This book suggests that Pakistan has been stuck in a transition characterized by countervailing values and attitudes. The countrys governing elite could have led the society to cross the transition threshold through appropriate sociopolitical reforms but, being itself the product of existing social structures, it possesses both an authoritarian tendency as well as a belief in the legitimacy of a rational-democratic order. It is thus constrained by the paradox of practicing authoritarianism while seeking legitimacy in democratic terms. Furthermore, the task of adjustment between irreconcilable features compels adoption of short-term frameworks of decision-making. This ad hoc governance keeps the state oscillating between the poles of being an effective, resilient state or a failed one.