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Title: Political economy and the rule of law in Pakistan 1999-2004 : resistance to implementation of law and caste capitalism
Author: Khan, Foqia Sadiq
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 0394
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis examines the relationship between the political economy and the rule of law in contemporary Pakistan. The premise is that the rule of law can be meaningfully studied if the undercurrents of the political economy are explored. It investigates the rule-of-law-based reforms pushed by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) that are meant to promote a level playing field for intra-capital relations, and to regulate relations between capital and the state. The institutional governance reforms of the IFIs are analysed from 1999-2004 within the historical context. The thesis presents two case studies of the IFIs reforms: a tax law (General Sales Tax in the Value-Added Tax mode), and a corporate governance regulatory body (the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan). The third case study is about the textiles sector. In the productive textiles sector, the interplay of the rule of law and political economy is explored. This case study discovers caste capitalism even in the formal textiles sector. Here the lack of impersonalisation and the weak rule of law encourages reliance on the social structures that lead to perpetuation of business networks along the caste lines. Personalisation in the textiles sector in Pakistan comes from the society being in the transition phase. The textiles case study concludes that the textiles manufacturers do not want more mature capitalism. There is a political economy explanation to the resistance to the rule of law. We present an analysis of how IFIs institutional governance reforms are resisted by the capitalist and intermediate classes. This leads to these reforms having only limited success. The rule-violating behaviour of the capitalist class and the intermediate classes has led to varying impact on accumulation - ranging widely from theft of resources, investment in value-enhancing activities, to no significant impact. The rule-violating behaviour presented in the case study chapters is viewed in terms of the transition of a traditional society to a modern 'Weberian' state. The background literature review discusses the notions of the Weberian rationalbureaucratic state, the rule of law and impersonalisation. The literature review also discusses the underlying structural basis of power in society, patron-client relationships, the politics of patronage and the need for rents creation for maintaining political stability. The thesis presents a nuanced analysis illustrating a spectrum of contestations between the forces which wish to promote the pro-market rule of law against those who resist it. Studying such a contestation enables the thesis to make a contribution in the overall understanding of the political economy and the rule-violating behaviour in the middle income countries such as Pakistan.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral