University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Usmaan Masood Farooqui

Professional Title: 

PhD Candidate
Teaching Associate, Teaching Assistant


Thompson 712


Office Hours: 

Spring 2019: 1:30pm - 3:30pm, Wednesdays


MA, London School of Economics, 2012; Bachelors, University of Edinburgh, 2011


Broadly located in the subfield of comparative politics, my research seeks to better understand processes of urban violence.

My dissertation, titled “Specters of Violence: Scarcity, Infrastructural Practice and the Politics of Access in Karachi, Pakistan” draws on seven months of ethnographic fieldwork in Karachi to critically examine the link between environmental scarcity – as manifested in, for example, the declining availability of freshwater – and urban violence. Using Karachi, one of the world's largest, most conflict-prone and water-stressed cities as a crucial case study, I explore how some forms of violence are prevented and, equally important, others enabled in a larger context of environmental and social uncertainty. In doing so, I use everyday water access as a critical modality to engage with the question of how violence is conceptualized and understood in times of unprecedented urbanization and environmental change.

Going forward, my research agenda aims to bridge the theoretical and empirical divide between the urban North and South by studying resource access in cities of the United States. 


Curriculum Vitae: 

Download pdf (110.34 KB)


  • Political Science