Mobility, multilocality and translocal development: changing livelihoods in the Karakoram
Abstract. The people of the Karakoram have broadened the basis of their livelihoods over the last two to three generations by diversifying their income sources and activities along sectoral and spatial lines. Formal education, off-farm income generation and professional employment in the cities complement and partly substitute local agricultural activities. Intensifying processes of mobility and migration have created translocal rural–urban livelihoods, straddling between various and often geographically distant places. Social ties in multilocal configurations of households, families and communities have established highly effective local-to-local connections, which directly interlink processes of change and development in different locations. This article traces in a historical analysis the specific interrelations of mobility dynamics, livelihood change and socio-economic development for the Wakhi community of Gojal in northern Pakistan and discusses the potential of translocal livelihoods to overcome local constraints and facilitate development in structurally disadvantaged regions.