Transition in Afghanistan : Hope, Despair and the Limits of Statebuilding book cover
1st Edition

Transition in Afghanistan
Hope, Despair and the Limits of Statebuilding

ISBN 9781138308718
Published April 20, 2018 by Routledge
272 Pages

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Book Description

This book, by one of the most experienced authorities on the subject, presents a deep analysis of the very difficult current situation in Afghanistan. Covering a wide range of important subjects including state-building, democracy, war, the rule of law, and international relations, the book draws out two overarching key factors: the way in which the prevailing neopatrimonial political order has become entrenched, making it very difficult for any other political order to take root; and the hostile region in which Afghanistan is located, especially the way in which an ongoing ‘creeping invasion’ from Pakistani territory has compromised the aspirations of both the Afghan government and its international backers to move the country to a more stable position.

Table of Contents




1. Introduction

2. The unravelling of Afghanistan

Statebuilding and reconstruction

3. Statebuilding: challenges and pathologies

4. Political development: mass, elite and institutional dimensions

5. Reconstruction: a critical assessment

Democracy and elections

6. Democracy and legitimation: challenges in the reconstitution of political processes

7. Afghan elections: from the sublime to the ridiculous?

Law and Human Rights

8. The rule of law and the weight of politics: challenges and trajectories

9. Human rights in Afghanistan


10. Surviving in a war zone: the problem of civilian casualties

11. Pakistan-Afghanistan relations

12. US-Afghanistan relations

13. Talking to the Taliban


14. Alternative futures for Afghanistan


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William Maley is Professor of Diplomacy, Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, The Australian National University