Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia
rehan headshot

Rehan Rafay Jamil

PhD Candidate in Political Science
Summer Fellow 2018
Project Title: Social Policy, Democracy and Uneven Citizenship in Pakistan


Rehan Rafay Jamil is a graduate student in the Political Science department studying comparative politics. His research interests include political economy of development, distributive politics, informal service delivery and urban governance issues in Pakistan. He has a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor's degree in History and Politics from Oberlin College.

Countries across the global south are using cash transfer programs as a means to reduce poverty and offer social safety nets to marginalized populations. While the impact of these programs are the subject of ongoing evaluation, their wider political implications are a fertile area for further study. How do rights enhancing safety nets emerge in states
in the global south? What political implications do these social safety nets have for citizens who are engaging with state services for the first time? My dissertation seeks
to address these questions by analyzing the political origins and impact of Pakistan’s largest safety net ’The Benazir Income Support Program’ (BISP), one of the largest cash
transfer programs targeted at women in South Asia. My dissertation consists of two parts. The first part will examine the political origins and design of BISP. The second
part will examine the citizenship implications of the cash transfer for beneficiaries. My research aims to make a contribution to the study of democratization and social policy
in South Asia, as well as a broader audience interested in the changing landscape of state-society relations and social policy interventions in the global south.