China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Civil-Military Relations and Democracy in Pakistan

SADF Working Paper Series, South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), WP, No. 2, Brussels, Belgium. ISSN 2506-8199

35 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2016

See all articles by Siegfried Wolf

Siegfried Wolf

South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF)

Date Written: September 13, 2016

Abstract

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multibillion-dollar infrastructure investment project, is heralded as a game changer for Pakistan’s economy. It is part of the major development initiative led by China, known as ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR), connecting Asia with Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and for those involved it evokes hopes, a myriad of interests, and it spurs a geopolitical shift (Ze 2015; 2014, October 2014). However, such a megaproject also raises numerous questions, especially with regards to the feasibility of its implementation in view of tremendous security challenges. In order to guarantee a secure environment for the CPEC development, the military is expanding its power. This phenomenon significantly affects the country’s civil-military relations and civilian control over the military, while challenging the process of democratic transition. To assess the correlation between CPEC development and quality of democracy, the paper applies the ‘Heidelberg Model of Civilian Control’ (Croissant et al. 2013, 2011 April, 2011, 2010, 2009); it analyses the influence of the military on the decision-making and implementation process vis-à-vis the civilian government, understood as the elected representatives of the people. It will be argued that: First, the way in which CPEC is being implemented limits the decision-making powers of the civilian government and hampers civilian control over the military. Second, since civilian control of the military is interpreted as a prerequisite for democracy, the CPEC development is undermining the process of democratic transition initiated by the 2013 general elections. Third, to ensure the CPEC development, the military has built-up a parallel governance structure, exercising tremendous executive and judicial powers and side-lining the civilian government.

Keywords: Pakistan, China, Civil-Military Relations, Civilian Control, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, CPEC, Democracy

JEL Classification: H56, N40, N45, N90, O10, O11, O18, P25, P48, R10, R11, R12, R13

Suggested Citation

Wolf, Siegfried, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Civil-Military Relations and Democracy in Pakistan (September 13, 2016). SADF Working Paper Series, South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), WP, No. 2, Brussels, Belgium. ISSN 2506-8199 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2838520

Siegfried Wolf (Contact Author)

South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) ( email )

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