Themes in the History of Pakistan

Themes in the History of Pakistan

Convenor: Professor Matthew McCartney

pakistan image full

Pakistan is often viewed as a dangerous, failing or frightening state, the reality is very different. Pakistan is a forgotten economic success story of the developing world, especially in relation to the precarious inheritance of 1947. Pakistan is a paradox, an economy that has been buffeted by civil war, military coups, sanctions, terrorism and floods, but yet has seen some of the most stable and sustainable economic growth rates in the world. Pakistan is a puzzle, a country that shared many of the same institutions, geography, culture and colonial history as India but yet has experienced a dramatically different post-independence political history. Pakistan was broken apart in civil war in 1971. The poorer Eastern Pakistan (now Bangladesh) was labelled a ‘basket case’ in the mid-1970s and is now lauded as a human development success story. The richer Western Pakistan (now simply Pakistan) was widely heralded as one of the world’s miracle economies in the 1960s, but is now more commonly seen as an economic failure. Pakistan has long been seen to be subordinate to the US, will the recent turn to China and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor change that or lead to a new form of dependence?

This lecture course does not just offer a set of themes but challenges you to think again about a fascinating, yet deeply misunderstood country.

The course is suitable for students with any academic background.

Take a look at…

Burki, S-J (1999), Pakistan: Fifty Years of Nationhood, (third ed) Boulder: Westview Press

Oldenburg, P (2010), India, Pakistan, and Democracy: Solving the Puzzle of Divergent Paths, New York, Routledge

McCartney, M and A.Zaidi (2019), New Perspectives on Pakistan's Political Economy: State, Class and Social Change, New Delhi, Cambridge University Press

The image above shows: Aftaab-e-Taaza: An illustration of the verses of Iqbal by the artist Sadequain

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