Bridging the gap between theory and praxis:An exploration of international society's responsibility towards instability in Pakistan, 1947-2020

Kapur, Saloni (2021) Bridging the gap between theory and praxis:An exploration of international society's responsibility towards instability in Pakistan, 1947-2020. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

Text (2021kapurphd)
2021kapurphd.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 5 January 2026.

Download (3MB)


Barry Buzan has argued that the English school is “a neglected approach to International Security Studies,” while Colin Wight has lamented the tendency for terrorism studies to eschew theories of international relations in favour of sociological and psychological approaches. This thesis seeks to bridge the gaps between the English school and international security studies, and between terrorism studies and international-relations theory. Furthermore, I seek to understand the Pakistani perspective on terrorism in the country and utilise the English school’s concept of great-power responsibility to understand, in normative terms, where responsibility lies in the destabilisation of Pakistan. I draw on interviews with diplomats, journalists, refugees, academics, military officers, aid workers, government officials and local people. Additionally, I utilise aesthetic sources such as literature, art, cinema, music and poetry to incorporate neglected perspectives and emotional aspects of the subject matter into my work. I contend that there has been a decentralisation of power in Pakistan since the downfall of former President Pervez Musharraf in 2008, with terrorist groups constituting one of many social actors that have gained in strength as a consequence of this shift in power away from the state and towards society. I further posit that within Pakistan’s regional context, the institutions for a society of states are unexpectedly strong despite the intense triangular hostility involving Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. My thesis goes on to demonstrate how both regional and global powers have contributed to the spread of violent extremism in Pakistan. Moreover, I emphasise the importance of the Pakistani military’s programme to de-radicalise and reintegrate former militants as an essential component of the country’s counterterrorism strategy. I conclude that the English-school theory of international relations provides essential insights into the empirical case of terrorism in Pakistan through its historical approach and its concern with social aspects of international relations. Finally, I call for international policymakers to support the Pakistani terrorist-rehabilitation programme, especially in the wake of the US government’s withdrawal of security assistance, asserting that the great powers and regional powers have a responsibility towards Pakistan because of their hand in the country’s destabilisation.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
I've changed the access to "embargoed."
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
05 Jan 2021 14:55
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 03:36