ISBN 9788184005516,The Warrior State : Pakistan in the Contemporary World

The Warrior State : Pakistan in the Contemporary World


T. V. Paul


Random House



Random House

Publication Year 2014

ISBN 9788184005516

ISBN-10 8184005512


Number of Pages 272 Pages
Language (English)

History & Politics

Seemingly from its birth, Pakistan has been struggling to build a proper democracy and a secure state. Today it ranks 133rd out of 148 countries in global competitiveness. Its economy is as dysfunctional as its political system is corrupt; both rely heavily on international aid for their existence. Taliban forces occupy many key areas of the country and engage in random violence. It possesses over a hundred nuclear weapons that could fall into terrorists hands. Why, in an era when countries across the developing world are experiencing impressive economic growth and building democratic institutions, has Pakistan been such a conspicuously weak state? .

In The Warrior State, noted international relations and South Asia scholar T. V. Paul untangles this fascinating riddle. Paul argues that the geostrategic curse- akin to the resource curse that plagues oil-rich autocracies-is at the root of Pakistans unique inability to progress. 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 is, massive foreign aid keeps pouring in from major powers, their allies and global financial institutions with a stake in the region. The reliability of such aid defuses any pressure on political elites to launch the far-reaching domestic reforms necessary to promote sustained growth, higher standards of living and more stable democratic institutions. Paul shows that excessive war-making efforts have drained Pakistans limited economic resources without making the country safer or more stable. Indeed, despite the regimes emphasis on security, the country continues to be beset by widespread violence and terrorism.

In an age of transnational terrorism and nuclear proliferation, understanding Pakistans development, particularly the negative effects of foreign aid and geopolitical centrality, is more important than ever. Painstakingly researched and brilliantly argued, The Warrior State tackles what may be the worlds most dangerous powder keg and uncovers the true causes of Pakistans enormously consequential failure.

Advance praise

  • Professor Pauls brilliant study is essential to the understanding of the contemporary worlds most complex country - M. J. Akbar

  • A sadly accurate assessment of the wasteful weakness of Pakistans predominant focus on military expenditure rather than its civil economic development and on preparations for War rather than on peaceful cooperation with its neighbors -Stanley Wolpert

  • Compelling, thought provoking and extremely well written, without the wordiness and redundancy that seem to plague academic works - New York Journal of Books

  • Grim yet thoughtful, an insightful and harsh portrait of a dysfunctional nation - Kirkus Reviews

  • Paul lucidly and comprehensively explains the historical circumstances that led to a dearth of strong political leaders or political parties with a deep democratic sense of commitment and created incentives for Pakistans elite to pursue irresponsible policies. This sobering study will appeal to anyone interested in the region - Publishers Weekly

  • Countries have armies, but in Pakistans case, it is an army which has a country. TV Pauls insightful study tells us just why that is the case and what it will take to change things - Manoj Joshi

  • Essential to scholars of the Subcontinent and of international and comparative politics, as well as all those interested in knowing why this country became the way it did - Stephen P. Cohen, author of Shooting for a Century - The India - Pakistan Conundrum

  • This book is a valuable addition to the literature on Pakistans dysfunction and that dysfunctions nexus with militarism and Jihadi militancy - Husain Haqqani, former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States and author of Pakistan between Mosque and Military

  • A timely commentary on Pakistans perennial search for stability - Shuja Nawaz, author of Crossed Swords - Pakistan, Its Army and the Wars Within

  • An unusual perspective on the links between Pakistans army-dominated political system and the weakness of the Pakistani state. A thought-provoking contribution - Teresita Schaffer, retired U. S. Ambassador, Brookings Institution

About the Author

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 15 published books include: South Asias Weak States - Understanding the Regional Insecurity Predicament; The India-Pakistan Conflict - An Enduring Rivalry, India in the World Order, Searching for Major Power Status, Globalisation and the National Security State and Status in World Politics. He has also published over 55 journal articles and book chapters and has lectured at research institutions internationally. He is the editor of the book series - South Asia in World Affairs and was the founding director of the McGill/University of Montreal Center for International Peace and Security Studies (CIPSS). During 2013 - 14 Paul served as vice-president of the International Studies Association (ISA).