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.

While positive swings most certainly indicate improving trends in women’s political inclusion, should we see the lack of a gender gap in turnout as indicative of women’s political agency? My recent research in rural India suggests maybe not…

Blog: Pakistan Dialogues Inequality

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)

Analysis on Agriculture Productivity and Climate Change in Pakistan

Researchers: Dr. Abid Aman Burki (LUMS) Dr. Mushtaq A. Khan (LUMS), Muhammad Raza Mustafa Khan (LUMS), Verda Arif (LUMS), Muhammad Abubakar Memon (LUMS), Dr. Shabbir Ahmad (University of Queensland).

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

The aim of this project is to produce two research papers on “Analysis on Agriculture Productivity and Climate Change in Pakistan,” which will serve as background papers to the World Bank’s Pakistan Country Economic Memorandum 2.0 report to be published in 2022.

Research Climate

Development and Contention: Energy Politics in the Contemporary Era

Panelists: Naomi Hossain (AU), Erum Haider (College of Wooster), Ijlal Naqvi (SMU) and Umair Javed (LUMS)

10th March 2022

The preceding two decades have been characterized by the emergence of considerable protest and contention around issues of energy access. Riots, protests, sit-ins, and other forms of mobilization are frequent occurrences in response to energy pricing, access, and availability in both the Global North and South. The literature around energy is dominated by technocratic and economistic approaches, pertaining to the creation of more efficient energy markets and resolving bottlenecks in development agendas. However, there is a need to garner a more holistic perspective on energy that relates it to the lived reality of citizens across the world. This panel brings together academics who study energy from a social scientific perspective, reflecting on the centrality of energy in political and social life and what that tells us about state-society relations in the 21st century.

Political Economy of Development


The book examines two central issues, one rigorously examined in Pakistani scholarship and another that has received relatively less attention: civil-military relations and social movements respectively. This is not a book that surveys prevailing land relations or the political economy of land in Pakistan, though these issues are certainly well treated. Rather, this is a contribution that looks at the dynamics of social movements—how they are birthed, how they are negotiated, where they break down—through the lens of the AMP’s agitation in Punjab. In doing so, it provides readers with textured insights into how rural Pakistanis residing in what is considered the nation’s ‘heartland’ view both the military as well as themselves.