Pakistan’s Political Parties
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