Democracy and Authoritarianism in Pakistan: The Role of The Military and Political Parties

Shiraz Sheikh

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A Set of reasons have been attributed to the question why Pakistan has oscillated between democratic and military regimes? In Democracy and Authoritarianism in Pakistan: The Role of the Military and Political Parties the author has attempted to untangle this intriguing riddle. In this nuanced and detailed study of the process of democratisation and its correlation with the military and civilian regimes the book traces the evolution, deviation and reconsolidation of democratic process and institutions in Pakistan.

It demonstrates the role of political parties and the military in shaping the nature of democracy in Pakistan. The study locates the centrality of political parties in Pakistan politics and demonstrates how civilian and military regimes have instrumentalised political parties for regime legitimisation and stabilisation. It engages in a comprehensive assessment of qualitative transformations of societal and political dynamics, changes within political parties, party system and military and their implications for democracy at various phases of Pakistani politics. The book also examines how individuals and ideologies have played determinative role in shaping the nature of democratic process in Pakistan.

Shiraz Sheikh Dr. Shiraz Sheikh is currently a Project Associate under the UGC-Centre for Pakistan Studies at the Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He has PhD and M.Phil degrees in International Studies from the same University. He has authored a monograph Democracy in the Shadow of Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan, and is a contributing author in Understanding Pakistan: Emerging Voices from India. He had also contributed articles to Mainstream Magazine, South Asia Monitor and South Asian Voices.


Tables, Figures and Maps




1. Democracy and Political Parties: Conceptual Linkages
2. Authoritarianism, Military and Civil-Military Relations
3. Political Parties in Pakistan: Origin, Evolution and Electoral Participation
4. Society, Leadership and Social Base of Political Parties
5. Political Parties and the Two Civilian Interludes
6. From Military Rule to Democracy: Political Parties’ Third Chance to Consolidate
7. Conclusion

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E



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