The Struggle for Counterhegemony: Pashtun and Baloch Nationalism in Pakistan

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. James Butterfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Jacinda M. Swanson

Third Advisor

Dr. Mahendra S. Lawoti

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Alisa M. Perkins


Pakistan, Pashtun, Baloch, social movements, comparative politics


Drawing on a Gramscian conception of the state, I argue in this study that the Pakistani state has established a religion-based hegemonic civic identity discourse intended to de-naturalize and suppress ethno-nationalist centrifugal tendencies among the marginalized ethno-national communities, including Pashtuns, Balochs and Sindhis. I compare the Pashtun and Baloch nationalist movements that aspire to secede from (or secure more autonomy within) Pakistan by confronting the state with counterhegemonic, ethno-nationalist, discourses. This study addresses the question of why Pashtun nationalists, compared to their Baloch counterparts, have failed to establish a vigorous counterhegemonic discourse that could have helped them launch a movement for autonomy or separation. I hypothesize that various factors have influenced the trajectories of the Pashtun and Baloch nationalist movements in Pakistan: the socio-economic conditions of Pashtuns and Balochs; their respective ethno-nationalist framing strategies; their exposure to the ideological apparatuses of the state; and the political opportunity structures surrounding each movement.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Abstract Only

Restricted to Campus until


This document is currently not available here.