Old World Empires
Recipient of the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) award for ‘Best Book Publication in Social Sciences, 2013-2014’
This book provides a one-volume historical survey of the origins, development, and nature of state power. It demonstrates that Eurasia is home to a dominant tradition of arbitrary rule mediated through military, civil, and ecclesiastical servants, and a marginal tradition of representative and responsible government through autonomous institutions. The former tradition finds expression in hierarchically organized and ideologically legitimated continental bureaucratic states while the latter manifests itself in the state of laws. In recent times, the marginal tradition has gained in popularity and has led to continental bureaucratic states attempting to introduce democraticand constitutional reforms. These attempts have rarely altered the actual manner in which power is exercised by the state and its elites given the deeper and historically rooted experience of arbitrary rule. Far from being remote, the arbitrary culture of power that emerged in many parts of the world continues to shape the fortunes of states. To ignore this culture of power and the historical circumstances that have shaped it comes at a high price, as indicated by the ongoing democratic recession and erosion of liberal norms within states that are democracies.
Ilhan Niaz, is the author of several books including The Culture of Power and Governance of Pakistan, 1947–2008 (OUP, 2010); An Inquiry into the Culture of Power of the Subcontinent (Islamabad: Alhamra, 2006); and The State During the British Raj: Imperial Governance in South Asia 1700–1947 (OUP, 2019). His work has been published in leading international academic journals including The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society; Asian Affairs; Asian Profile; The New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies; South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies; and The Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. He also occasionally contributes articles and reviews to leading national news publications. The Culture of Power and Governance of Pakistan was awarded the Best Non-Fiction Book of 2010 at the Karachi Literature Festival and has also received the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan award for Best Book in Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities for 2010. Dr Illhan Niaz is also the recipient of the Kodikara Award for 2013 (RCSS, Colombo).