The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World

 May 20, 2014

Video Lecture: Took place on April 11, 2014

Seminar with T.V. Paul

T.V. Paul is James McGill Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at McGill University, Montreal.

Pakistan’s “Geostrategic Curse”

In 2013 Pakistan ranked 133rd out of 148 countries in global competitiveness. Currently, Taliban forces occupy nearly 30% of the country. 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. What explains Pakistan’s unique inability to progress?

Drawing on his new book The Warrior State, in this talk Paul will argue that a “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 will show that excessive war-making efforts have drained Pakistan’s limited economic resources without making the country safer or more stable.

Commentator: BRIG Feroz Khan

Brigadier General (retired) Feroz Khan has served with the Pakistani Army for 32 years. Since 2008, he has served as a lecturer in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey.

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