Power, Territory, and Learning: Explaining Pakistan’s Persistent Contestation

  • Hannes Ebert
  • Nicolas Blarel


In this chapter, Ebert and Blarel examine the drivers of Pakistan’s failed efforts to contest rising India since overt nuclearization of both rivals in 1998. They apply the perspective of Maoz and Mor’s evolutionary approach to rivalry maintenance to demonstrate how the secondary regional power’s dissatisfaction, perceived symmetry, and dysfunctional learning have contributed to the persistence of contestation. The model reveals how the cognitive denial of failure to achieve revisionist goals, tied to a bounded rationality within the military institution, the political benefits of warmongering, and the possession of nuclear weapons have driven Pakistan’s contestation of India’s regional dominance.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hannes Ebert
    • 1
  • Nicolas Blarel
    • 2
  1. 1.GIGA German Institute of Global and Area StudiesHamburgGermany
  2. 2.University of LeidenLeidenNetherlands

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