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Council of Social Sciences, Pakistan (COSS)

# 05, Ground Floor, Street # 58, F-10/3, Islamabad (Pakistan)Website: [E-mail address: Phone: 92-51-2817093,

Recognising the absence of a professional forum for the social sciences in Pakistan, a group of social scientists got together in the last quarter of 1999 to help establish such a forum. The Council of Social Sciences, Pakistan (COSS) is the result of this effort.


 Recognising the need for an interdisciplinary professional association of social scientists in Pakistan, a group of social scientists from different social science disciplines held a meeting in the last quarter of 1999 to establish such an association. The Council of Social Sciences, Pakistan (COSS) is the result of this effort. It. was registered in June 2000.

The Mission of COSS

The Council is a service-oriented, non-profit, non-partisan, and autonomous organisation of social scientists of Pakistan including non-Pakistanis interested in studying Pakistan. It is committed to the advancement of a pluralistic approach to social sciences while remaining committed to objectivity, rationality and creativity ___ the essential elements of science.

Aims and Objectives

The Council will: 

  1. work towards the development of an autonomous community of social scientists that can effectively contribute towards the understanding of national problems with its professional knowledge.  
  2. provide a platform for social scientists from different disciplines to interact with each other and adopt an interdisciplinary approach towards studying Pakistani society and culture. It will strengthen links between social sciences and natural sciences.  
  3. act as a link between social science faculties of universities, research institutes, and civil society organisations___ engaged in research and teaching of social sciences; and disseminate information about their research.  
  4. create awareness among social scientists and the public regarding the state of social sciences in the country and suggest means and mechanisms for upgrading them.  
  5. foster scientific approach for analysing national problems among the citizens of Pakistan.  
  6. encourage contacts and interaction between Pakistani social scientists and those of other countries and international organisations like UNESCO and regional academic and research organisations.  
  7. make efforts to raise the standard of social sciences, and evaluate the research work of social scientists through peer-reviews.  
  8. develop a code of conduct for social scientists.

Membership of COSS

The Council has three categories of members:

(i) Members (ii) Life Members (iii) Institutional MembersEligibility for Membership:  

  1. All social scientists engaged in teaching and research, Pakistani or non-Pakistani, with a minimum qualification of MA/MSc in any of the following social science disciplines are eligible to become members. The disciplines include: Administrative Sciences, Anthropology, Archaeology, Area Studies, Demography, Economics, Education, Geography, History, International Relations, Journalism and Mass Communication, Law, Library Science, Linguistics, Pakistan Studies, Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Strategic Studies, and Women’s Studies.  

  2. Distinguished scholars in non-social science fields can also become members with the approval of the Executive Committee

What COSS can do for its Members and Community of Social Scientists

It can:

  1. provide a platform for articulating the problems of social scientists in the performance of their professional duties.  
  2. publicise research papers and books, and provide information about research work and professional activities of social scientists.  
  3. help researchers in the procurement of documents that may not be easily available to them locally.  
  4. when financially possible, give research grants for sound and interdisciplinary research projects.  

What COSS can do for the Members residing outside Pakistan

It can: 

  1. put them in contact with scholars, research institutions, libraries and archives in Pakistan and provide information regarding documents of the Government of Pakistan and facilitate their access to them.  
  2. arrange meetings with scholars in Pakistan to share their findings with them.  

What COSS can do for the Government

It can: 

  1. mobilise social scientists to assist the Government in policy-making.  
  2. provide information, data, and publications required to the Government.  
  3. assist in the planning and evaluation of research projects initiated by the Government ministries, departments, and research institutes.  

What COSS can do for Civil Society Organisations

It can:

  1. give technical advice in formulating research projects. 

  2. certify the soundness of research projects of civil society organisations for submission to Government and donor agencies.  
  3. help train research staff of civil society organisations.  

Linkages with International Organisations

Since its inception COSS has developed contacts with a number of international and regional organisations such as UNESCO, ActionAid, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and Social Science Research Council (SSRC), New York.

The Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils (AASSREC), an organisation of national social science research councils, academies and institutes has admitted COSS as Associate Member in 2005. AASSREC has 13 regular members and two associate members.  

COSS is a Founding Member of South Asian Sociological Society (SASS) consisting of sociological organisations from six SAARC countries

Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan Memorial Award

COSS has established an annual Award of Rs. 50,000/- in memory of the renowned social worker and social scientist late Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan. The Award will be given every year on October 9, the birthday of Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan, to the best book by a Pakistani author published during a financial year (July to June) written on any of the following fields (i) rural/urban development (ii) peace (iii) poverty and its alleviation and (iv) gender discrimination. Publications of COSS

On November 27, 2006 COSS conferred Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan Memorial Award of Rs. 50,000 for the year July 2005 - June 2006 on Dr. Tahira S. Khan, author of the book, Beyond the Honour: A Historical Materialist Explanation of Honour Related Violence, Oxford University Press, 2006. The book was declared as the best book by a panel of experts in the field of gender discrimination.

The Award for the year 2004-2005 was given on April 24, 2006 to the book Hazardous Home-Based Subcontracted Work, by Shahrukh Rafi Khan, Saba Gul Khattak and Sajid Kazmi.

Recalling our Pioneers [A Paper series of COSS]

The Council has started a series of papers ' Recalling our Pioneers' to acknowledge the contribution to their field, by erstwhile renowned social scientists of Pakistan. The criterion for the selection of a paper on a pioneer include:

  1. The pioneer is of international  renown,  belongs to a social science discipline and is not alive.
  2. Has made lasting contribution to his discipline in the form of books and papers published.


    1. Inayatullah (ed.). Associations of Social Scientists: An Analytical Study. 2006. 
    2.  Inayatullah, Rubina Saigol and Pervez Tahir (eds.). Social Sciences in Pakistan: A Profile, 2005.  
    3. S. Akbar Zaidi (ed.). The Social Sciences in the 1990s. 2003. 
    4. Inayatullah (ed.), Towards Understanding the State of Science in Pakistan, 2003.  
    5. S. H. Hashmi (ed.), The State of Social Sciences in Pakistan (reprinted, 2001).

    Recalling our Pioneers [A Paper series of COSS]

    1. Jamila Naeem, "A Tribute to Dr. Sultan S. Hashmi, S.I. (1992), " 2009, Price Rs. 60.
    2. Navin G. Haider Ali, " Dr. Fazlur Rahman: An Islamic Modernist with a Difference," 2009, Price Rs. 80.


    1. Rubina Saigol, "The State and the Limits of Counter-Terrorism: The Case of Pakistan and Sri Lanka", 2006.

    2. Rubina Saigol, ‘Becoming a Modern Nation: Educational Discourse in the Early Years of Ayub Khan (1958-64).’ 2003.

    3. S. Akbar Zaidi, ‘The Dismal State of the Social Sciences in Pakistan.’ 2002.

    4. Ayesha Jalal, ‘Religion as Difference, Religion as Faith: Paradoxes of Muslim Identity.’ 2002.


    COSS issues a Bulletin which carries reports about development in social sciences in academia, institutions and NGOs. By April 2007, it has published nine bulletins.

    Publications under Preparation  

    1. An Overview of Development of Social Sciences in Pakistan from 1947 to 2000: Trends, Problems and Prospects.
    2. An Evaluation and Ranking of Social Science Academia in Pakistan: A Study of Social Science Departments, Disciplines and Universities.



    E-mail address:

    Phone: 92-51-2817093,

    Mailing Address:
    COSS, # 05, Ground Floor, Street # 58, F-10/3,Islamabad (Pakistan)

 Copyrights © 2006-2007 COSS Council of Social Sciences, Pakistan.