Muhammad Azfar Nisar

Visiting Associate Professor of Social Research and Public Policy Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: MBBS King Edward Medical College, MPP Berkeley, MA UC Berkeley, PhD Arizona State University

Research Areas: Policy Design; Policy Implementation; Social Equity; Public Administration


Azfar Nisar's transdisciplinary research focuses on theoretically understanding and empirically analyzing how and why public policies, especially those aimed at addressing social inequities, fail to achieve intended results. He is interested in findings ways to make social policies more public-friendly by reducing the financial, temporal, and cognitive costs they incur on their target audiences, especially marginalized social groups. His research has received multiple international awards and has been published in top journals of the world. His forthcoming book Governing Thirdness: State, Society and non-binary identities in Pakistan is going to be published by Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Nisar obtained his PhD in Public Administration and Policy from Arizona State University, USA, in 2016. His doctoral dissertation was awarded the Best Dissertation Award by the Public and Non-Profit Division of the Academy of Management. His prior education includes a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, an MA in International Area Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, an MA in Economics from the University of the Punjab, and an MBBS degree from King Edward Medical College, Lahore. Prior to joining LUMS, Dr. Nisar was an officer in the civil service of Pakistan where, as a member of the Pakistan Administrative Service, he served in multiple administrative positions in the country. He also serves on the Editorial Board of multiple top public management journals and has provided policy advice to multiple local and international organizations.

His current research interests focus on understanding the strategies citizens use in contesting burdensome policies of the state and the role played by space and material artifacts in influencing access to social services of the state and understanding local policy perspectives in the developing world.

Courses Taught