Despite having devoted considerable energy and resources to its national security over the last 65 years, Pakistan remains a hotbed of international terrorism, religious extremism, and nuclear proliferation: the world’s most dangerous powder keg. This talk will be based on the author’s most recent book: The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World (Oxford University Press, 2014). The book addresses the question: In many states across the developing world, military-led regimes have experienced impressive and stable economic growth and over time have evolved into at least partially democratic states. Yet Pakistan, a state in which the military has outsized power, has not lived up to expectations. Its economy is in shambles, heavily dependent on international aid agencies. Its political system, while containing some democratic features, is notoriously corrupt and unresponsive. And despite the regime’s heavy emphasis on security, the country is beset by internecine violence and terrorism. This is a historical anomaly. War-making and state-building have typically gone hand in hand. After all, the inexorable rise of the European nation-state is largely due the rise of powerful militaries under the control of centralized administrations. What explains Pakistan’s unique inability to progress? While there are many factors, the “geostrategic curse” looms large. Since its founding, the country has been at the center of a series of major geopolitical struggles – US-Soviet rivalry, the India-Pakistan struggle, and – most recently – the post 9/11 wars. No matter how ineffective the regime is, it always ends up being the recipient of massive amounts of aid. Moreover, given the constant state of geopolitical crisis, the state always prioritizes the military at the expense of political and economic development. How did other countries that faced existential threats such as Korea and Taiwan and other Muslim majority states, Indonesia, Turkey and Egypt performed?
About the Speaker:
T.V. Paul is James McGill Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at McGill University, Montreal, Canada where he has been teaching since 1991. Paul specializes in International Relations, especially international security and South Asia. He received his undergraduate education from Kerala University, India; M.Phil in International Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Paul is the author or editor of 15 books. He has also published over 55 journal articles and book chapters and has lectured at universities and research institutions internationally. His authored books are: The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World (Oxford University Press, 2014); Globalization and the National Security State (with Norrin Ripsman), (Oxford University Press, 2010); The Tradition of Non-use of Nuclear Weapons (Stanford University Press, 2009); India in the World Order: Searching for Major Power Status (Cambridge University Press, 2002, with Baldev Nayar); Power versus Prudence: Why Nations Forgo Nuclear Weapons (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000); and Asymmetric Conflicts: War Initiation by Weaker Powers (Cambridge University Press, 1994).
Paul is the editor or co-editor of the volumes: Status in World Politics (with William Wholforth and Deborah Larson, Cambridge University Press, 2014); International Relations Theory and Regional Transformation (Cambridge University Press, 2012); South Asia’s Weak States: Understanding the Regional Insecurity Predicament (Stanford University Press, 2010); Complex Deterrence: Strategy In the Global Age (with Patrick M. Morgan and James J. Wirtz, University of Chicago Press, 2009); The India-Pakistan Conflict: An Enduring Rivalry (Cambridge University Press, 2005); Balance of Power: Theory and Practice in the 21st Century (with James Wirtz and Michel Fortmann, Stanford University Press, 2004); The Nation-State in Question (with G. John Ikenberry and John A. Hall, Princeton University Press, 2003); International Order and the Future of World Politics (with John A. Hall, Cambridge University Press, 1999, 2000 (twice), 2001, 2002 & 2003); and The Absolute Weapon Revisited: Nuclear Arms and the Emerging International Order (with Richard Harknett and James Wirtz, University of Michigan Press, 1998 & 2000).
In December 2009, Paul’s Book, The Tradition of Non-use of Nuclear Weapons was selected for inclusion in the Peace Prize Laureate Exhibition honoring President Barack Obama by the Nobel Peace Center, Oslo. Another book, Power versus Prudence was selected as an ‘Outstanding Academic Title for 2001’ by the Choice Magazine and as a “Book for Understanding’ by the American Association of University Presses. In March 2005 Maclean Magazine’s Guide to Canadian Universities rated Paul as one of the “most popular professors” at McGill University and in May 2005 Paul became the recipient of High Distinction in Research Award by McGill’s Faculty of Arts. During 2009-12 he served as the Director (Founding) of the McGill University/Université de Montreal Centre for International Peace and Security Studies (CIPSS). He held visiting positions at UC Berekely (2013); East-West Center, Honolulu (2013); the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey (2002-03), Harvard University(1997-98), and the KPS Menon Visiting Chair for Diplomacy at the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India (2011). During 2009-11, he served as the Chair of the International Security Section (ISSS) of the International Studies Association (ISA) and in 2013-14 Vice-President of ISA. In 2010 he was appointed as the editor of the Georgetown University Press book series: South Asia in World Affairs.