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Rationale and Objectives

Institute of Historical and Social Research (IHSR) is a Karachi (Pakistan) based research organization with a very vibrant progressive and pro-people vision. It would undertake researches on historical and socio-political issues particularly with reference to Pakistan. The research conducted by the Institute will cover different disciplines independently as well as in multi-disciplinary manner. In the area of historical research it will deviate from traditional modes of historiography. It will address and view history from below, encompassing the common people, their sociopolitical contribution, ethos and values, and creative pursuits, as the major determinants of historical evolution. The Institute on the one hand will preserve the sources of peoples’ history, retrieve the relevant historical documents, and conduct original research, dealing with the ways of life and thinking and the movements reflecting the concerns of the common people at a given point of time in the past. On the other hand, the Institute will disseminate its historical research in the form of books, monographs and occasionally held seminars and conferences. Preservation and publication of the political literature of Pakistan is of special interest for the Institute.

In the domain of social research, the Institute will focus on contemporary socio-political issues of the country, again with the common people as the central point of reference. These researches will be done and projected in a manner that these may be made use of by the policymakers, planners, political parties, and civil society representatives. These researches will be based on relevant official and un-official primary sources, interaction with the informed individuals and technical experts, consultation with opinion-makers, and amassing information through field work. Such researches of the Institute will be disseminated through its publications, policy briefings, seminars, and press conferences and will be made available at the Institute’s website.