Local shura, Security and Development

Local shura, Security and Development

The paper explores new areas on the rebellion cycles in Afghanistan and re-focuses the debate around local level social constructions. The paper notes that despite a century of nation-State building, none of the various successive governments could effectively overcome the fierce social divisions within the Afghan society to allow the establishment of a strong central State apparatus. Yet, for the first time ever in the history of Afghanistan, a central authority which controlled effectively the territory was established by the Taleban - mainly backed by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - in just few years and soon after a complete collapse of the previous State apparatus. Without a US-led military intervention, their grip on Afghanistan seemed set for an extended period of time, which would have shattered the myth of a fiercely free Afghanistan. However, today once more, the Afghan government, along with the most sophisticated armies in the world, is failing to impose control over Afghan territory.

Starting from this paradoxical observation, the paper explores social constructions at their local level and in particular the social changes that have taken shape over the past two and half decades of conflict. War is indeed a cradle for social transformations which are not well documented as only few social researchers maintained their focus on Afghanistan during the war years. Yet, understanding these social changes offers opportunities for establishing a participatory territorial control and rule of law in Afghanistan. There is more than brutality or ethnicity to explain the Taleban past and present successes. The annex explores how local social groups are attempting to manage common properties such as security, local justice system or water resources, which are central to the establishment of an effective rule of law. Read the paper.......

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