Zahra Khalid

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York, Graduate Center, City U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10126

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Khalid, Zahra (New York, Graduate Center, City U. ofCity University of New York; The Graduate Center) "The military real-estate state: (in)security, middle-class aspiration, and securitized residential enclaves in Pakistan"

How is war-making connected to capitalism’s spatial regime of uneven development? Real estate development in places where so-called hot wars play out offers a field to investigate the entanglements of accumulation and militarism. The practice of residential enclaving for affluent and middle classes in such places—with its property regimes, speculative real estate markets, urban design, and infrastructure development—produces securitized and privatized everyday spaces in proximity to warzones. These can become enmeshed with political economies of organized violence when state militaries are the key actors developing them. Pakistan’s urban geography is particularly marked by such military-led development, where the military owns the largest share of real estate in a $700 billion industry. Employing a historical and cultural materialist approach, this research will investigate a distinct geographical political-economic form—the “military real-estate state”—by studying military-led residential enclave developments in Pakistan and associated “structures of feeling” (Williams 1977)—middle-class desires, anxieties, and proclivities. Relying on qualitative research focused on three such developments, it will illuminate what is distinct about the military real-estate state; its dialectical relationship with social and spatial formations; and how housing—and anxiety surrounding it—becomes a site to materialize capital flows.