Rule By Fear
Eight Theses Authoritarianism in Pakistan


Why have democratic institutions and norms not taken root in Pakistan? In these polemical essays, Ammar Jan presents eight theses to explain the political, economic and social roots of authoritarianism in the country. Rather than fixating on particular individuals or governments, this work focuses on the structural features propelling the rising militarisation of society. Jan locates the deep fear of the masses held by ruling classes and state officials as a critical point of departure to grasp the pervasive disregard for popular sovereignty. This paranoia has created a permanent state of emergency in Pakistan that is used to deploy excessive violence against popular challenges to the status quo. To fight back against this failing order, the book calls for the construction of alternative ideas that can unite disparate movements struggling for justice and dignity.


“Rule by Fear is a much-needed primer for progressive politics in Pakistan, reminding us of Pakistan’s checkered past, while providing a way forward toward a more egalitarian and socially just future.”
Kamran Asdar Ali
Surkh Salam: Communist Politics and Class Activism in Pakistan 1947-1972


“A fantastic feat by an activist-academic who has worked tirelessly to stand by the ideals he believes in. Ammar Jan has written a book that will be, for years to come, as sourcebook for social historians who are searching for the hidden histories of progressive Pakistan.”
Anushay Malik, Narrowing Politics: The Labour Movement in Lahore, 1947-1974


“Through his rigorous critical analysis, Ammar Jan helps set up a plan for revolutionary praxis as young Pakistani students, feminists, farmers, workers, ethno-nationalists and human rights activists seek to transform the country’s outlook for a better future, an egalitarian society and a radical democracy.”
Ali Usman Qasmi, Muslims against the Muslim League: Critiques of the Idea of Pakistan


Publisher: Folio Books

Publishing date: 2021

ISBN: 978-969-7834-35-8

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 172

Rights: World

Availability: In Stock

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Eight Theses Authoritarianism in Pakistan

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