Baqir, Fayyaz (2009). "Participation Power and the poor – Pakistan’s experience " Paper presented at the 6th annual conference of the HDCA, 10-12 September 2009, Lima, Peru.

Democratic discourse is influenced by the ways and means available to citizen’s to check and balance the power of state in shaping their choices and life patterns. This depends on the range and diversity of citizen’s institutions that articulate and energize their interaction with the state. In essence the question of discourse probes how voluntary associations negotiate their turf with associations based on coercion and hegemony. There are two most important pillars of citizen’s organizations, interest based organizations and supporting mechanism which define the contours of citizen’s discourse. Social infrastructure in all its diversity draws strength from these two sources to shape the democratic discourse. This article describes the role of social infrastructure in defining democratic discourse with reference to some very innovative cases from Pakistan.