Manifestoes without Substance


  • Nadeem Ul Haque Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad
  • Saddam Hussein Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.



The word “manifesto” is derived from the Latin word “manifestum,” meaning clear or evident. It serves as a comprehensive and detailed document that outlines a political party’s vision for society, its proposed solutions to various issues, and its commitments to the electorate if they are elected to govern. Manifestos are also a means for political parties to establish credibility and demonstrate their understanding of the challenges faced by society. They serve as a roadmap to convince voters that the party’s vision aligns with the aspirations and needs of the public. A typical political manifesto includes several key components:

  • Presents the party’s overarching vision for the country or region it aims to represent and highlights the core values that guide its decisions and actions.
  • Outlines specific policy proposals on a wide range of subjects such as the economy, education, healthcare, environment, foreign affairs, defense, social welfare, and more. These proposals detail the party’s stance on each issue and how they plan to address them.
  • Promises made by the party to the electorate, aimed at winning their support and trust. These promises can vary from tax cuts, job creation, and infrastructure development, to improvements in various sectors.
  • A critique of the policies and ideas put forward by competing political parties. This is to highlight the differences and contrast their approach with that of the opponents.
  • Historical context, explaining how certain societal or economic issues have evolved and how the party’s proposed policies can address those issues effectively.




How to Cite

Haque, N. U., & Hussein, S. (2024). Manifestoes without Substance . The Pakistan Development Review, 63(1), pp.101–110.