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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Friday, November 29 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Political Elites and Nationalist Politics

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Guy C Charlton, Mike French 
Law and the Colonial State: Responses to the Black Plague in 19th Century Hong Kong
This article analyses the evolution of colonial state power and jurisdiction through an investigation of how the Hong Kong Colonial government responded to the 1894 Bubonic Plague. This lethal illness disproportionally afflicted the local Chinese population and led to extensive intervention by the colonial administration into Chinese communities. The efforts to combat the disease were not only hampered by the limited knowledge of how the disease was caused and transferred across the population, but the response was also complicated by cultural misunderstanding, economic inequalities, local resistance to government health policies, as well as British patterns of enclave-based indirect colonial rule. Nevertheless, in an era where European notions of public health were transitioning from a laissez-faire private and community model to a state directed government programme, the culturally superior and racialist basis of colonial rule led inevitably to an authoritarian response by British officials. The resulting change in the policy-making process hastened the development of a new form of authoritarian colonial state. This new form of colonial state, which continued to be based on a narrow European presence, military power and local elite cooperation created a more independent administrative apparatus that has increased state capacity across a range of activities today.

Muhammad Arsalan Karim
The Crippling Ethnic Nationalism in Pakistan: Pashtun and Baloch Nationalism vs the State

The British left the sub-continent leaving behind uncontrollable tribal ethnic (Baloch and Pashtun) population for Pakistan as part of its physical base. Pakistan has been successful in keeping the separatist nationalism of both ethnic nations in control and suppressed. But it was able to achieve this through an integrated approach of religion, dictatorships, elite nationalist, tribal and regional politics and wide spread corruption.
Religion, being the idea of the state, still camouflages the differences in the society and keeps the country united. But to keep the ethnic people and their leaders connected with the state, the dictators and elite politicians allowed nationalist political parties to be established; all headed by elite political figures or tribal leaders. The war against USSR further helped Pakistan to spread religious polarity and keep ethnic nationalism suppressed. However, wide spread corruption at all levels of social, political and government structure has been the major factor for crippled ethnic nationalism whenever the conflict is about to turn violent.
It is time for Pakistan to create an actual link with the rising Baloch and Pashtun ethnic middle class population to supress and control the upcoming wave of right wing nationalism that is spreading throughout the world.

Nadine Kreitmeyr
“Despot Housewives” or Politically Relevant Actors? First Ladies, Authoritarian Rule & Neoliberal Policy-Making in the Middle East & North Africa

This paper analyzes the political roles and policy-making of first ladies (wives of the rulers) under authoritarianism. This study approaches the topic from a gendered political economy perspective drawing on the concepts of state and market feminism; it aims to contribute to a better understanding of first lady politics under authoritarianism which is a largely under-researched field. I argue that first ladies play an active political role and cannot be reduced to representative spouses and philanthropists. In addition to fostering the regimes’ political, economic and social agenda in policy areas such as education, (self-)employment, entrepreneurship and humanitarian aid they also contribute to the (de-)legitimation of the authoritarian regimes. Therefore, we need to link the study of first lady politics to the study of neoliberal politics and authoritarianism. This paper presents a conceptual framework for the study of first lady politics under authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa and applies it to the cases of Queen Rania of Jordan and Princess Haya (wife of the ruler of Dubai). This comparative case study draws on data such as speeches, interviews, press releases and news reports.

avatar for Olli Hellmann

Olli Hellmann

University of Waikato


Guy C Charlton

Associate Professor, University of New England
avatar for Muhammad Karim

Muhammad Karim

PhD Student, University of Waikato
avatar for Nadine Kreitmeyr

Nadine Kreitmeyr

Nadine Kreitmeyr

Friday November 29, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm NZDT