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Issues in Pakistan’s Economy (3rd Ed.) by S. Akbar Zaidi

Issues in Pakistan’s Economy:  A Political Economy Perspective (Third Edition) by S. Akbar Zaidi


This book is about understanding Pakistan’s structural transformation over six decades in a political economy framework. The author examines how and where such transformations have taken place in the economy, society, in class and gender relations, in manifestations of consumerism and culture, and in other ways. He assesses Pakistan’s trajectory of economic and political development and focuses on an economic and social history of Pakistan, using a political economy framework to examine the nature of this structural transformation. The book follows the narrative of the evolution of Pakistan’s social, economic and even political dispensation over many decades, highlighting key developments and events. As has happened so many times in Pakistan’s history, events with unintended consequences have shaped developments. Yet, social and economic change has also been somewhat anticipated and predictable, giving rise to relatively more certain outcomes. The immense growth of urban populations, of a middle class, and of a buoyant informal sector, alongside the breakdown of state authority and state institutions, has been unfolding almost expectantly. The previous trend of the ‘urbanization of everybody’, seems to have morphed into an ‘urbanization with informalization’, with the co-movements of urbanization and informal relations of production and exchange perhaps dominating social and political interaction. What this means for subsequent developments remains uncertain.

Issues in Pakistan’s Economy: A Political Economy Perspective will interest serious scholars of Pakistan’s economic history and its developments, as well as those who seek to understand how social and economic processes have an impact on numerous outcomes and forms of structural transformation, and how, in a political economy perspective, state and society evolve.


S Akbar Zaidi is a prolific political economist. Apart from his interest in political economy, he also has great interest in development, the social sciences more generally, and increasingly, in History. He has written over seventy-five academic articles in international journals and as chapters in books, as well as numerous books and monographs. His recent book, Military, Civil Society and Democratization in Pakistan (2012), examines the political economy of the Musharraf regime. His earlier books include The New Development Paradigm: Papers on Institutions, NGOs, Gender and Local Government (OUP, 1999), and Pakistan’s Economic and Social Development: The Domestic, Regional and Global Context (2004). He taught at Karachi University and at Johns Hopkins University, and is currently a Visiting Professor at Columbia University, New York, where he has a joint appointment at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and at the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS).

Table of Contents:

Preface to the third edition
Preface to the second edition
Preface to the first edition
List of figures, graphs, and maps
List of tables
Part 1: Agriculture
1. Understanding Pakistan’s Structural Transformation: 1947-2014
2. Is Pakistan Feudal? A Historical Account of the Development of Agriculture in Pakistan
3. The Green Revolution and Land Reforms
4. The Nature and Direction of Agrarian Change
5. Agriculture: Critical Issues
Part 2: Industry and Trade
6. The Process of Industrialization in Pakistan I: 1947-77
7. The Process of Industrialization in Pakistan II: 1977-2013
8. Key Issues in Industry in Pakistan
9. Balance of Payments and Trade Regimes
Part 3: Fiscal Policy
10. Resource Mobilization and the Structure of Taxation
11. Debt and Deficits
Part 4: Devolution and Fiscal Federalism
12. Local Government and the Political Economy of Decentralization
13. Fiscal Federalism in Pakistan: Emerging Dynamics, Issues, and Prospects
Part 5: Monetary Policy and Financial and Capital Markets
14. Financial and Capital Markets
15. Monetary Policy, Savings, and Inflation
Part 6: Neo-liberalism, Stabilization, and Macroeconomics: From ESAFs to PRSPs to SBAs-1988 to the present
16. Structural Adjustment Programmes: Composition and Effects
17. The IMF and Structural Adjustment Programmes in Pakistan
18. Macroeconomic Developments: 1998-2013
Part 7: The Social Sectors: Institutions and Governance
19. The Social Sectors I: International Comparisons, Education, Population, Urbanization, and Housing
20. The Social Sectors II: MDGs, Gender, Environment, NGOs, Institutions, and Governance
21. The Social Sectors III: The Health Sector and the Health-Poverty Nexus
Part 8: Poverty and Inequality
22. Poverty: Trends, Causes, and Solutions
23. Regional and Income Inequalities
Part 9: Political Economics
24. The Political Economy of Neighbourly Relations
25. War, Destruction, and Aid
26. Political Economics: Class, State, Power, and Transition
27. A New Political Economy?
Selected Bibliography

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