Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Book Launch: A Broken Record

23 October 2023, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

Bokk cover on the left and the author on the right

Join us in celebrating the launch of Atiyab Sultan's book 'Broken Record. Institutions, Community and Development in Pakistan'.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni






Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Common Ground, G11
Ground floor, Wilkins building
United Kingdom

In her book, Atiyab Sultan examines economic reform in the Punjab in the period 1900-47 in an attempt to historicise theories of institutional change and community development. It advances the economic history of the region by analysing microeconomic reform in the province. A close examination of programmes of rural reconstruction in colonial Punjab reveals stark parallels with more contemporary prescriptions of development economics. Simultaneously, a study of the trajectory of legislative change sheds light on the institutional legacies of colonial rule. It engages deeply with the theoretical scholarship on development and rural uplift that emerges in this period and develops an intellectual genealogy that links colonialism to development studies. It questions the continued valorisation of the 'community' despite a lack of supportive evidence and argues that one reason for the continued popularity of ideas of community development and institutional malaise is that both absolve the status quo from blame.

Author Dr Atiyab Sultan will be joined by Professor Sarah Ansari (Royal Holloway), Dr Umair Javed (Lahore University of Management Sciences) and Professor Coşkun Tuncer (UCL History).

This event is organised by the IAS Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World and the Institute of Advanced Studies.

About the Speaker

Dr Atiyab Sultan

at Pakistan Administrative Service, Government of Pakistan

Dr Atiyab Sultan is a career civil servant and has been working in the Pakistan Administrative Service since 2016. During her bureaucratic career, she has served as an Assistant Commissioner in Islamabad, Gujrat and Jhelum, and as Additional Deputy Commissioner in Lahore, Pakistan. She has also worked in the provincial and federal Planning Commissions of Pakistan. She holds a doctorate and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and is the author of A Broken Record: Institutions, Community and Development in Pakistan (Cambridge University Press, 2022). She also co-edited The Gazetteer of the Lahore District (Sang-e-meel Publications 2022). Atiyab has published her work in leading journals such as Modern Asian Studies and has previously taught Economics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan. She is currently continuing her research work at Olin Business School, USA.