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19. Pakistan  

Regime Change and Military Power

David Taylor

This chapter examines Pakistan’s history of regime change and the military’s persistent influence on the country’s political process. Since its creation in 1947, Pakistan has struggled to develop a system of sustainable democratic government. It has experienced a succession of regime changes, alternating between qualified or electoral democracy and either military or quasi-military rule. Underlying apparent instability and regime change in Pakistan is the dominance of the military in domestic politics. Ironically, the reintroduction of military rule has often been welcomed in Pakistan as a relief from the factional disputes among the civilian political leaders and accompanying high levels of corruption. The chapter first traces the history of Pakistan from independence to its breakup in 1971 before discussing government instability from 1971 to 1999. It then describes General Pervez Musharraf ’s rule from 1999 to 2008 and concludes with an assessment of the armed forces’ continuing involvement in Pakistani politics.


24. South Korea  

Strong State, Successful Development

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter examines South Korea’s developmental state emerging from an authoritarian political base, toward its democratic openings in the 1990s. In 1945, the Korean peninsula was freed from Japanese colonial rule by the United States and the Soviet Union. It was divided into two states: communist North Korea and capitalist South Korea. Since then, South Korea has emerged as one of the success stories of economic development, with the state itself playing a major role. The chapter first considers the historical sources of South Korea’s national strength before discussing the Korean developmental state, focusing on dictatorship and national restoration. It then explores South Korea’s development policies and its transition to democracy, noting the persistence of corruption in the country despite democratic consolidation. It concludes with an assessment of the problems and challenges facing South Korea after achieving economic development over the past sixty years.


Lise Rakner

This chapter examines the concepts of governance and, specifically, good governance. The good governance agenda and the indices developed to assess governance have been criticized for being too encompassing and for not adequately distinguishing between how power is obtained (the input side of politics) and how power is exercised once in office (the output side of politics). Increasingly, scholars are calling for a separation between governance and democracy. The chapter first considers various conceptualizations of governance and good governance before discussing the link between governance and development, taking into account taxation in the developing world as well as the difference between earned and unearned revenue. It then explores corruption as a key governance challenge and concludes by assessing the relationship between democracy and governance.


This chapter reviews the latest research showing how regime type affects a host of outcomes of interest. It explains why democratic decline matters, examining the effects of democracy on a state's conflict propensity, levels of terrorism, economic growth, human development, corruption, and human rights. The chapter then highlights two key takeaways from the research on the consequences of regime type. First, hybrid regimes, or those countries that sit in the middle of the autocracy–democracy spectrum, perform less well than either their fully democratic or fully authoritarian counterparts in a number of areas. Second, research suggests that democracies outperform dictatorship on almost every indicator examined. Ultimately, the academic record demonstrates that even after one sets democracy's intrinsic value aside, government is better when it is more democratic. Although democratic decision-making can be slower, this process is more likely to weigh risks, thereby avoiding volatile and ruinous policies.


Terence Ball

This chapter examines The Federalist's defence of the newly drafted US Constitution of 1787 and compares its arguments with those of the Antifederalists. The Federalist is a collection of newspaper columns written between October 1787 and May 1788 in support of the proposed Constitution. Its three authors — Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay — wrote under the pseudonym Publius. The chapter first provides a short biography of the authors of The Federalist before discussing a key theme to which Federalists and Antifederalists returned repeatedly: whether the system of government constituted by the new constitution was ‘republican’ or not. It also considers the arguments of both camps about the size and extent of this republic, its system of representation, the sources of civic corruption and virtue, whether a standing army is preferable to a citizen militia, and whether a republic requires a Bill of Rights to protect its citizens' liberties.


22. Iraq  

A Failing State?

Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt

This chapter examines whether Iraq is a failed state and how it drew such characterization. It focuses on the period since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein. The chapter considers three areas: the reconstruction of Iraq’s political institutions; post-invasion violence and security; and human and economic development. It shows how the failure to reconstruct political institutions capable of reconciling Iraq’s different political groupings has weakened central government, exacerbated corruption within state institutions, and contributed to ethnic/sectarian violence, thereby creating a favourable environment for the emergence of the Islamic State. The chapter argues that the Iraqi state is failing to provide necessary services and infrastructure for economic and human development and even basic security for much of the population.


This chapter explains what comparative politics could be relevant for, such as informing the public debate and giving policy advice. It argues that comparative politics has a huge but sometimes underdeveloped potential for being relevant for the various aspects of human well-being, economic prosperity, and social justice that most people care deeply about. Empirical research shows that the manner in which a country’s political institutions are designed and the quality of the operations of these institutions have a strong impact on measures of population health, as well as subjective well-being and general social trust. One result is that democratization without increased state capacity and control of corruption is not likely to deliver increased human well-being. The chapter also considers whether democracy generates political legitimacy, and concludes by suggesting that comparative political science has so far paid relatively little attention to issues of state capacity, control of corruption, and institutional quality.