OUP’s ‘Old World Empires’ gets HEC Best Book Award

  SANA MAHMOOD KARACHI: Oxford University Press’s publication Old World Empires: Cultures of Power and Governance in Eurasia penned by Ilhan Niaz has been judged the Best Book Publication in Social Sciences, 2013-14 by Higher Education Commission. This volume that is a chronological study of state power’s origins, development and nature tells that Eurasia is home to dominant tradition of arbitrary rule mediated through military, civil and ecclesiastical servants and marginal tradition of representative and responsible government through autonomous institutions. According to the author former tradition finds expression in hierarchically organized and ideologically legitimated continental bureaucratic states while the latter manifests itself in the state of laws. In recent times, the marginal tradition has gained in popularity and has led to continental bureaucratic states attempting to introduce democratic and constitutional reforms. These attempts have rarely altered the actual manner in which power is exercised by the state and its elites given the deeper and historically rooted experience of arbitrary rule. Far from being remote, the arbitrary culture of power that emerged in many parts of the world continues to shape the fortunes of states. To ignore this culture of power and the historical circumstances that have shaped it comes at

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