A state of transition : structural problems and Pakistan’s failed transition to democracy 1988–1999

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/17214
Title: A state of transition : structural problems and Pakistan’s failed transition to democracy 1988–1999
Author: Holmqvist, Mats
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic and Political Studies
Date: 2010-06-24
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/17214
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: This thesis studies the political process in Pakistan between 1988 and 1999. The aim of the study is to explain why the transition to democracy failed during this period. Three major problems have been singled out for this purpose: the ethnic structure, the political structure and the role of the military. The thesis also shows how similar problems have appeared throughout Pakistan’s history and for this reason the obstacles to democracy are described as long-term, structural problems. Pakistan’s role as a frontline state in global anti-terrorist efforts has prompted a need for fresh perspectives on the country’s political development. Previous research on Pakistan is characterized as lacking historical understanding. Therefore this thesis attempts to provide a historical dimension by tracing the roots of Pakistan’s political problems. The primary sources for the thesis consist of autobiographical material, speeches, interviews and party manifestos, but the argumentation relies heavily on secondary sources. The theoretical sections of the thesis consult e.g. Dahl, Linz and Stepan for definitions of democracy and democratic transitions, Huntington for the concept of political institutionalisation and Koonings & Kruijt for approaches to political armies. The main result of the thesis is that although Pakistan began a democratic transition in 1988, it was never completed and the political process was rather more like a “nontransition”. Above all, the transition was severely constrained from the outset. The greatest obstacle to democratization was arguably the Pakistani military’s consistent interference in politics through a constitutional amendment enacted during military rule in 1985. Moreover, the lack of commitment to democratic values among the political elite puts into question whether there was a movement towards democracy at all during this period. The inability or unwillingness of successive governments to address the ethnic and regional cleavages in Pakistani society as political issues rather than law and order issues also served to undermine the legitimacy of the entire political system. The thesis concludes that the same problems seem to have halted democratic initiatives in Pakistan since the country became independent in 1947; it therefore seems likely that they will also persist unless the underlying issues are specifically addressed.
Description: Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.
Subject: Pakistan
democracy
politics
ethnicity
military
Discipline: Social Science History
Political History
Yhteiskuntahistoria
Poliittinen historia
Samhällshistoria
Politisk historia


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