Politics, Media and International Relations

Excellence in Scholarship and Learning


Governance of Islam in Pakistan

An Institutional Study of the Council of Islamic Ideology

Sarah Holz holds a PhD in Political Science from Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. She was DAAD-Long Term Guest Professor at the National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan. She specialised in formal and informal governance processes and structures in Pakistan. Sarah is also interested in debates about de-colonising and de-centring research methodologies.

In the series
Asian & Asian American Studies

Modern states increasingly seek to regulate religious expression, practice and discourse. This is profoundly evident at many levels of Islamic policy interaction: from debates about the banning of the Muslim face-veil in Europe to civic re-education programmes for Muslim citizens in China. Governance of Islam in Pakistan provides a systematic account of how interactions between multiple public and private bodies direct the regulation and standardisation of Islam in one of the largest Muslim-majority states in the world. Analysis centres on the institutional development of the Council of Islamic Ideology, a constitutional body tasked with issuing advice to the executive and legislature about the compatibility of laws with Islamic principles. Based on archival material that has been subject to little scholarly attention, and interviews with Council members and staff of other state bodies, Sarah Holz proposes governance as an analytical framework to study the negotiation of religious expression, practice and discourse. In contrast to the established Islamisation narrative which generally labels such religious institutions as mere rubberstamps in the process of policy-making, the study of governance offers an alternative approach that enables examination of the dynamic competition and cooperation among multiple actors. Through collective interaction the Council and other relevant bodies are active players in the governance of Islam. Insights gained from analysis of the ideational, structural and functional evolution of the Council offers a Global South perspective on liberal democratic ideas about the functionality of the modern state and its institutional structure. Issues of economic, cultural and local/international political influence bear strongly in governance analysis. Engagement with the governance policy tool has applicability across the social sciences, but is particularly relevant for South Asian/Near and Middle East Studies.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78976-166-5
Paperback Price: £50 / $60
Release Date: September 2022
Page Extent / Format: 240 pp. 246 x 171 mm
Illustrated: Substantive tables and figures 







Introduction: Governance of Islam in Pakistan

Part I: State Institutions that Work with Reference to Islam

Chapter 1: In Search of Meaning: What are Islamic Institutions in

an Islamic Republic?

Chapter 2: The Network of State Institutions that Work with

Reference to Islam in Pakistan


Part II: The Institutional Development of the Council of Islamic


Chapter 3: The Establishment of the Council of Islamic Ideology:

The Ideational and Foundational Debates

Chapter 4: The Performance of Constitutional Tasks and the

Council’s Strategies of Space and Place-Making

Chapter 5: Council Membership and Composition







Review Quotes to Follow

Books can be ordered by phone or online

Ordering in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australasia, South America and Rest of the World

Gazelle Book Services
Direct sales tel.: +44 (0)1524 528500; email:
Web ordering:

Ordering in the United States and Canada
Independent Publishers Group (IPG)
Direct sales tel.: (800) 888-4741
Web ordering:

Bookseller Ordering
Information is provided under the Resources tab

eBook Ordering
e-Book type availability can be sourced via by book title. Kindle availability is via Amazon .com and sites.