#Path2Dev 2023 | Inequalities & Social Justice

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The second “Pathways to Development Conference” saw prominent academics, researchers, social scientists, practitioners, policymakers, and great minds from the Pakistani diaspora gather at LUMS to discuss issues vital to inequalities and social justice in Pakistan. The conference was organized jointly by the Chaudhry Nazar Muhammad Department of Economics and the Mahbub Ul Haq Research Centre at LUMS, the Institute of Development & Economic Alternatives (IDEAS), the Institute of Development Studies at University of Sussex (IDS), the Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR), the International Growth Centre (IGC), and the Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP).

Rector LUMS, Mr. Shahid Hussain, along with Vice Chancellor Dr. Ali Cheema, officially opened the conference. They expressed immense pride in LUMS and its partners for leading the discourse on economic and social development through a conference that is a testament to Pakistan’s research ecosystem.

The focus of the first day centered on poverty alleviation, alongside advancements in public health and education, as indispensable catalysts of Pakistan’s development. The day commenced with a highly attended keynote speech on Pakistan’s political economy of economic policy advice by Dr. Stefan Dercon, Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford. He emphasized the significance of macroeconomic stability, outward orientation, elite bargain, and stable governance in fostering Pakistan's growth. Dr. Dercon’s work “draws comparisons between Pakistan and other Asian nations like India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia that have experienced greater growth despite prominent challenges such as inadequate economic governance and corruption”. Subsequent panel discussions included contributions from Dr. Shaheen Naseer, Dr. Javed Younas, Dr. Takashi Kurosaki, Dr. Andreas Landmann, Dr. Ryu Matsuura, Dr. Alexander Lee, Dr. Farah Said and more experts. Dr. Ishrat Husain (former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan), Dr. Sadiq Ahmed (Bangladesh), and Dr. Rakesh Mohan (India) came together to analyze the comparative growth trajectories of Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Dr. Husain summarized the key insight from his book "Development Pathways: India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh 1947-2022," stating that "the consistency, continuity, and predictability of policies have led to high growth phases in these three countries."

Conference day 2 began with a keynote address on war and revolutionary change by Dr. Steven Wilkinson, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, Yale University. Distinguished figures including Dr. Maurizio Bussolo, Lead Economist, The World Bank; Dr. Hafiz Pasha, Dean, Beaconhouse National University; Dr. Stephen Lyon, Dean, Aga Khan University; Dr. Anjum Halai, Vice Provost, Aga Khan University; Dr. Hadia Majid, Chair of Economics, LUMS; Dr. Abid Burki, Professor Emeritus of Economics, LUMS; and Dr. Sher Afghan Asad, Assistant Professor of Economics, LUMS also presented their work on pivotal themes including climate change, gender inequality and child stunting in Pakistan. The highlight of the day was an all-women panel on gender, technology and women’s empowerment in Pakistan featuring influential female leaders in their respective fields. The day concluded with the third keynote address of the conference by Dr. Amaney Jamal, Dean, School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. Dr. Jamal presented her research on public opinion in Palestine pre-conflict and stressed the “urgency for peace treaties and demilitarization to cease the ongoing violence in Gaza.”

The final day commenced with a dynamic keynote address on gender justice and the wellbeing economy by Dr. Naila Kabeer, Professor of Gender & Development, London School of Economics and Political Science. She spoke at length about “recognizing the reproductive economy of care and capabilities, re-embedding markets, addressing gender discrimination in labor markets and democratizing governance” as key measures suggested for a feminist economy of wellbeing. This was followed by sessions on key themes like elite capture and political economy; gender and labor; and judiciary and state institutions featuring luminaries like Dr. Mahwish Shami (LSE), Dr. Shan Aman Rana, Dr. Adeel Malik, and Dr. Hamna Ahmed.

With this conference, the audience had the opportunity to hear from esteemed experts across various disciplines, as they presented their most recent research on growth and development in Pakistan over 20 riveting sessions. Such endeavors spark meaningful conversations, laying the groundwork for a growth-oriented and sustainable Pakistan. The organizers extended a heartfelt gratitude to all participants, speakers, sponsors, and media partners whose unwavering contributions were instrumental in fostering the success of the Pathways to Development Conference.

Meet our Keynote Speakers
Dr. Amaney A. Jamal
Dean, School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) Princeton University
Dr. Naila Kabeer
Professor of Gender and Development London School of Economics and Political Science
Dr. Stefan Dercon
Professor of Economic Policy Oxford University
Dr. Steven Wilkinson
Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Yale University

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