Youth and the National Narrative: Education, Terrorism and the Security State in Pakistan


 Presenter (s) Marie Lall, University College London (UCL); Tania Saeed, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

The role of the security establishment in Pakistan has been strengthened in a post-Musharraf era as social institutions are increasingly drawn into the security agenda. Pakistan’s problems are often explained through the lens of ethnic or religious differences, the tense relationship between democracy and the Pakistan military, or geopolitics and terrorism, without taking into account young citizens’ role in questioning the state, and the role of the education system. Based on new research and interviews with more than 1900 Pakistanis aged 16-28 the authors examine young people’s understanding of citizenship, political participation, the state and terrorism in post-Musharraf Pakistan. The authors explore the relationship between the youth and the security state, highlighting how educational institutions, social media, political activism and the entire nature of the social contract in Pakistan has been increasingly securitized. The focus is on the voices of young Pakistanis, their views on state accountability (or lack thereof), political literacy and participation, and the continued problem of terrorism that is transforming their
views of both their country and the world today. With 67% of the country’s population under the age of 30, this book is a unique window into how Pakistan is likely to evolve in the next couple of decades.

Table to Contents

1. Youth and the Social Contract
2. Youth and the Changing Political Activist
3. Youth, Education and Citizenship
4. Youth and Terrorism
5. Youth and Social Media

Marie Lall is Professor of Education and South Asian Studies at UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK.

Tania Saeed is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan.

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