|Thursday, February 13, 2014||4:00PM - 5:30PM||The Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs - 1 Devonshire Place|
The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World
Pakistan ranks 124th out of 144 countries in global competitiveness, Taliban forces occupy 30% of the country, and it is perpetually in danger of becoming a failed state-with over a hundred nuclear weapons that could easily fall into terrorists’ hands.
In The Warrior State, noted international relations and South Asia scholar T.V. Paul tackles what may be the world’s most dangerous powder keg and untangles a fascinating riddle. In recent years, many countries across the developing world have experienced impressive economic growth and have evolved into at least partially democratic states with militaries under civilian control. Yet Pakistan, a heavily militarized nation, has been a conspicuous failure. Its economy is in shambles, propped up by international aid, and its political system is notoriously corrupt and unresponsive. Despite the regime’s emphasis on security, the country is beset by widespread violence and terrorism. What explains Pakistan’s unique inability to progress? Paul argues that the “geostrategic curse”-akin to the “resource curse” that plagues oil rich autocracies-is the main cause. Since its founding in 1947, Pakistan has been at the center of major geopolitical struggles-the US-Soviet rivalry, the conflict with India, and most recently the post 9/11 wars. No matter how ineffective the regime is, massive foreign aid keeps pouring in from major powers and their allies with a stake in the region. The reliability of such aid defuses any pressure on political elites to launch far-reaching domestic reforms that would promote sustained growth, higher standards of living, and more stable democratic institutions. Paul shows that excessive war-making efforts have drained Pakistan’s limited economic resources without making the country safer or more stable.
In an age of transnational terrorism and nuclear proliferation, understanding Pakistan’s development, particularly the negative effects of foreign aid and geopolitical centrality, is more important than ever. Painstakingly researched and brilliantly argued, The Warrior State uncovers the true causes of Pakistan’s failure to progress.
T.V. PAUL is James McGill Professor of International Relations at McGill University, Montreal, and a leading scholar of international security, regional security, and South Asia. His 14 published books include: South Asia’s Weak States: Understanding the Regional Insecurity Predicament; The India-Pakistan Conflict: An Enduring Rivalry; India in the World Order: Searching for Major Power Status ; and Globalization and the National Security State.
For more information, please visit: http://www.tvpaul.com/
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