Beyond the 'Crisis State'

Edited by
April 2012 9781849041348 320pp
Out of print
April 2012 9781849041355 320pp


Seen through the lens of the outsider, Pakistan has often been reduced to a caricature. Its diversity and resilience have rarely figured in the single-issue focus of recent literature on the country, be it journalistic or scholarly. This book seeks to present an alternate paradigm and to contribute a deeper understanding of the country’s dynamics that may help explain why Pakistan has confounded all the doomsday scenarios. It brings together an extra-ordinary array of leading experts, including Ahmed Rashid, Ayesha Jalal and Zahid Hussain, and practitioners, such as the book’s editor, Maleeha Lodhi, Akbar Ahmed and Munir Akram. Together they debate their country’s strengths and weaknesses and offer ways out of its current predicament.
This book provides a picture of how Pakistanis see themselves and their country’s faultlines and spells out ways to overcome these. Pakistan’s political, economic, social, foreign policy and governance challenges are assessed in detail.  So too is the complex interplay between domestic developments and external factors including great power interests that are so central to the Pakistan story and explain the vicissitudes in its fortunes. Lodhi and her contributors contend that Pakistan and its people have the capacity to transform their country into a stable, modern Muslim state, but bold reforms will be needed to bring about this outcome.


‘This collection of essays edited by Maleeha Lodhi, a former Pakistani ambassador to Britain and America, is timely and different: a look at Pakistan by seasoned, hard-nosed Pakistanis who know the troubled nation from the inside, toil to set it right’ — The Economist

‘An excellent book, one that brings out some very important points about the surprising stability of the country beneath the alarmism of the daily headlines, and forms a useful antidote to the general perception about Pakistan in the West’. — Professor Anatol Lieven, King’s College London

‘This book provides an extraordinary insight into today’s Pakistan, written by its top intellectuals.’ — Dr Mohammed Yaqub, former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan

‘This timely study looks beyond the headlines of terrorism and natural disaster that dominate Western perceptions of Pakistan. The contributors argue that contemporary security challenges and longer-term demographic pressures and energy shortages can be overcome if Pakistan possesses the political will to undergo wide-ranging institutional, educational and structural economic reform. The themes of governance and the interconnectedness of domestic politics and international relations run throughout the volume. Historical analysis and policy prescriptions of a high order are combined in a text which should be required reading for those concerned not only with contemporary South Asia but also with global security concerns.’ — Professor Ian Talbot, author, Pakistan: A Modern History

‘Far removed from the reductive and excessively alarmist rhetoric pervading foreign policy discourse, Pakistan: Beyond the “Crisis State” offers a sober and comprehensive appraisal of the problems plaguing the Islamic republic. What sets this book apart from others on Pakistan is its detailed account of the country’s intractable crises, accompanied by lucid, compelling, and empirically supported policy recommendations that, in a time of tremendous uncertainty, may illuminate a pathway to hope.’ — Malou Innocent, Cato Institute, Washington, DC

Pakistan: Beyond the “Crisis State” is a very different book. It is the work of 19 Pakistani experts, including three former career diplomats, three journalists, a former brigadier general, a historian, a novelist, and a number of social scientists and lawyers. … The many specialties assembled assure the kind of thorough coverage not possible for any single author.’ — Foreign Affairs

‘A compelling book that examines Pakistan’s challenges and offers a way out.’ — Najam Sethi, editor in chief, Pakistan’s Friday Times

‘Taken together, the chapters in Lodhi’s collection leave the impression that most of the dire predictions heard about Pakistan’s future are overstated and its failings reversible.’ — Dr. Marvin G. Weinbaum, Middle East Journal

‘…highly instructive, well written, and replete with useful summaries of key concerns.’ — Choice


Dr Maleeha Lodhi has twice served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States as well as to the United Kingdom. She has been editor of two of Pakistan’s leading daily newspapers, The News and The Muslim. She served on the UN Secretary General’s advisory board on disarmament, taught at the London School of Economics and has been a fellow at Harvard University and at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Center. In 1994, Time magazine named her as one of 100 people who will help define the twentyfirst century.

Request an academic inspection copy Request a press review copy
Inspection Copy Request
Review Copy Request
Join our mailing list

Subscribers receive exclusive discounts and early access to new books from Hurst.