Pakistan: The Economy of an Elitist State, Husain, Ishrat. Oxford University Press, second Edition, 2018, 538.


Dr. Ishrat Husain’s book “Pakistan: The Economy of an Elitist State” is based on the thesis that a small group of elites have managed to “hijack the state” and “rig the market” for their own benefit. As a result of this, these “elites” now control both the private and public sector. No matter which way the economy changes ─ market mechanism or state control ─ given the present structure, the gains will always continue to go to the elites who control the system. This has further given birth to the idea that irrespective of regime change, the system will always be characterised by a lack of integrity coupled with shortcomings in the market. Moreover, given the author’s present role as the advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, he is well-placed to make observations on Pakistan’s current situation.

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