashmir

Presents a lived understanding of militarism, sectarianism, and development in contemporary Pakistan

Offers a major response to the global interest in political Islam as well as to sociological understandings of militarism, state-formation, and Muslim politics

Draws attention to progressive social movements, alternative development visions and cultural politics instead of remaining confined to the ‘security’ discourse on Pakistan and Kashmir