The Mahbub ul Haq Research Centre (MHRC) is the flagship centre of social science research at LUMS. It supports interdisciplinary research, scholarship and teaching on issues of human development, social exclusion and inequality across South Asia. Its vision is to co-construct knowledge on critical challenges with a community of scholars, students, practitioners and social actors to bring about transformative change for an inclusive and equitable society.

About Us
  • Informal Institutions, Property Rights, and the Foundations of Political Order in Afghanistan.

    Political Economy of Development

    • Speaker: Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili (Pittsburgh)
    • Moderators: Yasir Khan (Pittsburgh)

    20th January 2022

  • Making Cities Work in the Developing World

    Mahbub ul Haq Distinguished Lecture Series

    • Speaker: Edward Glaeser (Harvard)
    • Moderators: Ali Cheema (LUMS)

    7th February 2022

  • The Rise of Populism in South Asia

    Mahbub ul Haq Distinguished Lecture Series

    • Speaker: Pradeep Chhibber
    • Moderators: Shandana Khan Mohmand (IDS)

    24th March 2022

Karachi Floods.
Arif Hasan

Karachi floods at the slightest of rains. Karachiites have historically tolerated this because flooding usually lasts for a few days with bearable aftereffects. However, in 2020, the rains were exceptionally heavy and lasted over a 10-day period...

Blog:Pakistan Dialogues Environment

Inequality, Trust and Taxation in Punjab
Principal Investigators: Dr. Ali Cheema (LUMS, IDEAS, IGC), Dr. Ali Abbas (IMF), Dr. Michael Best (Columbia, IGC), Dr. Michael Callen (LSE, IGC), Dr. Adnan Qadir Khan (LSE, IGC), Dr. Shandana Khan Mohmand (IDS Sussex)

This project aims to assess the degree of horizontal and vertical tax inequity in property tax in metropolitan Punjab. It aims to disentangle the factors responsible for inequity and underutilization of property taxation in Lahore and understand the political economy barriers to introducing an equitable property tax code.

Research Public Finance

Learning from the History of Epidemics
Researchers: Ali Usman Qasmi (LUMS), Ali Raza (LUMS and MHRC), Waqar Zaidi (LUMS and MHRC)

The project aims at curating a social history of the influenza epidemic in colonial India. By exploring archival materials and survey reports, it hopes to understand the notions of diseases, body, and cure through an exploratory survey of approaches towards the influenza epidemic.

Research COVID-19

Dispossession for Development? Land struggles in contemporary Pakistan (PT 2)
Moderator: Umair Javed (LUMS)

25th, November 2021

This session invites panelists to share their understanding of how this Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project is proceeding, the forces driving this project, the impacts that can be foreseen on the ground, the challenges that are emerging for the residents and landowners, as well as the means of resistance being taken up. Panelists will also speak about larger trends that are contributing to urban change, and the actors and instruments that enable it.

Watch Online

I. A. Rehman Social Justice and Change Webinar Series 2021

Neoliberal extraction and aquatic resistance in Helon Habila’s Oil on Water
Saba Pirzadeh

Helon Habila’s Oil on Water (2010) addresses the literal and metaphorical invisibility of oil in mainstream discourse, and depicts the ways it influences social order, material infrastructure, and territorial sovereignty. The present article studies the novel’s depiction of the way the petro-infrastructure exploits the Niger Delta for resource extraction and causes the disintegration of bodies of water into inert spaces. Oil on Water highlights the role of water as a life-source and posits it as a space resistant to the logic of ecological domination.