Mashail Malik is a PhD Candidate in Stanford’s Department of Political Science and is a native of Islamabad, Pakistan. Her dissertation project is centered on the politics of ethnicity in Karachi – Pakistan’s largest megacity. Her research agenda further includes topics on political violence, state repression, civil-military relations, and the intersection of identity and economic conflict. As an undergraduate at Beloit College, she double-majored in Economics and Philosophy and minored in Political Science. She also holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago.
How does state-sponsored violence affect democratic accountability in diverse settings? In many contexts, such violence has led to the rise of ethno-nationalist armed conflict and electoral competition along ethnic lines. This project examines the effects of identity-based violence on the willingness of targeted individuals to hold their elected officials accountable. It will test the hypothesis that state violence enables ethnic parties to successfully exploit “the politics of fear” in order to avoid accountability for governance failures. In essence, this project tests whether state violence and discrimination can lead targeted citizens to trade-off good governance for perceived “security in solidarity.”