'Spacing' Minority Relations: Investigating the Tribal Areas of Pakistan Using a Spatio-Historical Method of Analysis
Gilani, Sabrina. "‘Spacing’Minority Relations: Investigating the Tribal Areas of Pakistan Using a Spatio-Historical Method of Analysis." Social & Legal Studies 24.3 (2015): 359-380.
27 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2015 Last revised: 29 Sep 2020
Date Written: November 1, 2014
This article considers the mutually constitutive relationship between law and geography and relates this back to the issue of minority protection and cultural recognition. Introducing a new method of inquiry, spatio-historical analysis, this article argues that a historical study of a legal and political geography can fundamentally enhance a sociolegal analysis of contemporary structures and processes of governance vested with the aim of protecting and promoting cultural diversity. Using the tribal areas of Pakistan as a case study, this article examines how the colonial history of the tribal areas brings into question its contemporary status in Pakistani constitutional law. It further problematizes the idea that the tribal areas’ unique legal position can be attributed to the state’s recognition and promotion of the Pakhtun community’s right of normative autonomy. This article demonstrates how a spatio-historical model of analysis can reveal previously less visible sites of power and forms of domination that bring into question the historical linking of race and space and the significance of this relationship to questions about appropriate forms and expressions of normative autonomy within liberal societies.
Keywords: Colonialism, legal geography, legal pluralism, minority rights, multiculturalism, normative autonomy, political geography, tribal rights
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