If you’re Pakistani, especially from Karachi or Sindh, watch this first, then read the rest of the post.
Came across a passage while reading that reminded me of that famous ‘strong-man’ mentality that has prevailed so often in Pakistan.
It is a common belief that the decision-making process guiding crisis-response efforts must and will be centralized (‘t Hart, Rosenthal, and Kouzmin 1993). This so-called centralization thesis underpins the public want of a figurehead who is “in charge” during times of crisis. In reality, crisis-response efforts depend on many people in several networks. At the political-strategic level, efforts to radically centralize decision-making authority tend to cause more friction than they resolve because they disturb well-established authority patterns (Benini 1999).
In most democracies, governance takes place in shared power settings: Political leaders and institutions share power among each other, central government shares power with supra-national and subnational governments, and the state shares power with societal groups and private corporations. Unless there is an overwhelming need for drastic measures (during war, for instance), actors in the crisis-response network whose policy-making roles are abruptly diminished by the ad hoc centralization of authority will, to say the least, not be motivated to contribute their resources and comply with centrally issued policy directives.
From Public leadership in times of crisis: Mission impossible? [PDF] – Arjen Boin; Paul ‘t Hart. Public Administration Review; Sep/Oct 2003.
Searching for silver linings on a cloudy, cloudy day: three jailed Pakistani cricketers, a system imprisoned by incompetence, and the possibility of respite.
I felt a little sick today as I scrolled through the tweets and learned that three of Pakistan’s best players in recent years would go to jail. There is a mixed sense of anger and injustice rippling through Pakistani fans, but more than anything else, there is a sinking feeling that we all hoped we would never have to experience again. Read more…
Clearly, I need to start following Stephen Fry on Twitter.
Because this is brilliant.
“Almost the whole of my text at the moment, in my head as I fall asleep, is summed up by the word “contempt”. Contempt, in politics, for the hypocrisy, the double standards, the double dealing, the corruption and the moral suasion. It’s almost impossible for me to explain just how deeply I feel contempt. I want to go into detail – and I think you’ll be rather shocked, and I hope rather edified, by what I have to say.
Note: This was originally written for the IBA newsletter in spring 2006, based off an interview Sarim and I did. For the most part this isn’t too meaningful, but his recommendations for improving IBA are quite insightful in retrospect, and it’s interesting that he repeatedly urged for the need for not only cosmetic but also structural change. His plea for foreign exposure eventually materialized after several years (by 2009, three years after this interview, IBA students were regularly participating in international conferences such as Model UN). This post is mostly relevant for the relatively small group of students from IBA, Main Campus. The interview was taken in Urdu and flavored with some imaginative expletives, a Yonus hallmark. Fortunately or unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact phrases anymore.