Mariam Mufti is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. She studies the politics of hybrid regimes, with a particular focus on the role of the military, political parties, and identity in the processes of recruitment and selection of the political elite in Pakistan. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Comparative Politics, Politics and Governance and Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy. Apart from academic research, she has considerable policy-relevant consultancy experience, having authored monographs on democratic development, political parties and religious extremism for The Asia Foundation, Centre for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) and Department for International Development (DFID). Dr. Mufti has written over 25 articles for widely-read international newspapers, magazines and blogs on politics in South Asia. In keeping with her interest in undemocratic, hybrid regimes, she has also appeared in a 6-part series The Dictator’s Playbook on PBS (released in 2018).
Surviving between Dictatorship and Democracy
Pakistan’s 2018 general elections marked the second successful transfer of power from one elected civilian government to another—a remarkable achievement considering the country’s history of dictatorial rule. Pakistan’s Political Parties examines how the civilian side of the state’s current regime has survived the transition to democracy, providing critical insight into the evolution of political parties in Pakistan and their role in developing democracies in general.Pakistan’s numerous political parties span the ideological spectrum, as well as represent diverse regional, ethnic, and religious constituencies. The essays in this volume explore the way in which these parties both contend and work with Pakistan’s military-bureaucratic establishment to assert and expand their power. Researchers use interviews, surveys, data, and ethnography to illuminate the internal dynamics and motivations of these groups and the mechanisms through which they create policy and influence state and society.
Pakistan’s Political Parties is a one-of-a-kind resource for diplomats, policymakers, journalists, and scholars searching for a comprehensive overview of Pakistan’s party system and its unlikely survival against an interventionist military, with insights that extend far beyond the region.
“This is truly an important contribution to the literature on political parties and electoral considerations in Pakistan. There is nothing like it that currently exists.”
—Charles H. Kennedy, professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations and Director, Middle East and South Asia Program, Wake Forest University
“This is a long overdue, but essential, contribution to our understanding of Pakistan. With an impressive author list, this will become the go-to book on understanding political parties in Pakistan’s hybrid regime.”
—Katharine Adeney, Director of the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute
“Pakistan’s Political Parties is a timely and vital contribution to the social science literature on political parties in south Asia . . . . It presents an exceptionally lucid and well-crafted analysis of major political parties in Pakistan, their role and functions in a nascent democracy, and the relationship of political parties to other institutions.”
—Kavita Khory, Professor of Politics, Mount Holyoke College
“This wonderful book is absolutely indispensable for understanding Pakistan’s democracy, and all of the main actors and interests involved. The various authors manage very effectively to combine deep knowledge of Pakistan’s political parties, social groups, and interests, with the comparative breadth to put everything into broader theoretical perspective.”
—Steven Wilkinson, Henry R. Luce Director, The Whitney & Betty MacMillan Center for International & Area Studies; Nilekani Professor of India & South Asian Studies; and professor of political science & international affairs, Yale University
Bilal Zahoor studied Chemical Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, but didn’t let his academic training hinder his passion for establishing an independent publishing house in Pakistan. An avid reader of local and foreign progressive literature and a freelance editor and writer, Bilal believes that his reading, writing and editing experiences could be best converged only in the form of a publishing platform. He founded Folio Books in 2017 and is currently the Editorial Director of the publishing house while also playing Creative Head and Editor-in-Chief.
Abdelilah Bouasria is a visiting professor of Arabic studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. He worked for three years as a journalist at Voice of America in Washington DC and one year as an Arabic teacher and a Spanish test developer at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
Vijay Prashad is a professor of International Studies at Trinity College, Connecticut. He is author of fifteen books, two of them picked by the Village Voice as books of the year, as well as nine edited volumes. He writes regularly for Frontline (India), The Hindu (India), BirGün (Turkey) and Alternet (USA) and appears regularly on The Real News Network and Democracy Now. He is the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books (New Delhi). Strongmen is his first ever edited book published by a Pakistani publisher, Folio Books.