This article explores how the political connections cultivated by Pakistan’s business groups contributed to their rise as key actors in the corporate sector. Such connections have long been used by business groups in developing countries to secure access to economic rents from politicians in power. We examine the basis of selection of business groups for state patronage under military and civilian-led regimes, as well as the extent to which such ties have contributed to their rise as Pakistan’s leading enterprises. A historical analysis is provided of these groups, with a focus on a financial review of their publicly listed companies. We find that emerging business groups actively resort to rent-seeking activities by colluding with ruling elites, while also using multifaceted networking to protect and enhance their presence in the corporate sector.
Business Groups, Political Connections, and Regime Change in Pakistan
Ayesha Shoukat is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Commerce, Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan. She completed her Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Malaya. This article is based on her doctoral dissertation. Email: <email@example.com>.
Edmund Terence Gomez is a Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Administrative Studies and Politics, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He supervised Ayesha Shoukat’s dissertation and contributed extensively to this article. Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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Ayesha Shoukat, Edmund Terence Gomez; Business Groups, Political Connections, and Regime Change in Pakistan. Asian Survey 9 October 2020; 60 (5): 952–977. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2020.60.5.952
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