Governing the ungovernable : institutional reforms for democratic governance


Governing the ungovernable : institutional reforms for democratic governance


Ishrat Husain


Abstract / Description

Pakistan, since its independence in 1947, had to face tumultuous years for the first four decades. Despite the many challenges, both internal and external, the country was able to register a 6 percent average annual growth rate during the first forty years of its existence. The country was ahead of India and Bangladesh in all economic and social indicators. Since 1990, the country has fallen behind its neighbouring countries and has had a decline in the growth rate.

This book attempts to examine the reasons behind this slowdown, the volatile and inequitable growth of the last twenty-five years, and through a process of theoretical and empirical evidence argues that the most powerful explanatory hypothesis lies in the decay of institutions of governance. It also suggests a selective and incremental approach of restructuring some key public institutions that pertain to accountability, transparency, security, economic growth, and equity.

Table of Contents

Introduction -------------------------------------------------------------------1

Historical Background ----------------------------------------------------- 35

The Economy ---------------------------------------------------------------- 59

The Polity ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 96

The Society -------------------------------------------------------------------- 124

Federal and Provincial Governments ------------------------------------ 157

Local Government ------------------------------------------------------------ 182

The Civil Services ------------------------------------------------------------- 210

The Judiciary ------------------------------------------------------------------- 236

The Legislature ---------------------------------------------------------------- 264

The Religious Edifice --------------------------------------------------------- 287

The Private Sector ------------------------------------------------------------ 322

Administration of Justice ---------------------------------------------------- 358

Administration of Justice ---------------------------------------------------- 387

The role of External Actors ------------------------------------------------- 410

Restructuring Key Institutions --------------------------------------------- 443

Lessons from the Experience of other Countries -------------------- 467

Publication Date


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Author Affiliation

  • Ishrat Husain is Professor Emeritus at the the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi. A former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, is currently Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Institutional Reforms and Austerity. He has served as Dean and Director, IBA, Karachi (2008-16).

Governing the ungovernable : institutional reforms for democratic governance