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Federalism and regime change: De/centralization in Pakistan – 1956–2020

Adeney, Katharine; Boni, Filippo


Filippo Boni


The extent to which de/centralization is shaped by regime change in federations that have experienced periods of autocratic rule is yet to be fully explored. To this end, this article measures static and dynamic de/centralization in Pakistan–a federal country under autocratic rule for long periods–since the introduction of its first constitution in 1956. Drawing on an original dataset compiled by the authors, this article challenges the narrative that only military regimes have abetted centralization. It also identifies the main instruments of de/centralization and the primary agents behind change, including the military, political parties, and the senior judiciary. The first study of its kind on Pakistan, and part of the project ‘Why de/centralization in federations?’, this article contributes to the literature on decentralization in hybrid regimes by mapping the longitudinal evolution of Pakistan’s federal system.


Adeney, K., & Boni, F. (2022). Federalism and regime change: De/centralization in Pakistan – 1956–2020. Regional and Federal Studies,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 12, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 14, 2022
Publication Date Jan 1, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 13, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 2, 2023
Journal Regional and Federal Studies
Print ISSN 1359-7566
Electronic ISSN 1743-9434
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Political Science and International Relations; Geography, Planning and Development
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Regional & Federal Studies on 14 Oct 2022, available at: