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Delusional States
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Book description

Delusional States is the first in-depth study of state-making and social change in Gilgit-Baltistan, a Shia-majority region of Sunni-dominated Pakistan and a contested border area that forms part of disputed Kashmir. For over seven decades, the territorial conflict over Kashmir has locked India and Pakistan in brutal wars and hate-centred nationalisms. The book illuminates how within this story of hate lie other stories - of love and betrayal, loyalty and suspicion, beauty and terror - that help us grasp how the Kashmir conflict is affectively structured and experienced on the ground. Placing these emotions at the centre of its analysis, the book rethinks the state-citizen relation in deeply felt and intimate terms, offering a multi-layered ethnographic understanding of power and subjection in contemporary Pakistan.

Reviews

'Delusional States is a theoretically sophisticated book written with courage and conviction. It covers an underwritten and under-analysed part of Pakistan, the Gilgit-Baltistan region. The text brings forward the lives, struggles, and histories of the people of the region and moves away from its folkloric and touristic representations. Beautifully written, at times in poetic prose, through a discussion of love, loyalty, betrayal, and terror, this book emphasizes the resolve of the people who have stood up to the subjugating policies of the post-colonial Pakistani state linked to the expansionist politics of the Empire.'

Kamran Asdar Ali - University of Texas, Austin

'Nosheen Ali's book is a bold and provocative ethnography of Gilgit-Baltistan's complex relationship with Pakistan, and the region's centrality to the politics in Kashmir. She foregrounds people's stories and their persistent struggles for love, rights, and belonging, and challenges us to rethink the dominant frames through which Gilgit-Baltistan is imagined and represented. A brilliant rebuttal to dominant claims that glorify Indian and Pakistani nationalisms and hold Kashmir hostage to toxic patriotisms, Ali describes how nation-states can become delusional in their quest for power and territory.'

Mona Bhan - DePauw University, Indiana

'Nosheen Ali has made a unique contribution to the study of Pakistan in this powerful book. Using ethnographic data concerning the everyday experience of the Kashmir conflict by the peoples of the country’s sensitive Gilgit-Baltistan region, Ali provides fresh insights into the intersections between ethics and politics in Pakistan today. The author’s exploration of the importance of the environmental concerns to regional politics and protest is one among many aspects of this remarkable book that will ensure it will be a standard text for years to come.'

Magnus Marsden - University of Sussex, Brighton

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Contents

  • Introduction
    pp 1-28

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