Session 9

Social Policy, Crime and Extremism

In this session 4 papers were presented which are, respectively, (1) “Nexus Between Social Policy Failure and the Rise of Extremism in Pakistan”, by Khalida Ghaus; (2) “Institutional Power and Crime Policy in Iran”, by Masood AlamiNeisi; (3) “Extremism in Pakistani Youth; a Social Policy Failure!”, by Syed Zohaib Abbas Rizvi and Sobia Jamil; and (4) “Policy Making in the Field of Social Problems in Iran: Some Methodological Reflections” by Reza Mahboobi.

In the first presentation, Khalida Ghaus said that she in her paper mainly look into the socio-economic policies and examine the performance of the respective governments during the last two decades in Pakistan; also she looks into the nature and the volume of inequity and inequality existing across society and the discriminatory system of governance practiced which has contributed to the weakening of the economic base of the country besides creating the vacuum for the emergence of ‘violent extremism / intolerance’. In the case of Pakistan, social regression at all levels, particularly impacting the lower and middle calls, is obvious. The increase in the population and the failure of the government to succeed in controlling it are yet another reason for the sluggish progress in the economic area. She believed that given the geo-political uncertainties, on the one hand, and weak economic base, on the other, the government needs to take measures to productively observe its youth and identify the modules operandi for the nation state to take the nation out of economic backwardness.

Masood AlamiNeisi in the second part of the session developed the hypothesis, which was the root of crimes and the aggression of others is weakness of various institutions of society. For the power of institutions includes family, religion, government, education, and economics, indicators are made and the related data are collected. Data analysis shows that the decreasing of institutional power has resulted in the increasing of every crime over the past thirty years. Findings about institution power show they have experienced some kind of weakness after the 1990's. The next phase of the research tries to provide strategies for increasing the power of the five institutions. Making the institutional power strategies is based on the components of the social institutions, i.e. resources (physical, human, and time), values, beliefs, norms and laws and demands within each institution. That is for each component of each five institutions, strategies proposed which serve the efficiency of institution.

Third, Syed Zohaib Abbas Rizvi said that the concepts of social policies and welfare states have been limited to the contemporary western civilization. Muslim nations have not been great examples of investing in the human resource. The effects of social policies like free healthcare and competitive education systems are directly proportional to the level of extremism a country’s youth reaches upon. States concerned on this correlation understand the psychological and physiological needs of their citizens. The problem under study is a lack of investment in human development in Muslim countries with Pakistan in focus, and a psycho-religious affiliation of youth with ultra-orthodox extremism.

In the fourth presentation, Reza Mahboobi, spoke about the necessary conditions of social policy in Iran. He said that suitable characteristics of social policy are as follows: (1) there must be consensus among the elites of a society; (2) policies must be evidence-based; (3) policies should include structural reformation; (4) they must be supported by the state; (5) they must encourage people to participate in the programs; and (6) they should have the capability to mobilize and supply resources. However, there are some issues which are include (1) there is no consensus about the indicators of which show the social situation of the society; (2) there is a high resistance on any structural reform; and (3) we should consider the incapability and weakness of the NGOs.