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Pakistan, with the second largest Muslim population in the world, is a crucial country in the international system. It is an ally of the United States in the global ‘war on terror’ but is also regarded as a major bastion of some of the most active jihadist organisations. This book highlights and explores the paradoxes that characterise contemporary Pakistan from the simultaneous democratization and Islamization of civil society to the schizophrenic US-Pakistan relationship.
The central theme of the book looks at Pakistan’s stability paradox. Commentators and analysts have over recent years often suggested that Pakistan was on the verge of state ‘failure’ or collapse resulting from a myriad of dilemmas. Yet, remarkably the Pakistani state has proven to be more resilient. This book identifies not only the factors that are contributing to Pakistan’s perceived instability but also those factors that have contributed to the state’s resilience. Chapters explore this central paradox through three core dimensions of Pakistan’s contemporary dilemmas – the domestic, regional and international dimensions.
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Ashutosh Misra is Research Fellow at the Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security at Griffith University. He is the author of India-Pakistan: Coming to Terms, and Pakistan: Engagement of the Extremes. Michael Clarke is an ARC Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. His most recent publication is Xinjiang and China’s Rise in Central Asia, 1949-2009: A History (Routledge 2011).Review:
"This book has gone into considerable depth in a number of aspects. We have a mixture of international, Indian and Pakistani scholarship within the covers of one book and that is actually extremely important...We have got a book that combines a number of key issues and concerns that all of us would have over Pakistan. It is not tossed off journalism. It is serious scholarship with primary as well as secondary sources...I hope that particularly scholars and policy makers will dwell into the heart of the work both (editors) have done in producing this volume".―Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Indian Member of Parliament and former United Nations Under Secretary General while launching the book in New Delhi on 1 December 2011.
"This book succeeds admirably in putting forward something new which always is a challenge. Let me congratulate the editors and contributors for the substantial body of scholarship. The breadth of the work is impressive and likewise the specialist expertise of the authors spanning, Australian, American, Pakistani and Indian institutions and individuals. Clearly the academic linkages informing this book are strong. Collectively the chapters shed light very well on the complex interplay of socio-economic and geopolitical factors which lie behind and not just shape developments in the region and beyond. A volume drawing together this variety of perspectives from a range of institutions and reflecting regional views is very much to be welcomed not only as a contribution to scholarship on contemporary South Asia and its recent history but also as a resource for policy makers in refining Australia’s policy setting on critical issues such as terrorism and on South Asia region more broadly. We have read into this book with a great deal of interest in Canberra and I am sure it will have an impact on those of us who work on South Asian policies". – Mr. William (Bill) Paterson, Australia’s Counter Terrorism Ambassador while launching the book in Brisbane on 24 May 2012.
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