The Culture of Power and Governance of Pakistan 1947-2008
This book attempts to explain Pakistan’s crisis of governance in historical and philosophical terms. It argues that South Asia’s indigenous orientation towards the exercise of power has reasserted itself and produced a regression in the behaviour of the ruling elite. This has meant that in the sixty years of independence from British rule the behaviour of the state apparatus and political class has become more arbitrary, proprietorial and delusional. The resulting deterioration in the intellectual and moral quality of the state apparatus is a mortal threat to Pakistan. Regrettably, much of the academic and public discussion about developing societies has been vitiated by the heedless repetition of fashionable jargon that emphasizes national security, democracy and development. The Culture of Power and Governance of Pakistan draws upon the primary declassified record of Pakistan and a diverse array of theoretical inputs to try and balance the debate on the crisis of governance.
Ilhan Niaz is Assistant Professor of History at the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. He is the author of An Inquiry into the Culture of Power of the Subcontinent (Alhamra, 2006), and has been published regularly in academic journals and newspapers. ‘It is a splendid work based on a tremendous amount of original sources...a contribution of enduring value to the literature on governmental institutions in Pakistan.’ – Anwar Syed, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, USA ‘This is a provocative, but strongly argued analysis. It rests not just on a close reading of secondary sources, but the use of a range of declassified records which are held at the National Documentation Centre in Islamabad...The other thing which marks it out is the originality of the conceptual framework and the ease with which the author moves from broad historical comparison to detailed examination of administrative and economic policy and attitudinal surveys. This is a blending of historical and social science analysis at its best.’ – Ian Talbot, Professor of History, University of Southampton, UK ‘. . . this volume itself, and the author . . . offer powerful evidence that while Pakistan may be in trouble, it cannot be ignored. Its army is not fading away as the bureaucracy did, and positively Pakistan is still capable of producing scholars who write first-rate books. . . . So, while much of it makes depressing reading, the existence of this Pakistan-educated scholar, active in the press as well as the classroom, is a heartening data point.’ – Stephen P. Cohen, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Brookings Institution, Washington, DC
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