The Search for Stability

June 2024 9781911723776 472pp
Forthcoming Pre-order
Available as an eBook
EU Customers


Pakistan is facing a multitude of critical challenges, a ‘Polycrisis’ arising in many areas at once—political, constitutional, economic, security-related, geo-political, demographic and ecological. These systemic predicaments are the cumulative consequence of decades of poor governance and squandered opportunities, whose convergence now creates a formidable existential threat. 

Maleeha Lodhi holds that Pakistan’s governmental leaders, both civilian and military, have failed to take a long view and to outline a vision for the country. They have spent much of their time in power operating in crisis management or power preservation modes, postponing meaningful reform and looking for expedient short-term ‘solutions’. The consequences of those sins of omission and commission are now coming together.  

In this new volume, Lodhi has brought together eighteen chapters by experts in a variety of fields, including Murtaza Syed, Zahid Hussain, Riaz Mohammad Khan and Adil Najam, to analyse Pakistan’s various grand challenges and to suggest prognoses. This important compilation of rigorous, compelling essays will be essential reading for those who seek to understand what is at stake for Pakistan, both in terms of present-day crises and in terms of future trends. 


‘This collection of essays by Pakistan’s leading policy intellectuals is a vital contribution to debate on the reforms that the country so desperately needs. It should be read by every Pakistani politician.’ — Anatol Lieven, Director of the Eurasia Program, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and author of Pakistan: A Hard Country

‘Lodhi, one of Pakistan’s most distinguished public intellectuals, has brought together some of Pakistan’s top thought leaders to examine a complex but crucial question: How can Pakistan overcome the governance constraints that have held the country back for so long? This is a brilliant and vital read for anyone interested in Pakistan, as it’s poised to become a seminal volume.’ — Michael Kugelman, Director of the South Asia Institute, Wilson Center, Washington D.C.

‘This is an illuminating and comprehensive study of contemporary Pakistan’s mounting political, socio-economic, security, demographic, and environmental challenges. The nineteen essays offer a rare combination of historical analysis alongside discussion of future trends and policy requirements. The result is a rich account which is destined to become an indispensable work in its field.’ — Ian Talbot, Emeritus Professor of Modern South Asian History, University of Southampton

‘Lodhi holds that both the country’s civilian and military leaders have failed to take a long view and have spent much of the time in crisis management rather than building an infrastructure of ideas and introducing reforms. Lodhi has brought together some of Pakistan’s most distinguished experts to analyse various challenges and suggest solutions.’ — Ahmed Rashid, author and journalist


Maleeha Lodhi PhD is a political scientist and former diplomat, who has served as high commissioner to the United Kingdom and twice as ambassador to the United States. For four years, she served as Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations. She was the first woman to hold the position.

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