Pakistan is perpetually in danger of becoming a failed state—with over a hundred nuclear weapons that could easily fall into terrorists’ hands. While many developing countries have experienced impressive economic growth in recent years, and have evolved into at least partially democratic states with militaries under civilian control, Pakistan remains a heavily militarized nation. Its economy is in shambles, propped up by international aid, and its political system is notoriously corrupt and unresponsive. Paul argues that the “geostrategic curse” is the main cause of Pakistan’s failure to progress. 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. This is the first book to apply the “war-making and state-making” literature to explain Pakistan’s weak state syndrome.
T.V. Paul is James McGill Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at McGill University, Montreal, and a leading scholar of international security, regional security, and South Asia. He was director (founding) of the McGill/University of Montreal Center for International Peace and Security Studies (CIPSS) during 2009-12. His 15 books include: The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World (Oxford University Press, 2014); Status in World Politics (co-edited, Cambridge University Press, 2014); Globalization and the National Security State (co-authored, Oxford University Press, 2010); The Tradition of Non-use of Nuclear Weapons (Stanford University Press 2009); India in the World Order: Searching for Major PowerStatus(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).