The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World by T.V. Paul, James McGill Professor of International Relations, McGill University, is published today.
In 2013 Pakistan ranked 133rd out of 148 countries in global competitiveness. Currently, Taliban forces occupy nearly 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 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, although a civilian government has come to power. 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 centre 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, 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. The book offers a comprehensive treatment of Pakistan’s insecurity predicament. It also compares Pakistan with other national security states, Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, Taiwan and Korea.
T.V. Paul is a leading scholar of international security, regional security, and South Asia. His books include: Globalization and the National Security State (co-authored, Oxford University Press, 2010); India in the World Order: Searching for Major Power Status (co-authored, Cambridge University Press 2002); The India-Pakistan Conflict: An Enduring Rivalry (Cambridge University Press, 2005); and South Asia’s Weak States: Understanding the Regional Insecurity Predicament (Stanford University Press 2010).
The Warrior State is published by OUP in hardback, priced in local currencies.