Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Recommended Reads

Political-Cultural Impediments to Reform in Afghanistan

AAN < 1 min

Foreign Policy, 5 March 2015

Excellently balanced and almost dialectical but also condensed explainer by Marvin G. Weinbaum and Meena Yousufzy why reform pace under the Ghani-Abdullah team is so slow and what stands in its way in Afghanistan’s political culture:

“Traditional and tribal norms, as well as the nation’s Islamic heritage, contribute significantly to Afghanistan’s political culture. But these have been overlaid by a set of values forged in the crucible of 38 years of armed conflict and mass exile that has destroyed many of the older lines of authority and the accompanying value systems. More than a dozen years of international presence and assistance have altered economic incentives and exposed the country to the influence of foreign norms. Additionally, many core attitudes toward the state have been altered by post-2001 experiences with corrupt and ineffective public institutions, and a Taliban rule and insurgency that have introduced many values once thought alien to Afghanistan. What has emerged is a public demanding more from the government, but being reconciled to less; anxious for national unity, but vulnerable to divisive appeals; and hopeful of progress, while also apprehensive of the future.”

This deserves a full paper.