Foreign Policy of Pakistan: a Critical Approach

Bastos, M. 2021. Foreign Policy of Pakistan: a Critical Approach. PhD thesis University of Westminster Social Sciences

TitleForeign Policy of Pakistan: a Critical Approach
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsBastos, M.

This thesis examines the interlinking between identity and security in the context of foreign policy in Pakistan. Foreign policy constitutes one of key national policies in Pakistan. Since the country’s inception in 1947, foreign policy has had an unwavering influence on the construction of the state, and of her relations with the international community. The distressed conditions the new state of Pakistan faced in the years after her emergence, led the early leadership to procure security in relations with other international partners, like the US and China. Yet, it was mainly her relations with India that motivated this search for security, which was mostly translated into assembling a fairly large military force. Unsurprisingly, the armed forces, namely the army in association with a militarised intelligence started control the country’s foreign policy decisions. The study and analysis of Pakistan’s foreign policy has followed a conventional approach to International Relations theory. This approach, as the thesis argues, neither permits to investigate how foreign policy is shaped by the interlinking between security and identity, nor allows to contextualise how militarism as an ideology becomes interwoven with security, identity, and masculinity. Thus, this study uses feminist and postcolonial approaches to answer these questions. It focuses on Pakistan’s relations with China, India, and the United States to identify representations of the interlinking between security and identity, as well as representations of militarism. The thesis makes an original and innovative contribution to knowledge in three ways: it applies a feminist and postcolonial approach to the study of Pakistan’s foreign policy, an area that has hitherto been dominated by mainstream IR realist/neo-realist approaches; it puts forward an innovative approach to study the links between state identity and foreign policy, and to ascertain how militarism grows out of this relationship, and it encourages and contributes to new possibilities for study and analysis in the context of South Asian foreign politics and beyond, centred around militarism.

File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Publication dates
PublishedApr 2021
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

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