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Pakistan's New Political Economy - What Has Changed, and What Hasn't?

Lecture by Syed Akbar Zaidi (Columbia University, USA), in the context of the  "Geographic Colloquium, Institute of Geographical Sciences", the "Crossroads Asia Lecture Series" and the lecture series "Understanding Pakistan" at the FU Berlin, on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 12:00 c.t., Geo-Campus Lankwitz, building G, room  202.

News from Oct 12, 2013


Description: For more than fifty years, Pakistan has been ruled,  either directly or indirectly, by Pakistan's military, which has  governed or controlled political institutions in the country.  Unlike many other countries in South Asia, especially India and Sri  Lanka, but even Bangladesh, Pakistan has been a very late mover  towards democracy. It has had its own model of praetorian democracy  enforced by military rulers, but due to social change, the advance  of the media, and overkill by military dictators, since 2007, there  has been a noticeable shift towards an awareness and endorsement of  democracy in Pakistan. Many of the political actors who supported military rule in the past, have also repented and  now have become  spirited defenders of democracy. Does this change suggest a  structural shift in the power balance between the military and civilian institutions, or is it just another temporary interregnum as the military awaits another failure of democratic politics in  Pakistan?


Syed Akbar Zaidiis one of Pakistan’s best known and most prolific political economists. Apart from his interest in political economy, he also has great interest in development, the social sciences more generally, and increasingly, in History. He has written over seventy academic articles in international journals and as chapters in books, as well as numerous books and monographs. His most recent book, Military, Civil Society and Democratization in Pakistan (2011), examines the political economy of the Musharraf regime. His earlier books include The New Development Paradigm: Papers on Institutions, NGOs, Gender and Local Government (1999), Pakistan’s Economic and Social Development: The Domestic, Regional and Global Context (2004), and Issues in Pakistan's Economy (2005). He has taught at Karachi University and at Johns Hopkins University, and is currently a Professor at Columbia University, New York, where he has a joint position at SIPA (the School of International and Public Affairs), and at MESAAS (the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies).

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