ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unsimilar Twins

The Promise of Power: The Origins of Democracy in India and Autocracy in Pakistan by Maya Tudor; Cambridge University Press, 2013; pp 254, price not indicated.

Maya Tudor’s book, The Promise of Power, begins with a basic historical question: How or why did India produce a stable democracy while Pakistan created an unstable autocracy, given that the objective social conditions were fairly similar at the time of independence? Tudor proceeds to answer this question through a comparative analysis approach, and locates her thesis within the political history tradition.

Tudor departs from the previous analyses that attempt to trace the divergent trajectories of India and Pakistan to understand why democratic norms flourished in India and an authoritarian ethos was ushered in Pakistan. She eschews the usual focus on levels of economic development, the presence of overdeveloped colonial institutions like the civil and military bureaucracies, and also debunks the emphasis on religious, ethnic and external geostrategic factors in determining post-independence regime stability in one country and instability in another.

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