Political and Economic Prospects for Research Paper

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Thus, weak institutions, frequent military takeovers, and corruption in government ranks, both civilian and military has resulted in present state of affairs of Pakistan. Syria: Syria's history has been one that was dominated by family rule, foreign interventions, and inability to successfully run the affairs of the country by the ruling elite. The Assad family has held the power in Syrian since last four decades and this has caused significant deterioration in institutional and other forms of governance (Zisser 2003, 15-19).With independence from the French forces in 1946, Syria remained internally polarized and externally vulnerable to the tensions of Middle East. Her confrontation with Israel and support for Hezbollah has considerable historical background. Thus, the issues today being faced by Syria are a continuation of its acts of historical omissions and commission by ruling elites.

Influence of leadership: Influence of leadership on both Syria and Pakistan has been largely negative in its nature. Pakistan has only produced leaders who have generally remained oblivious of their responsibility towards their population. Internal differences due to population diversity and external pressures both military and diplomacy related has caused Pakistan to progress very slowly on economic and political aspects. Pakistan still remains a procedural democracy as opposed to a consolidated democracy. Syria also has been unfortunate in having Assads as leaders. These leaders have not paid heed to changing realities of commerce and technology and only remained entrenched in their ruling the country through coercive use of power.

Other intervening factors

There have been numerous intervening factors in Syria and Pakistan as is the case with third world countries. The geo-political situation of both these countries, specifically Syria (Nasrallah 2011) has usually invited significant foreign intervention, both from colonial and non-colonial powers in the region. The influence of U.S. over both these countries is also considerable. Use of religion by extremists groups and religious political parties has played a considerable role in stifling the social and economic progress of Pakistan. Syrian however has remained a largely secular state under the Assad family. Insurgency has also caused widespread loss of life and property in Pakistan as well as Syria. While Pakistan today struggles with fighting Islamists and Baloch scenarists, the Syrian regime is fighting the Islamist rebels and anti-state elements struggling to end the rule of Assad. This has caused sustained human and capital flight from both these countries since the year 2000.

Colonial and neo-colonial powers: The role of colonial powers in influencing the economy and power politics of third world countries has been immense. Third worldism is associated with struggle against the proxies of colonial powers and the inherent gap between first world and the third world countries (Berger 2004, 9-15). While Britain and U.S. have significantly shaped the events taking place within Pakistan, in form of military takeovers and change of regimes, U.S., France, Britain, and Israel have influenced the internal and external situation of Syria by supplying arms, personnel, and expertise to de-stabilize the Assad regime. Hardly there have been few years of good relation between Syria and the U.S. that too lasted for few years. Military rule has been significantly detrimental for the economic and political progression of Pakistan. Syria also underwent successive military takeovers in the beginning life of the country but was replaced with authoritarian rule of Assad family since 1970s. The military rile in Pakistan also decreased the pace of social independence and caused the military to establish deep economic interests in managing power. The use of manufacturing institutions was used to increase social and economic clout of military in the civil domain.

Commonalities and differences between Syria and Pakistan

Differences: Syria sill ranks better in terms of Human Development Index (HDI) ranking that is being published each year by the United Nations Organization (UNO). Syria ranks 116 out of 180 whereas Pakistan ranks at 146 out of 180 (UNDP, 2013). This indicates that despite having a war like situation from last two years, the fewer population level allowed the country to have better HDI measure than Pakistan. The other difference is in the perception and use of religion in state of affairs. Pakistan state has hardly convicted the Islamist terrorists and fails to contain Al-Qaeda and Taliban attacks on military and civil personnel. On the other hand, Syrian government has come hard over the Islamist parties and terrorists linked to acts of violence.

Commonalities: The most important commonality between the two third countries, Syria and Pakistan remains the failure of state and governance system alike. Pakistan while having numerous resources, both capital and human, is unable to provide socially safe environment along with opportunities of prosperity and progress. Syria also fails in same categories and could not convince the general population regarding the use of government structure and political and military elites of both countries have failed their states to a point to no return in short-term.

III- Conclusion

The economic and political prospects for the third world countries are challenging and remain contingent to performance of governments and the potential influence of foreign governments and colonial powers on internal matters of these countries. Pakistan and Syria are two such third world countries facing myriad of chronic issues related to economy and political stability. While both countries have Sunni dominated population, the increased level insurgency related killings has caused economic prosperity to halt. Sustained human and capital flight is faced commonly by both these countries. While Pakistan can be called 'transition' democracy, Syria is far from even becoming a procedural democracy, let alone consolidated democracy.


Berger, Mark T. 2004. "After the Third World? History, destiny and the fate of Third Worldism." Third World Quarterly 25: 9-39. Accessed July 11, 2013. doi: 10.1080/0143659042000185318

Judah, Ben. Assessing stability in Syria. International Relations and Security Network ISN. Aug, 2008. Retrieved from: [http://www.isn.ethz.ch/DigitalLibrary/Articles/Detail/?lng=en&id=88666]

Nasrallah, Jana. 2011. "The impact of external intervention on power sharing agreements. (c2011)." Masters Diss., Lebanese American University. Accessed July 11. [https://ecommons.lau.edu.lb:8443/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10725/337/Jana_Nasrallah_Thesis.pdf?sequence=1]

Rosenlund, Stephen. 2013. "A Bright Light on Syria's Horizons." Center for International Private Enterprise. CIPE Development Blog, March 4. [http://www.cipe.org/blog/2013/03/04/a-bright-light-on-syrias-horizons/#.Ud5fcztHK_p]

The Economist. 2012. "The World in Figures: Countries." Accessed July 11. [http://www.economist.com/news/21566503-pakistan]

UNDP. 2013. "International Human Development Indicators. Pakistan." Accessed July 11. [http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/PAK.html]

UNDP. 2013. "International Human Development Indicators. Syrian Arab Republic." Accessed July 11. [http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/SYR.html]

Zisser, Eyal. 2003. "Does Bashar al-Assad Rule Syria?" Middle East Quarterly 15-23. Accessed July 11, 2013.…[continue]

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