Paradigm Shift’s published articles, research papers, and book reviews can be found here. You can scroll down and navigate the various pages. Topics of focus include global politics, current affairs, international relations, and Pakistan.
Iraq’s political unrest has been years in the making. The consensus-based political system imposed on Iraq as a result of the 2003 American invasion has brought corruption and inefficiency to the state’s governance. Aamina Ikram notes that in the face of the rising instability, Muqtada-al-Sadr presents a ray of hope for most Iraqis, with his claims of establishing a majoritarian government for Iraq. However, since Iraq has been unable to form a new government even after 10 months post elections, the supporters of al-Sadr stormed the Iraqi Parliament & breached the Green Zone in protest.
While President Erdogan’s decision to change Hagia Sophia to a mosque has been criticised for being religiously motivated, one must also take note of the West’s use of religion in various political endeavours. Mir Adnan Aziz reveals that even in the most ‘secular’ Western democracies, several major decisions (such as the Iraq war) were based on the religious beliefs of those in power.
“India and Central Asia: The Strategic Dimension” presents an Indian diplomat’s perspective on Indian foreign policy. Phunchok Stobdan, the author of the book, analyzes the significance of Central Asia for India and the different ways of connecting the two to solidify India’s regional influence. He evaluates the security challenges in the path of linking India and Central Asia, and proposes solutions to overcome them.
Hamna Binte Waqar examines the change in the cyber security realm with the advent of the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. After targeting several countries, governments, and individuals, the software has created an uproar in international politics and media. It is now seen as a threat to the national security of states and as an unconventional weapon capable of extracting private information and generating propaganda. While Pegasus has faced continuous backlash, the need to adapt to the transition in the modes of warfare has slowly made it a sought-after weapon in the contemporary security market.
The West believed that the sanctions on Russia would completely leave the latter immobilized. Hafsa Ammar notes that while that was very likely, Russia’s influence and resources insulated itself from economic shocks. One significant Russian resource would be crude oil, as it has now become the primary oil supplier to both China and India—a position that once belonged to Saudi Arabia.
The recent execution of four pro-democracy activists in Myanmar is the first time in decades that the state has handed out the death penalty. Myanmar’s military government has received backlash and criticism from human rights activists and the international community for its unjustified acts of terror. Maryam Ibrahim notes that even the threat of losing their lives has not deterred the supporters of democracy in Myanmar from raising their voices.
In a nation that had been lulled into political apathy, Imran Khan awakened the masses & brought their attention to the widespread corruption, institutional conflicts, & economic distress in Pakistan. Given the public’s unyielding support, Mir Adnan Aziz considers Imran Khan to be an important piece in the political chessboard of the country.
Meerab Malik discusses the struggle many low-income women and girls face while trying to afford menstrual products. She uses data from primary and secondary sources to try and understand the consequences of this ‘period poverty’ in their daily lives.
PTI won the by-elections in Punjab — but what really happened behind the scenes is a different matter. Hassan Saeed Khan reports how the judiciary’s varying interpretations of Article 63A have blurred the lines between the roles of each institution. These contradictory rulings have the potential to cause massive political turmoil.
Women’s rights, which are a key facet of Islam, are increasingly being viewed through a more ‘secular’ lens in Pakistan. The tension that now exists around this cause has caused multiple riots in the name of protecting ‘nationalist’ values. Mareeha Ahmad uses a qualitative approach and proposes the idea of using Islamic frameworks to help the progression of women’s rights in Pakistan.
During his term as the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan introduced numerous welfare projects. The Ehsaas program, in particular, has been a source of salvation for many Pakistanis. Summaiyya Qureshi notes that since the PDM government has assumed power, PTI-led projects like Panagah, the Ehsaas Langar program, Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar housing scheme, and the Miyawaki forest project have been suspended. Given the situation in Pakistan, the suspension of these projects has dire consequences for the state’s lower class.
President Putin’s visit to Iran has caught significant attention amidst the fragile global political and economic conditions. Faran Feroze considers the visit to have raised various concerns among Washington and its allies as the two leaders met to discuss economic cooperation and deepening partnerships through an MOU between Gazprom and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and the installation of the Rasht-Astara railway line, among others.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev is on a path to transform Uzbekistan into a modernized state. Under his presidency, the Central Asian state is witnessing a series of reforms in its political and economic spheres. Through socio-economic, communication, infrastructure and energy projects in its neighbors, Uzbekistan is fostering regional connectivity. President Mirziyoyev is determined to create a network facilitating cooperation between South and Central Asia.
Fatima Arshad Warraich writes that Europe’s acute dependence on Russia for energy supplies is causing them to prepare for a harsh and cold winter ahead, since Russia has threatened a complete cut-off of gas supplies. The EU is now scrambling to fill their gas storage caverns, looking for alternate sources of energy supply, and trying to quickly transition to greener alternatives.
A book sought by CSS aspirants and students of international relations, Henry Kissinger’s World Order sets the stage by addressing the evolution of the state as a permanent and fundamental entity in conducting international relations. He puts light on the significance of the Peace of Westphalia (1648) in the first institutionalising international order among states. In so doing, Kissinger deftly explains the role of the state and its enduring legacy in structuring relations between and among the states.
In 1453, Sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople, the capital city of the Byzantine Empire. The reign of the sultan saw the Ottoman Empire grow exponentially and the city become a world refuge, a center of arts, literature, and culture. Mir Adnan Aziz compares the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s secular Turkey. He reveals the loss of identity of the people of the once magnificent empire in the name of “westernization”.
The G20 is a strategic platform connecting the world’s major economies, with annual summits being hosted by one of the G20 member states. India will be hosting the G20 summit for the first time in 2023. Needless to say, some of the meetings are expected to be held in the Indian Administered Jammu & Kashmir. Huda Raza believes that this move disregards the sanctity of the internationally recognised disputed status of the territory.