Sahar Shafqat is Professor in the Department of Political Science at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she focuses on political parties, social and political movements, democratization, ethnic conflict and nationalism, and gender and sexuality studies. Sahar received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Economics and International Relations, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Texas A&M University. Sahar has previously taught at Southwestern University in Texas, and at Habib University in Karachi. Sahar has published articles in academic journals like Law and Social Inquiry and Asian Survey, and in publications like Express Tribune and Baltimore Sun, and has done media appearances on outlets such as Al Jazeera and Democracy Now.
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
Tithi Bhattacharya is Associate Professor and Director of Global Studies at Purdue University. She was one of the main organizers of the International Women’s Strike in the United States and is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review.
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.
Razi Azmi has lived in six countries across five continents and has visited many more, making a total of ninety-six. He has studied at universities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Russia and the United States, getting his PhD in modern history from Miami University, Ohio. An academic affiliated with Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad (Pakistan), he has also taught at universities in the US and Morocco. Finally settling down in Australia, he retired after many years of service with the government there. In retirement, he travels as often as possible. When not travelling, he works part-time as a translator and interpreter in five languages. Dr Azmi is the author of two books, dozens of research papers and hundreds of newspaper articles. He is married with two sons and four grandchildren.