PhD, McGill University
I am an associate professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at LUMS; I specialize in modern Chinese and Central Asian history and political economy.
My current research focuses on new economic configurations in the greater Central Asian region (which I take to be inclusive of western China and northern Pakistan) since the 1980s: bazaar trade and bazaar networks; the new Silk Roads and trade corridors; commercial relations and emerging spatial configurations. More broadly, my work engages with informality, capitalism, and globalization across this region. I am also interested in Asian borderlands and high mountain regions, environmental history and political ecology, foreign relations and twentieth century international history
My recent articles have appeared in Globalizations, Central Asian Survey, Critical Asian Studies, and with co-authors in Capitalism, Nature, Socialism and Critical Public Health. My earlier research on the development of Sino-Central Asian relations appeared as The New Silk Road Diplomacy: China’s Central Asian Foreign Policy Since the Cold War (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2009).
Karrar, H. (2019). "Between Border and Bazaar: Central Asia's Informal Economy". Journal of Contemporary Asia, 49 (2), doi:10.1080/00472336.2018.1532017.
Karrar, H. (2018). "Assembling Marginality in Northern Pakistan". Political Geography, 63, 65-74, doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2018.01.005.
Karrar, H. (2018). "The Silk Road versus the Central Asian Bazaar – Two Thousand Years – or Twenty-Five Years – of Exchange and Mobility?". Anthrpological Persepectives, (IV), 13-22.
Karrar, H. (2018). "Resistance to State-orchestrated Modernization in Xinjiang: The Genesis of Unrest in the Multiethnic Frontier". China Information, 32 (2), 183-202, doi:10.1177/0920203X17746928.
Karrar, H. (2017). "Shanghai Spirit Two Decades on: Language, Globalization, and Space-Making in Sino-Central Asian cooperation". The International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 247, 111-126, doi:10.1515/ijsl-2017-0024.
Karrar, H. (2017). Review of Brophy, D. Uyghur Nation: Reform and Revolution on the Russia-China Frontier. China Information, 31 (1), 122-124, doi:10.1177/0920203X17694438i.
Karrar, H. (2017). "Kyrgyzstan's Dordoi and Kara-Suu Bazaars: Mobility, Globalization and Survival in Two Central Asian Markets.". Globalizations, 14 (4), 643-657, doi:10.1080/14747731.2016.1201323.
Karrar, H. (2016). "The Resumption of Sino-Central Asian Trade, c. 1983-1994: Confidence Building and Reform along a Cold War fault line". Central Asian Survey, 35 (3), 334-350, doi:10.1080/02634937.2016.1155384.
Karrar, H. & Kakalia, S. (2016). "Polio, Public Health, and the New Pathologies of Militancy in Pakistan". Critical Public Health, 26 (4), 446-454, doi:10.1080/09581596.2015.1106441.
Karrar, H. & Ahmad, A. (2015). "Introduction.". Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, 26 (3), 44-47, doi:10.1080/10455752.2015.1067632.
Karrar, H. (2015). Review of Roy, D. Return of the Dragon: Rising China and Regional Security. Pacific Affairs, 88 (1), 171-173.
Karrar, H. & Ahmad, A. (2015). "Capitalism, Nature, Socialism in South Asia: Perspectives on Ecology from India and Pakistan". Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, 26 (3), 48-63, doi:10.1080/10455752.2015.1067633.
Karrar, H. (2014). "Looking Eastward to China: Beijing's Central Asian Foreign Policy and its Implications for China's New Silk Road Initiatives". Open Forum, 3 (6).
Karrar, H. (2013). "Merchants, Markets and the State: Informality, Transnationality and Spatial Imaginaries in the Revival of Central Eurasian Trade". Critical Asian Studies, 45 (3), 459-480, doi:10.1080/14672715.2013.829315.
Karrar, H. (2012). "From Pastoral Nomadism to Shuttle Trading: A Long View of Commerce and Modernity Along the Sino-Central Asian Border", Published. M.Gervers and G.Long (Eds.), Material Culture, Language and Religion in Central and Inner Asia, (pp. 201-212), Asian Institute.
Karrar, H. (2008). "Reining in the Periphery: The Modernization of Economic and Human Geographies in Post-Liberation Xinjiang", Published. M.Gervers, U.E.Bulag and G.Long (Eds.), The Exploitation of the Landscape of Central and Inner Asia: Past, Present and Future; Toronto Studies in Central and Inner Asia, (pp. 209-221), Asian Institute.
Karrar, H. (2017). "Between a Border and Hard Place: The Limitations of Local Capital in a China-Pakistan Border Market". Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada.
Karrar, H. (2016). "Misreading the Market? Lessons from Failing in Bazaar-based Trade in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Northern Pakistan". Seventeenth Annual Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) conference, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America.
Karrar, H. (2016). "Sost, Gilgit-Baltistan: A Village, a Road, and a Bazaar on the Edge of China". Fifth Asian Borderlands Research Network (ABRN) conference, Dynamic Borderlands: Livelihoods, Communities and Flows, organized by the International Institute for Asian Studies (the Netherlands) and Social Sciences Baha, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Karrar, H. (2015). "Kyrgyzstan's Dordoi and Kara-Suu Bazaars: Mobility, Survival and Globalization in Two Central Asian Markets". Sixteenth Annual Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) Conference, George Washington University, Washington D.C, United States of America.
Karrar, H. (2015). "China's New Silk Road Initiative and Pakistan: Promises, Perils, and Pitfalls.". Third Annual Social Sciences Conference, Lahore School of Economics, Lahore, Pakistan.
Karrar, H. (2014). "Chinese-Central Asian Bazaar Networks: The View from Kyrgyzstan's Marketplaces.". The Silk Web in the 21st Century: Global Landscapes amongst the West, China and the Southwest Asia, organized by the Center for Chinese and American Studies, The Johns Hopkins University – Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.
Karrar, H. (2014). "Xinjiang under the Reform Era: Modernization, Memory, and Violence in a Multiethnic Frontier". Conference-Workshop: The Global War Centenary, 1914-2014, LUMS, Lahore, Pakistan.
Karrar, H. (2014). "Looking East Along the New Silk Road: Perceptions of China from Independent Central Asia.". Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference, Philadelphia, United States of America.
Karrar, H. (2014). "The Informal Economies of Post-Cold War Central Eurasia: Licit and Illicit Exchanges across the Sino-Central Asian Border". Fourth Asian Borderlands Research Network (ABRN) Conference, Re-openings, Ruptures and Relationships, organized by the City University of Hong Kong, the International Institute for Asian Studies (the Netherlands), Kowloon, China- Hong Kong.
Karrar, H. (2013). "Pivotal Projections: Geographical Fulcrums of History and the Framing of Asia in the Writings of Halford Mackinder and Owen Lattimore". Conference, Framing 'Asian Studies': Geopolitics, Institutions, Networks, sponsored by International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in partnership with Institute for Southeast Asian Studies (ISAS), Leiden, Netherlands.
Karrar, H. (2013). "The Frontier Transformed: Ecology, Modernity and the State on the Chinese Periphery During a Century of Revolution since 1911". Conference: Asian Ecologies: Capitalism, Modernity and the Environment, LUMS, Lahore, Pakistan.
Karrar, H. (2012). "Religion, Violence, and Identity in a Multiethnic Borderland: State and Counter-State Discourses in Chinese Central Asia Today". Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada.
Karrar, H. (2012). "Markets, Merchants and the State: Exploring the Frontier Economy in Chinese Central Asia Today". Humanities and Social Sciences Research Seminar Series, LUMS, Lahore, Pakistan.
Karrar, H. (2012). "Merchants, Markets, and Crony Capitalism: Explaining the Frontier Economy in Chinese Central Asia Today". Inter-Asian Connections III: Shifting Geopolitical Ecologies and New Spatial Imaginaries, sponsored by the HKIHSS, NUS, and the SSRC, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, China- Hong Kong.
Karrar, H. (2012). "Bargains across Borders: China, Central Asia, and the Discursive Boundaries between Formal and Informal Mercantilism". Conference: Formal and Informal Central Asia: Institutions, Identities and Discourses, American University of Central Asia (AUCA), Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Karrar, H. (2010). "Identity Formation along the Sino-Central Asian Borderland: Tradition, State Modernization, and Global Market Forces". Conference, Contemporary Approaches to Hybridity, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Karrar, H. (2010). "Zones of Conflict, Zones of Rapprochement: The Central Asian Frontier in Sino-Soviet Relations During the Cold War". Seventeenth Annual Tri-University History Conference, Cold War Encounters: National, International, and Transnational History in the 20th Century, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada-Ontario.
Karrar, H. (2009). "Merchants and Transnational Mercantilism in Greater Central Asia". Tenth Annual Central Eurasian Studies Society Conference, Toronto, Canada.
Karrar, H. (2009). "Modernization, Markets, and Shuttle Trade as Alternatives to Pastoral Nomadism in Contemporary Inner Asia". Toronto Inner Asian Seminar at the tenth Annual Central Eurasian Studies Society Conference, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Karrar, H. (2008). "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: New Directions in Chinese Foreign Policy?". Asia on the Move, Canadian Asian Studies Association Annual Conference, Waterloo, Canada-Ontario.
Karrar, H. (2007). "Reining in the Periphery: The Modernization of Economic and Human Geography in Post-Liberation Xinjiang". Conference: The Exploitation of the Landscape of Central and Inner Asia: Past, Present, and Future, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Karrar, H. (2007). "The Development of China's Central Asian Foreign Policy.". Central and Inner Asian Speaker Series & Dr. David Chu Special Seminar Series, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Karrar, H. (2003). "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and China's Central Asian Security Concerns Since 1991". East Asian Studies Speaker Series, McGill University, Montreal, Canada-Quebec.
Karrar, H. (2002). "Frontier Challenges: China's Central Asian Foreign Policy in the Post-Soviet Era". East Asian Studies Speaker Series, McGill University, Montreal, Canada-Quebec.
Karrar, H. (2002). "The Promises and Predicaments of Central Asia's Energy Reserves". Conference: A New Great Game? The New Geopolitics of Central Asia, Centre for Developing Areas Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada-Quebec.