S. Akbar Zaidi

A More Democratic Pakistan?

Unlike many other developing countries which have moved away from military rule and the military’s dominance in the past, with the strengthening of democratic processes and institutions, Pakistan still struggles with a week democratic set-up following nine years of its most recent military rule. Do Pakistan’s political actors and civil society have the ability to strengthen democracy in Pakistan, or will the chronic dynamics of a security-state, continue to determine Pakistan’s political future? Has the United States
played a role in strengthening democracy in Pakistan, or with the war on terror, and along with Pakistan’s military, has democracy been compromised? Do Pakistan’s political and civilian actors at all have the ability to establish democracy?

S. Akbar Zaidi is the author of a number of books, including, 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). His most recent book, Military, Civil Society and Democratization in Pakistan (2011), examines the political economy of the Musharraf regime. He lives and works in Karachi, Pakistan, but is currently a visiting 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).

Co-Sponsored by the American Institute of Pakistan Studies & the Pakistani Students Association