S. Akbar Zaidi is a Visiting Professor for 2010 – 2011. He holds a joint appointment with SIPA and the Department of the Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. His research focuses on development, governance, and political economy in South Asia.

Zaidi taught economics at the University of Karachi from 1983 to 1996 before becoming a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford (1998) and later a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for the Advanced Study of India in New Delhi (2002–2003).

From 2004 to 2005 he was a visiting professor at SAIS and in 2008 he was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy. Zaidi’s twelfth book, Military, Civil Society and Democratization in Pakistan, is to be published by Vanguard Press, Lahore in October 2010.

Research & Publications

October 2011|Vanguard Press|Akbar Zaidi

Using a political economy framework, this book examines issues related to the process of democratization, decentralisation, governance and civil society in Pakistan, in an historical and contemporary context. The book highlights social and structural transitions and transformations in economy and society, and shows how the emergence of new socio-economic groups and classes often come up against older and more established structures and institutions, resulting in conflict, contradiction and compromise. It provides a broad historical perspective of such developments, especially during the regime of General Pervez Musharraf (1999-2008). As such it is amongst the few serious evaluations of the political economy of the Musharraf years. A theme which recurs in many of the chapters relates to why there is prolonged military rule in Pakistan and why democracy has been unable to find its footings in Pakistan. An examination of the political process of 2007 leading up to the 2008 general elections and an examination of the role of political actors and of civil society forms an important core theme in this collection.

Military, Civil Society and Democratization in Pakistan will interest a wide and diverse set of readers. Those interested in the economic, social and structural transformation of Pakistan’s society will find this book useful in understanding such trends and developments. Those who want to examine more typical and mainstream forms of democratization in a different, more dynamic, framework, looking at processes and how they unfold, will also benefit from this book.