The Pakistan Paradox. Instability and Resilience, by Christophe Jaffrelot

Hurst & Co, Comparative Politics and International Studies, 2015, 684 p. 

‘Broad in sweep and brimming with insights: this is an outstanding analysis of Pakistan’s troubled trajectory by one of France’s most perceptive scholars of South Asia. Jaffrelot offers a compelling assessment of a country held in stable instability by deep and unresolved historical contradictions centring on the rival claims of a centralised state against the appeal of ethno-nationalism; of an entrenched culture of authoritarianism (both civil and military) against popular opposition, and of an overarching discourse of “Islam” against the language of cultural diversity. A tour de force that will make you think again about one of the most complex countries in the world.’ — Farzana Sheikh, author of Making Sense of Pakistan

Photograph from the release of the book at the IIC, Delhi, with Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari (center), the journalist and academic Raja Mohan (left) and the author (right) :

Reviews in The Indian Express and India Today.

Publisher's website


The Bureaucratization of the World in the Neoliberal Era. An International and Comparative Perspective, by Béatrice Hibou

Palgrave Macmillan, International Relations and Political Economy2015, 264 p. 

At the point where Max Weber meets Michel Foucault, Béatrice Hibou analyzes the political dynamics underlying a set of norms, rules, and procedures that form contemporary beurocracy. Neoliberal bureaucracy is a vector of discipline and control: even more, it produces social and political indifference. Under the pretext of depoliticization, this trend cannot hide the exercise of normalizing and excluding power...


The Enigma of Islamist Violence, by Luis Martinez, Amélie Blom and Laetitia Bucaille (eds)
The debate surrounding Islamist violence remains locked in oppositional sterility. Are such attacks perpetrated by Islamists as a matter of belief or do they reflect socio-economic realities? Is the suicide bomber a pathological case, as the psychologist maintains, or a clever strategist, as those steeped in the geopolitical approach claim? This book aims to transcend both the culturalist or underdevelopment explanations by focusing on the highly variegated nature of the phenomenon.
Democracies at War Against Terrorism. A Comparative Perspective, by Samy Cohen (ed.)
On numerous occasions, democratic nations have been singled out by human rights NGOs for the brutality of their modus operandi, for their inadequate attention to the protection of civilian populations, or for acts of abuse or torture on prisoners. Why do they perpetrate these violations? Do they do so intentionally or unintentionally? Can democracies combat irregular armed groups without violating international law? When their population is under threat, do they behave as non-democracies would? Does this type of war inevitably produce war crimes on a more or less massive scale?
The Gamble of War Is it Possible to Justify Preventive War?, by Ariel Colonomos
With the new millennium, prevention has become a popular doctrine in international politics. One of its most noticeable features is that democracies become inclined to strike first. In the US, it has served as the banner of the neo–conservative movement but it also gathered support from some liberals. It has also inspired several Israeli interventions. Does the preventive use of force meet the normative criteria that prevail or should prevail in a democratic system? Or does it endanger the legal and ethical traditions that characterize the history of Western military ethics?
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