Pakistan's Strategic Culture

Authored by: Jamison C. Heinkel

Routledge Handbook of the International Relations of South Asia

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032159881
eBook ISBN: 9781003246626
Adobe ISBN:


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Since Pakistan's inception in 1947, the state, facing myriad security problems has adopted strategies to manage its security environment. However, defying rationalist expectations, several policies endure despite their failure to address Pakistan's strategic goals. This chapter explains Pakistan's behavior that seemingly acts against its best interests, through the lens of strategic culture. This chapter reviews the conceptual history and debates on state strategic culture in international relations and follows with analyzing strategic culture and applying it to Pakistan's decision-making. This chapter concludes with the implications of strategic culture on Pakistan's behavior and areas for future study. Understanding Pakistan's strategic culture and its effect on decision-making may help policymakers mitigate Pakistan's instability and its impact on South Asia and the international community.

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