[skip to content]

Department of Politics and International Studies

Ms Sameen Ali

BSc Hons. (Lahore University of Management Sciences), MSc (LSE)


Sameen A. Mohsin Ali
Ms Sameen Ali
Email address:
Thesis title:
Politicisation of the Bureaucracy and Political Access in Pakistan (working title)
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


Sameen has an MSc Comparative Politics (Research) from the LSE and completed her BSc (Hons) from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan. Before joining the MPhil/PhD program at SOAS, Sameen was teaching Political Science at LUMS.

PhD Research

Sameen’s thesis describes the ‘politicisation’ of the bureaucracy in Pakistan, maps variations in that politicisation (i.e. politicisation patterns), and illuminates the relationship between these various patterns and the policy-making process—what can be described as the relationship between ‘politicisation patterns’ and ‘political-access patterns’. In tracing the act of politicisation, the focus is on the appointment, promotion and transfer of bureaucrats by politicians (bypassing formal rules to avoid merit and seniority while privileging informal ties instead). In mapping political access, Sameen identifies some of the ways in which policy-making processes accept distinctions between politicians, bureaucrats, and social actors who are otherwise (legally) entitled to enjoy ‘equal access’ to the process.

On their own, it is not difficult to see how ‘politicisation’ and ‘political access’ are related. In fact, distinguishing them is often rather difficult. Sameen hypothesises, however, that in between these two variables, patterns of politicisation (and, thus, patterns pertaining to political access) are shaped by the Electoral Cycle.

Amongst those with an interest in democratic governance and political accountability, politicisation and political access have been examined—typically, via notions of patronage—in several countries. This thesis links these important themes to the dynamics of electoral politics, tying what many describe as bureaucratic ‘corruption’ more closely to the demands of electoral ‘democracy’.

PhD Conferences

  • Political Studies Association (PSA) Annual Conference 2014
  • Pakistan Workshop 2014
  • SOAS Politics MPhil Students' Conference 2014
  • 23rd European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS)


Comparative Politics, Pakistan, institutions, power