Journal article

Constitutional Migration and the Meaning of Religious Freedom: From Ireland and India to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Matthew J Nelson

The Journal of Asian Studies | Cambridge University Press (CUP) | Published : 2020


Building on current research regarding constitutional migration, this article shows how constitutional provisions protecting religious freedom (“subject to public order”) arrived in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, not via colonial British or traditional Islamic sources—both explicitly rejected—but via deliberate constitutional borrowing from “anti-colonial” precursors in Ireland and, especially, India. Drawing on Ernesto Laclau's notion of “empty signifiers,” the article highlights the shifting political circumstances that transformed the meaning of Pakistan's borrowed constitutional provisions. Even as core texts guaranteeing an individual's right to peaceful religious practice were impor..

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University of Melbourne Researchers