Montag, 14. Oktober 2013

Understanding Pakistan: Pakistan's New Political Economy - What Has Changed, and What Hasn't?

Lecture by Syed Akbar Zaidi (Columbia University, USA)
Western perceptions of Pakistan tend to be uniformly negative – corrupt, dysfunctional and dangerous are only a few adjectives that come to mind. For years, Pakistan has been perceived by many observers of global affairs as a stumbling block towards regional and global security and peace. With this dominant biased view, many dimensions of Pakistan’s developments have been overlooked. What actually constitutes Pakistani society and which powers define its politics?

These questions become especially significant as Pakistan prepares to elect a new government. What are the hopes and visions of the Pakistani electorate and how are these reflected in their political perceptions? What role do the media play in the dynamics of politics and the formation of public opinion?  What is the economic potential of the country and how does it affect the prospects of the Pakistani youth? How does Pakistan deal with the increasing threats of climate change? And how does the country see itself in South Asia and the world?

The lecture series “Understanding Pakistan” aims at shedding light on selected issues in Pakistani society and politics and thus contributing to a more holistic picture of Pakistan. For this purpose, we invite renowned Pakistani experts to demystify the complexities of Pakistan and bring an understanding to this pivotal and important regional player.