STATE BUILDING FAILURES IN POST-2001 AFGHANISTAN: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Failed states and intervention for state building have emerged as dominant themes of research and analyses in the field of international politics. The international drive to establish successful states from a Weberian concept have largely proved limited in non-Western conflict ridden societies in terms of either establishing state’s monopoly over violence or widening service provision. Intrigued by the not so successful outcomes of state building interventions in the so called ‘failed states,’ scholars, practitioners and policy makers have divulged into exploring the causes behind such outcomes. In the case of Afghanistan, international intervention that began in December 2001 as a reaction to the 9/11 episode, soon blossomed into a full-fledged state building exercise. However, despite a lapse of more than a decade of international intervention, insurgency related violence is killing dozens every month and state’s penetration of its society in service provision and coercive authority is very limited. Such a state of affairs has inspired a re-assessment of the unsuccessful attempts at building the state by outside interveners in Afghanistan. This paper attempts to review the debates on the causes of less than satisfactory and dismal outcomes of the international state building interventions in conflict societies, especially in the case of Afghanistan. A review of literature on Afghanistan reveals a myriad of opinions on the performance of state building exercise in post 2001 period. These divergent views, on the one hand blame the context of intervention for failures and on the other, find flaws in external state building models. The second variant of scholars are divided further on censuring either the statist approach of building centralized state institutions, or condemning state builder’s emphasis on liberal state structure. They also fault the internationalization of the state building process and resultant modernization attempts as being incompatible with the history of the intervened state and its local legitimacy requirements. This paper explores and critically evaluates some of the main arguments of these scholars.
The state is in the limelight again. After more than a decade of mocking at the hands of the Neoliberals, advocating for a reduced scope of state intervention in economic affairs in the last quarter of the 20th Century, dawn of the 21st Century has coincided with the resurgence of the idea of state’s centrality as not only the primary law giver, enforcer and service provider but also the regulator and planner of economic life. A multitude of factors worked to focus liberal’s attention on reduced scope of state functionality, which included, failures of Development theory to stimulate economic progress in the Third World, resulting in economic crisis of the 1960s and 1970s, public sector inefficiencies therein, disintegration of planned economies in the Communist world and the post Cold War popular movements for democratic liberalization. The rediscovery of state’s centrality is a function in turn, of disappointments with economic and political liberalization models to deliver growth in many developing states, an extraordinary rise in intra-state conflicts and of states failing at Cold War period’s end and rise of the concepts of sovereignty as responsibility and humanitarian intervention for state building.
The post Cold War international environment became noticeable for an altered appreciation of the concept of sovereignty. This redefinition made the exercise of sovereignty by states conditional on provision of essential public goods and services, especially security and peace, failing which, international community was justified to intervene for restoring order and rebuilding the state structures. The concept of ‘sovereignty as responsibility,’ provided a rationale for the increasing number of ‘humanitarian interventions’ in conflict societies, which international literature increasingly referred to as ‘failed states.’ Whereas, the discourse on failed states has largely focused on transnational security issues and humanitarian fallouts, the theory and practice of post intervention state building revolves around building and strengthening state institutions and enlarging the scope of their functions and establishing democratic norms of governance and liberal market institutions. Somalia, Haiti, Cambodia, the Balkans, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and a host of states have been intervened in the post Cold War era under the rationale of humanitarian state building. In a majority of cases, however, such state building interventions have produced less than satisfactory and in some cases dismal results. These state building exercises in post-conflict intervened states have proved incapable of restoring peace, as almost 50 % of the intervened cases have reverted back to violence. Afghanistan suffers a similar fate.
In Afghanistan, state building intervention resulted from post-9/11 invasion by the US and its allies, which started off as a reaction to security threats from transnational extremist groups, blossoming afterwards into a fully fledged state building exercise. Afghanistan as a classic case of a weak state endured a long protracted civil war, unabated violence, and erosion of state capacity and strength, elevating its status to the so called failed state. The more than a decade long state building intervention since 2001 has however, failed to improve significantly the Afghan state’s coercive capacity, or service provision beyond its urban centres. Major parts of Afghanistan are still reeling under the burden of insurgency and violence, which has made its state and peace building goals far-fetched and elusive. Several scholars have tried to answer the difficult question of why state building interventions are unable to restore and build effective statehood in failed states including, Afghanistan.
Why Dismal Outcomes? A Review of Literature
The many dismal results of state building interventions in the so called ‘failed states’ has attracted scholarly attention to the critical dimension of exploring the causes for such outcomes. A number of scholars have attempted to theorize and understand the reasons behind international state building failures. Some theorists blame the lackluster performance on post-intervention introduction of institutions alien to local culture and intervened state’s geography and context. Among the experts on Afghanistan, a few, criticize the state building practice of developing centralized state institutions in a historically decentralized country, others criticize democracy promotion in the face of low performing state structures and absence of institutional framework for resolving disputes. A few scholars consider donor aid policies incompatible with the realities of Afghan political life, and a few more consider ethnic diversity and the resulting complications to be responsible. There are those who consider modernization reforms as inherently conflictual and more so in post 2001 period because of tenuous involvement of external actors in internal political processes. Still others see a dichotomy between local ownership of the state building process and reality of lack of capacity on the part of the Afghan government and complexities of political milieu, especially, the resistance of local political actors and structures to the reform process.
For the purpose of review, it is convenient to divide the scholars writing on Afghanistan into two groups: those who blame contextual factors for failure of state building ventures; and those critical of external state builder’s policies for leading to lack-luster results. Both the categories may be subdivided further into two or three variants. The scholars who blame context can be grouped into two: those who hold the context-geography, regional environment and ethnicity responsible, including Caplan and Johnson; and those who deem contextual factors as well as flaws in the state building model responsible, such as, Mattco, Lister, and Mukhopadhay. Scholars critical of external state building policies may be grouped into three: those censuring the statist approach of building centralized state institutions, including, Woodward, Barfield and Nojumi, Boege et al., and Schmeidle and Karokhail; the ones condemning state builder’s emphasis on liberal state structure, such as Wimmer and Schetter; and those finding fault with the internationalization of the state building process and modernization attempts as being incompatible, either with the history of intervened state, or its local legitimacy requirements, such as, Rubin, Suhrke and Goodhand and Sedra. This paper critically evaluates some of the main arguments of these scholars.
Several scholars blame the difficult and tenacious context of intervened states, including their geography, physical features, socio-cultural characteristics and regional environment for the lack luster performance of state building interventions. Among the scholars that consider contextual factors responsible for state building failures in Afghanistan and elsewhere, Caplan identifies several geographic features, such as the presence of regional adversaries, whose interests as neighbouring states stand contested by foreign state building intervention. He also includes in the case of Afghanistan, its bigger and harsher terrain. Such a difficult terrain failed to complement the international state builder’s light footprint approach in men and material in the country. Also identified by Caplan is the non-decisive defeat of a war adversary at the time of international intervention in the host state. This was exemplified by case of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), where the mid 1990’s international intervention in the absence of decisive restrain of the Serbian forces problematized agreement on a political settlement later on. There was therefore a lot of resistance in neutralizing armed opposition to post intervention state building exercise there.
For scholars, such as Johnson, a more contentious contextual issue is ethnic fragmentation, which he claims is a major cause of conflicts and state building failures in Afghanistan. Giving example of Ahmad Shah Abdali’s (the first Afghan monarch) appointment of a separate Khan (tribal chief) for the Achakzais, he claims a historic pattern of ethnic manipulation of other groups by Afghanistan’s Pakhtun rulers. He sees ethnic divisions reinforced by the post 2001 Bonn Agreement, and presidential and parliamentary elections. This he claims on the basis of the argument that none of the candidates in the 2004 presidential elections could muster considerable votes outside their ethnic groups. He therefore, questions the wisdom of introducing a strong presidential system permitting the primacy of only one ethnic group over all others in a highly ethnically fragmented society.
The above discussion brings out the significance of intervened state’s context in determining its chances of success or failure in post intervention state building exercise. Context is nonetheless important in that regional power’s interest in either conflict perpetuation or resolution may serve to complicate or facilitate state building process in host states. Most observers of Afghan scene are highly critical of regional powers role, especially that of Pakistan in perpetuation of the conflict in Afghanistan in the 1990’s which served as the basis for the subsequent rise of the Taliban. Somewhat similar, but limited role is also attributed to another regional neighbor, Iran. This interference is supposedly continuing in post 2001 period with destabilizing impact for the country. However, to both Caplan and Johnson’s arguments, may be added other contextual factors in intervened conflict societies that are equally powerful, more resilient and less susceptible to change. These include patrimonial and rent seeking character of politics, traditional structures of authority opposed to modernization, a culture of political violence and suppression of opposition, subsistence economy with dependence on the export of primary products, and limited revenue resource extraction base. All these factors in varying degrees complicate the state building process in intervened states. This stands true for Afghanistan too. Caplan’s arguments on regional powers support or opposition to state building intervention can be supplemented with discussion on local population’s consent or resistance to intervention, which in itself is a function of popular perception about the legitimacy of state building intervention. Host state’s consent and local population’s support are crucial contextual factors for building effective states after intervention. As the case of Iraq suggests, the US invasion was hardly supported by indigenous groups, resultantly, the drive to create a national government in post-2003 period proved particularly hard for the intervener. Afghanistan’s harsh geography not only militates against its rise as a cohesive nation, but also makes the bulk of economic activity (around 80-90 %) informal, decentralized and fragmented. Hence, it is not geography parse, but the effects such geographical reality has on limiting state’s growth as a unified, homogenous and economically self-sufficient entity.
Johnson’s arguments over ethnic divisions derailing the current state building process in Afghanistan are contestable on several counts. First, though the Pakhtun Durrani tribes as a ruling class (since 1747) were beneficiaries of various state subsidies and concessions, however, but the alleged manipulation of other ethnic groups in Afghanistan is a debatable issue. The administrative machinery of the state in Afghanistan (working under the Pakhtun rulers) has traditionally been managed by non-Pakhtun administrators and officers. These facts are not reflected in Johnson’s analysis, while he blames ethnicity related prejudices for state building failures. Johnson is also historically incorrect, when he points to Ahmad Shah’s (Pakhtun) manipulation of other ethnicities by citing appointment of a separate Khan (tribal chief) for the Achakzais. It is because Achakzais are a sub-tribe/ clan of the larger Muhammadzai-Durrani Pakhtun tribe and not a separate ethnic group. Therefore, appointment of a separate Khan may have given the Achakzais the status of a tribal group, but not a separate ethnicity. This is besides the fact that ethnic rivalry has not fueled any known war in Afghan history and ethnic polarization sprang from (as an outcome), rather than caused the 1990’s civil war. Lastly, though the former President, Ahmed Karzai was a Popalzai-Durrani Pakhtun, but his cabinet was well represented by other significant ethnic groups, bellying Johnson’s thesis of presidential system producing hegemony of the Pakhtun ethnicity. Infact, prior to 2004, the high offices in central government were almost completely dominated by Tajik and Uzbek dominated Northern Alliance. This had led to reservations being expressed by Afghan observers of the neglect of ethnic historical and political realities in the make-up of the new government in Afghanistan. Fears about the long-term durability of post 2001 Afghan government on account of neglect of and non-participation by Southern and Eastern Pakhtun tribes led to re-assessments by US and its allies in re-constituting the state machinery to make it more ethnically balanced. This is not withstanding the fact that in the different Presidential elections held in Afghanistan since 2001, the Presidential candidates though belonging to different ethnic groups have had their running vice Presidential mates chosen from alternate ethnic groups. His assertion about elections leading to the primacy of one ethnic group over others is also miscounted. As the current set-up of Afghanistan shows, the top executive position is being shared by not only the President -Ashraf Ghani, a Pakhtun, but also by the Chief Executive -Abdullah Abdullah, who is a Tajik. Johnson’s analysis is therefore an over-simplification of very complex political and social realities in Afghanistan.
Mukhopadhay, Lister and Mattco, fault the context as well as flaws in the state building exercise for failures of governance in post 2001-Afghanistan. For Mukhopadhay, context is signified by a problematic history of state’s attempt at extending centralized control over peripheral groups and regions dominated by informal actors/ institutions (religious, tribal and militant). To him, attempts at radically reforming their (peripheral people) socio-economic lives created political dishevel and encouraged armed resistance, as witnessed in post 1978 Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) regime’s reforms. The state governed the indigenous groups successfully only when it allowed informal power holders control over community’s social and political lives and restricted its own sphere to conflict management, limited tax collection and supervision of troop’s conscription, as exemplified by the reign of Musahibeen rulers (1929-1978). Lister, on the other hand, engages domestic context of intervened states by emphasizing the local matrix of political actors, parties and structures and their complex interaction with the state. He stresses that these actors and structures are involved in a continuous process of manipulating the state introduced reforms and co-opting these to their interests, especially when these reforms challenge their socio-economic positions. In this continuous struggle between the old guards and the new reforms, the older groups are often successful in manipulating the newer aspects/ forms of reforms. She proves her point through a case study of two sub-national reform processes introduced by state builders in post 2001 period-Public Administration Reform (PAR) and Provincial Development Committees (PDCs). Their failure is blamed by her on local power holder’s manipulation of formal rules within these reforms for patronizing appointments and seeking funding for favoured districts. Mattco, interestingly, sees contextual difficulties not in the power of informal actors, but, due to deficiencies in Afghan government’s organizational capacity, legal expertise, issues of corruption and poor security. He explores these contradictions of local ownership in the case of breakdown of judicial and legal sector reforms in post 2001 Afghanistan.
Besides blaming contextual factors, these three scholars also engage the shortcomings of state building process in post-2001 Afghanistan. To Mukhopadhay for example, the counter-terrorism objectives of international interveners (the US) clashed with their state building goals for the Afghan state. This happened when: partisan treatment was meted out to the Northern Alliance in government positions at the expense of other ethnic groups (including Pakhtuns); Taliban groups were alienated by declaring them enemies; and concessions were granted to the warlords, for securing their help in tracking down al Qaeeda and the Taliban, who then refused to disarm militias under their control and posed a direct challenge to the writ of the state. Lister, shares some concerns with Mukhopadhay about the state builder’s reliance on warlords for counter-insurgency, restricting the prospects of their submission to centralized state authority. But among other acts of omission, she further cites the belated introduction of bureaucratic reforms (including appointments on merit criteria) at the sub-national level, non-emphasis on corruption and patronage issues early on in the state building process and failures to improve Afghan judiciary’s competence and that of its police services. To these observations, Mattco, adds donor’s disbursal of lesser funds than actually promised; shortages of international legal personnel engaged in judicial overhauling; coordination issues among a plethora of institutions involved in state building; financial aid dependence running at a high of 90 % of public expenditure; and greater part of foreign aid (two-thirds) by-passing the Afghan government to end up with Non-Governmental Sectors (NGOs).
While analyzing the above arguments, it can be argued that historical facts need to be cited objectively while blaming the history of modernization attempts in Afghanistan to be conflictual and contentious. Under king Amanullah (1919-28) for example, modernization reforms failed, not because these were resisted by societal groups opposed to it, but due to the weakness of centralized coercive apparatus (the military) to control such disturbances. This was because the military had been downsized and its privileges reduced as a part of the reform process introduced by King Amanullah. This had a demoralizing influence on the moral of the Afghan army. Additionally, in PDPAs time (post 1978 period), protests against the reforms introduced by the regime started taking shape in the periphery province of Nuristan first. This happened not because of any eternal opposition to state induced reform process. The reality being that these protests were sparked as a note of disapproval to the distribution of lands by the land reforms team among its own clan members, rather than to the landless peasants. Therefore, this shows that patronage based influences on distribution of lands under reforms were the actual cause of grievance, rather than the reform process itself. Tensions in the current modernization attempt (post 2001 period) are generated not because modernization in itself a historically conflictual process, but, because these are externally driven and foreign imposed and therefore resisted by local power holders, whose control over and manipulation of resources is compromised through these reforms. The history of Afghanistan demonstrates that local Afghan rulers since the middle of 19th Century have had varied form of successes in introducing and sustaining limited modernization and centralization reforms. One way of neutralizing opposition to reforms therefore, is securing local power holder’s confidence through informal sessions and talks, and giving these certain leverage for controlling the reform implementation process; however, such role needs to be supervised to avoid expropriation of resources by powerful cliques and power-holders. Here, there is also sidelining by scholars of the fact that patrimonial and clientelist practices as evidenced by the European state making experience, usually take centuries to dis-lodge and continue to influence state building practices in different forms, even when these have been up-rooted. Afghanistan’s case is no different and therefore, such practices will continue to influence state building priorities, even though formal reform process may not recognize their presence or existence. Further, Afghanistan has traditionally retained a decentralized form of governance, where the peripheral units have remained very strongly under the ruler-ship of local power-wielders and indigenous/ traditional institutions of governance. To expect a decade long intervention to root-out such practices would be both unrealistic at worst and wishful at best. In fact, there has been recognition in post 2007 period that the local and traditional institutions of governance, especially in dispute resolution, security and service provision need to be strengthened and incorporated in the formal processes of state building. This has resulted in the adoption of more indigenized practices of governance in reform processes introduced at the national and sub-national levels. Already informal institutions and actors, such as tribal elders, maliks (village headmen)and Jirgahs (council of elders)as the practice suggests, are playing an invaluable role in helping the formal administration carry out state related services. The legitimacy which these local institutions enjoy, coupled with their accessibility and affordability make them ideal partners for putting into practice formally introduced reforms. However, their interaction works in a complex pattern of co-operation and contestation. The informal in specific contexts and under appropriate policies have helped to serve the state building goals, but in non-orthodox unconventional manner.
Mattco’s arguments signifying lack of capacity on the part of the Afghan government as a contextual factor inhibiting state building operations can also be debated. There is a clear difference in how the foreign interveners and the local stake-holders look at the issue of capacity, particularly in the judicial sector. This is because to the external state builders, capacity building in judicial arena is synonym to having a formal education in Western legal traditions. Such an understanding excludes a large number of Afghan judges who are trained in Shariah knowledge from the capacity issue, seemingly making the situation a very dire one. Hence, it is not a question of lack of capacity here, rather it is an issue of in-adequacy in education and knowledge of Western legal traditions. Though, there is a need to acknowledge complications in the judicial field presented by existence of plural legal traditions in Afghanistan; a major portion of Afghan dispute resolution process in the rural districts takes recourse to customary laws and legal practices, rather than to statutory and Shariah laws. And as the practice suggests, even formal legal institutions seek the support and help of informal dispute resolution mechanisms by referring disputes to local Shuras (consultative bodies) and Jirgahs (Council of elders).
The lack of formal state capacity is a paradoxical issue. Given low capacity, foreign aid may be too overwhelming to be absorbed properly by the government agencies and hence stands a chance of getting wasted. And when it by-passes the government for spending through NGOs, the government stands at risk of getting cash and capacity starved. Lister’s recounting of faults in state building process carries much weight. Especially, the US engagement with selected elements of strongmen or militia leaders for counter insurgency purposes, bestowed upon these players new bargaining power vis-à-vis the state. Further, issues of slow disbursal of aid and financial over-dependence on foreign resources are very much relevant to the question of sustainability of current state building process.
The scholars who are highly critical of external state building policies include Woodward, Boege et al., Schmeidle, Karokhail and Barfield and Nojumi. Woodward, blames state building failure in Afghanistan on the intervener’s statist approach of constructing centralized state structures, which have come at the expense of traditional governance institutions. Citing post intervened state building experiences of BiH, Kosovo and East Timor, she is critical of state builder’s non accommodation of successful pre-war governance institutions. In the Balkans for example, socialist period’s industrial, accounting and political systems and neighbourhood associations were replaced by neoliberal institutions, which were alien to the local society and therefore, had problems in gaining legitimacy. The utilization of such local institutions in post-war period, she insists, could have helped the state builders not only achieve a sense of social stability, but also building legitimacy to aid the reconciliation processes. Boege et al., blame the Western state builder’s deficiency of knowledge about non-western society’s traditional legitimacy concepts and the hybridity of their political order for disappointing results in state building exercises. They contend that there is a need to replace state centric debates on state building, with a post-modern nation state order that is cognizant of hybridity of political systems in failed and conflict settings. There should be a recognition of working with customary governance institutions, rather than working through them. They contrast East Timorese state building experience, where state builders tried to introduce a highly centralized system, focused on urban centres and ignoring their customary governance institutions, with two successful hybrid state building examples of Somaliland (North-Western part of Somalia) and Bougainvillle (South Pacific Island of Papua New Guinea). In both the later cases, state building was largely indigenous, combining liberal with customary governance structures in a constructive relationship; thereby increasing their legitimacy and leading to enhanced prospects for peace and stability. This makes the later two cases more successful than the rest of cases where state building followed international intervention.
Schmeidle and Karokhail, see similar problems in state building failures of Afghanistan and East Timor; centralized structures confined to the capital that ignore rural areas and marginalize local communities and their cultural governance institution. The result is fast deteriorating security in both these countries and an over-whelming dependence of population (up-to 90%) on informal mechanisms of dispute resolution. Especially critical of the Bonn political order’s reliance on co-opting of strongmen into government services, they contend that such a policy provided them access to resources, made the state ineffective and sidelined customary institutions. Barfield and Nojumi, explore the shortcomings of post-2001 statist approach of building powerful centralized institutions in Afghanistan in the light of its history, geography and economy. Historically, Afghanistan’s state building process has followed a decentralized practice of devolving administration and political decision making to local structures and actors. Afghanistan’s geographical feature, complimented by mountainous terrains and difficult passes and dependence on agrarian subsistence economy has reinforced localized self rule. Therefore, they argue that Afghanistan needs a governance centric approach of reinforcing elements of self rule at the local level (in place of a government centric one), to help the central government focus on problems at the national level.
Woodward, Boege et al, and Schmeidle and Karokhail’s reasoning on incorporation of successful pre-war institutions or indigenous governance ones may make for a healthy start in state building interventions, but the context in each case of intervention warrants special attention. In most cases, war and conflict does much to mutilate and destroy such successful governance aspects; what is left may only be those legacies that carry patrimonial or rent seeking political culture. The difficulties in dislodging them may make it worthwhile to make a clean start with new structures and institutions. The case for either dissolution of old structures and starting with new institutions or combining the old and the new in hybrid orders is dependent not only on the context of intervention, but also the position of old institutions and their legitimacy basis in the society. Take the case of Iraq, where US decision to disband in post 2003 period, 400,000 strong Iraqi army proved a highly flawed strategy. It not only made redundant directly 7 % of the work force in Iraq, which along with their families, constituted 10 % of the total population, but also helped swell the ranks of resistance groups and diminished US forces capacity of gaining intelligence information through local security informants. In Bosnia on the other hand, attempts to re-structure the existing security institutions proved cumbersome because of local ethnic, nationalist and factional influences over existing security apparatuses. Learning from the Bosnian experiment, in Kosovo, efforts concentrated at building new security institutions instead of restructuring the old ones. The downside being the security institutions took several years to become effective.
The attempts by US in Iraq of dismantling further the pre-invasion bureaucracy (30,000 Iraqi civil servants) under a de Ba’athification campaign complicated peace and state building in the country. In other cases, where bureaucracies survived with weak capacities but less politicized (Balkans and East Timor), challenges confronting the state builders involved building capacity of such institutions and formalizing their rules and regulations. Here, capacity building reforms that ran administration on a hybrid basis were more successful, than those fully owned by foreign administrators. This hybrid model, either combined services of international administrators with local community members selected for their merit and competency, or, created parallel internal structures, for monitoring enforcement of financial (custom) revenues and transfer of relevant skills. Both these strategies were successfully employed in Bosnia, where the Independent Media Commission, the Central Bank and the Human Rights Ombudsman, all worked with distinction when ran on hybrid basis. Some such experiments were also conducted in East Timor. This is not to suggest that such a practice was without complications. In Bosnia, for example, a highly charged ethnic environment (domestic context) subjected the selection process for hybrid institutions to serious ethnic and political competition. A further issue pertained to the limited reach of hybrid administrative structures; their working was mostly confined to the capital cities, ignoring predominantly rural areas and urban suburbs. In East Timor too, there were problems over resource distribution, which resulted in friction between local and international members of certain hybrid bodies, including the Governance and Public Administration (GPA) of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and the ETTA –East Timorese Administrators. These examples show that rejuvenation of old, or creation of new, or even combining old and new in some workable institutional set-up will not only depend on in what shape the interveners inherit these institutions, but also on how the interveners see the old institutions being politicized and therefore burdened with legacies that may hurt the process of state building after intervention. This calls for a thorough understanding of conflict dynamics and the need to a simultaneous assessment of the practices introduced to know their limitations for replacing them in time. Unfortunately this seldom happens.
In most cases, including Afghanistan, external state builder’s knowledge about conflict dynamics of intervened societies is not founded by anthropological knowledge about local cultures and traditions. Limitations on international intervener’s capacity to understand local societies and devise state building models accordingly further arise from changed dynamics in each of the different cases and time and resource constraints from home governments. In the face of such shortages, attempts are made to create state building models that are based more on Western mores of governance and less tuned to indigenous culture and institutions. This creates a legitimacy deficit and impedes successful achievement of state building goals.
Barfield and Nojumi’s criticism of the statist approach is worthwhile only in reference to Afghanistan’s history being dominated by a decentralized practice of administration and governance. But beyond that we can argue rather strongly that all Afghan monarchs attempted building strong and centralized state institutions, especially the military and to a lesser extent the bureaucracy, reflecting their desire to modernize their rule and promote internal stability. As for the argument of strengthening elements of self rule at local levels, it may be stressed that after 1979 war’s reconfiguration of socio-political elite at the local level in Afghanistan, reinforcing such elements may bring into power military commanders, warlords or strongmen. Such informal actors who are already at the helm of affairs in Afghanistan, have made their positions formal through election as well as selection. They have adversely influenced the current state building exercise by manipulating reforms to benefit their power base. Decentralization of administration and devolution of financial powers in planning and resource spending to sub-national governments may therefore, prove to be more rewarding than reinforcing elements of self rule at the local level.
Scholars, such as Wimmer and Schetter, criticize current state building models not for their statist approach, but for promoting liberal democratic practices. Democratization in the absence of strong political and social pre-requisites, or institutional framework for resolving disputes and non-performing state institutions, to them, ethnicizes politics and escalates conflicts. Besides liberalization, they argue that out-sourcing of government functions to Non-Governmental Sectors (NGOs) creates parallel structures and weakens the legitimacy of the state. It further promotes new forms of clientelism, wherein, warlords and tribal leaders influence the funding and functioning priorities of these NGOs for benefitting their regions and groups. The donor’s preference for liberal democracy reflects external intervener’s perception that democratic deficit failed the Afghan state in the first place. Most definitions of ‘failed states’ feature lack of legitimacy as a salient characteristic of such societies. The issue of anocracies or nascent democracies promoting instability in the face of limited institutionalization is documented by some other scholars too. Introduction of democracy may be a far cry from the traditional legitimacy norms of a post conflict society, which is based either on religion, or charismatic patrimonialism. In post conflict intervention episodes, external state builders assumption that a legitimate and effective statehood is best secured through elections, representative government, individual freedom, an independent media, a robust civil society and a free market economy result in generating paradoxes in the political system. Such liberalization paradoxes have complicated the national level democratic legitimacy experiment of elections (presidential and parliamentary) in the country. The need for quick democratic transition goals obfuscate the necessary electoral preparation in post conflict societies like Afghanistan. Electoral dilemmas in Afghanistan consist of vague demarcated boundaries, lack of population census, adoption of complicated SNTV system, late passage of electoral law, inadequate security and denial of electoral participation to candidates to run on party tickets, discouraging the growth of party culture. These dilemmas are generating electoral paradoxes, which include, for example, irregularities in voter registration, low voter turn-out, and voting processes riddled with violence and killings. Resultantly, elections become a farce and instead of legitimizing regimes, destabilize and delegitimize it.
Intervention for state building supposedly works to create an efficient statehood; therefore, working through state agencies for service delivery rather than the NGOs seems to be the right option for state builders. But donor’s channeling of funds, instead through NGOs need to be appreciated in the light of limited timeframe of their presence in the post-intervened society. The urgency to show results on the part of external interveners is hardly matched by low capacity of host government institutions to absorb donor funding and run projects, and issues of corruptibility among its officials. However, it is important to understand that such a practice is paradoxical in nature. Because efforts to grow formal administration while simultaneously preferring NGOs for service delivery creates legitimacy issues for the state institutions. It can be said that donor preference to channel services through NGOs stems from a weak indigenous formal institutional capacity to absorb grants, perceptions about potential indulgence of formal structures in corrupt practices and lack of patience on the part of donors for time consuming formal capacity building exercises. However, such a practice to use Fukuyama’s words, sucks out the capacity of state institutions, in place of building it. This practice has received severe criticism from Ghani & Lockhart, Call and Fukuyama, who stress channeling aid through national budgetary process as a requirement of capacity building, even if these are perceived to be corrupt or inefficient. However, they also argue for balancing the channeling of funds through state structures with necessary checks and balances for avoiding misappropriation of donor funds. Formal institutional capacity building is seriously handicapped, not only as a result of bypassing of larger amounts of donor funding in favour of the NGOs, but also in turn NGOs attracting better qualified and trained locals on the basis of higher pay scales and other facilities. The state institutions are left with less qualified or trained personnel, which in tandem with resource deficiencies, heightens to create legitimacy deficit for the state.
The last group of scholars, comprising Rubin, Suhrke, Goodhand and Sedra, disapprove of internationalization of state building process in undertaking modernization attempts and declare these to be at variance with host state’s history and legitimacy constraints. Rubin, explores the impact of internationalization of state building process in post-2001 Afghanistan on the growth of state making tools of coercion, capital and legitimacy. External involvement in rebuilding security structures and disarming of militias (coercion) invited resistance from militia leaders and commanders, who refused to disarm or demobilize. It also raised issues relating to sustainability of Afghan forces to the tune of $ 1 billion a year from domestic revenues, besides training problems. He also argues that the international assistance to make-up for deficiencies in public finances (capital) and channeling funds through private NGOs hampered state’s fiscal capacity to manage the economy, affected its ability to decide on priority service provision cases and undermined its accountability to citizens. And Security Council resolutions legitimizing military invasion of Afghanistan highlighted the foreign aspect of state building legitimacy, rather than its domestic sanction.
Linking coercion, capital and legitimacy issues with a heavy internationalization of current state building process, Suhrke, identifies three contradictions in such a process: control vs. ownership; dependency vs. sustainability and effective vs. legitimate state. The first aspect of control vs. ownership is negotiated through the Afghan desire for ownership of state building process in distribution of state benefits and direction over the process, conflicting with actual donor control over it through consultancy, channeling funds to NGOs, deciding on high level appointments and military strategy. This makes the Afghans express their dissatisfaction either ‘openly or through evasion, opposition, manipulation or resistance to international agenda.’ In the second contradiction, the scholar stresses the overwhelming financial dependence of the Afghan state on foreign income makes it fragile and undemocratic; not accountable to the parliament but to the foreign donors for public spending and priorities. Heavy international involvement in armed forces training also raises the question of imbalance between military and civilian apparatus and army’s loyalty to the Afghan state. And finally Suhrke suggests that a heavy international presence and government’s alliance with the West fails to provide space to Islam and nationalism, which have historically provided legitimacy to the state. Terming foreign state building legitimacy to be utilitarian, Suhrke highlights the issue of coordination among multiple organizations involved in state building. She also blames the peace building requirement of co-opting powerful political contenders for creating problems in distribution of resources, disarmament of militias, non-patronage based appointments and a ban over opium related economic activity.
Goodhand and Sedra blame the state building limitations on incompatibilities between foreign donor’s aid intervention policies and domestic political realities in Afghanistan. Donor funded aid documents fail to recognize dynamics of de-facto power structures and ignore the priority between desired long term developmental goals and short term security imperatives. They term the contested sovereignty between de-jure formal and de-facto informal institutions and power holders (a function of more than twenty years of war), as the reason for the limited success of technocratic state building exercises. They blame donor’s aid disbursement to NGOs for aggravating horizontal and vertical inequality, strengthening unaccountable elites and for failures to develop state’s capacity to mobilize domestic resources. They further criticize the Security Sector’s Lead Nation Approach, to result in lack of coordination among donors and wastage of resources. In addition, they also highlight the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) initial non-extension outside Kabul, funding of regional warlords by the US for help in war against al Qaeeda, and lack of steps to eradicate drug economy, further led to the less than successful outcome of state building process in Afghanistan.
The many commonalities in Rubin, Suhrke, Goodhand and Sedra’s arguments make it convenient to evaluate their arguments together. In intervened state building exercises, coercion, capital and legitimacy are foreign derived, which differentiates such a process from the broader historical state making experience in Europe and the West. State builders in Europe built their coercive capacity through mobilizing local capital and legitimized their rule through negotiation and re-negotiation with the public on the just utilization of public finances and in the process, refined their state boundaries and defended these from external enemies. External influences over internal processes of coercion, capital and legitimacy are the necessary fallouts of any interventionist state building exercise. The case study of Afghanistan demonstrates that the growth of coercion historically was led by indigenous elite, but with external resources; therefore the issue of its sustainability is nothing new from a historical perspective. However resistance by armed groups against a regime in power has also been historically dependent on how much legitimacy it enjoys in the eyes of the locals. For example, the Mujahideen (Islamic fighters) based their struggle in the 1980s on the perceptions of waging a Jihad (holy war) against the infidel puppet regime of Kabul, which was backed by the Soviet Union. Somewhat similar rhetoric is used by the Taliban in post 2001 period to justify their resistance to international intervention and for motivating fresh recruitments in their organization.
In Afghanistan’s historical experience with state making, capital has largely and significantly come, not from domestic sources, but from external funding, earning it the title of a ‘rentier state.’ Here, Suhrke’s contention that state building would succeed only when it is entirely endogenous and free from outside interference stands contested. In the case of Afghanistan, this approach is tantamount to adopting ahistorical position. In the past, indigenous state building process in Afghanistan was inspired and funded by foreign patrons. As for the issue of legitimacy, tribal support and Islam has legitimized regimes in early times and in the 20th Century too. Though by the middle of last Century, the added aspect of rising Afghan nationalism and ruler’s appeal to the same provided stability to different regimes in Afghanistan. Even the legitimacy derived from nationalism has either rallied around anti-foreign/British sentiments, or on the rhetoric of Pakhtun nationalistic fervor. In post-2001 period, foreign involvement in state building process has been more direct and all encompassing. And such an involvement has inspired resentment among the elites and new power groupings over ownership of the process, especially in the distribution of state created rents. The rentier aspect/ character of state building sponsorship has however continued unabated in post 2001 period.
The reference to the tenuous relationship between peace building and state building may also be connected to the same argument. The need to create peace and end war may force external state builders to put in place arrangements that could collide with many state building requirements. Such arrangements include giving amnesty to leaders involved in war crimes (in pre-intervention period) and granting special privileges to them, such as, granting of economic rents, control over certain heads of taxation etc. This may hurt the long term economic viability of the state and politically alienate certain groups. The state building vs. peace building dilemmas have harmed state building goals in Afghanistan too. Lesser representation of Pakhtuns in the security and administrative apparatus in the follow up to transitional government after the Bonn Agreement and strengthening of local warlords by the US to capture al Qaeeda and Taliban affiliates and militants can also be seen in the same light. For some Afghan practitioners, for peace to prevail, it is essential that a political solution needs to be sought through dialogue with insurgents, reconciliation, reconstruction through Afghan hands, support to the local government institutions and working through Afghan NGOs and civil society groups, rather than foreign ones.
The issue of sovereignty being contested and simultaneously exercised by de-facto and de-jure is not a consequence of the post-2001 state building exercise in Afghanistan alone; it is rather a historical legacy that signifies the weakness of the formal state vis-à-vis the informal society. The society’s strength vis-à-vis the state has been a function of complex factors, including, harsh geographical terrain, the tribal fervor for autonomy and weak extractable base of the economy. A country, where informal governance structures held significance even prior to the commencing of conflict, and where decades of civil war made the economic activity either aid or drug generated, cannot be expected in a short time to generate legal economic activity to help the state mobilize capital for growth. Afghanistan’s current economic statistics, including its Human Development Indicators (HDI) militate against its rise as self sufficient rentier free economy. Its rural population is currently estimated at 75 % of the country’s 30 million people. Though 80 % of the labor force is employed by the agriculture sector, however, unemployment ratios stand at 40%. Afghanistan’s poor macro-economic and social indicators are complicating its economic revival. Only 23 % population has access to safe drinking water, 12 % to adequate sanitation and 6 % to electricity. Infant mortality is 115 per 1000 live births, life expectancy is 44 years and illiteracy ratio is 71%. Afghanistan weak economic characteristics not only give it a rentier status, but also place inroads in the re-integration of former combatants into Afghan economy. Additionally, in view of the ground realities in Afghanistan, the donors, after initial setbacks in building of coercive apparatuses, re-evaluated their strategies. For example, the failure of the Lead Nation Approach in constructing security sector institutions, led the US to reassess and assume primary responsibility for building the Afghan National Army (ANA) as well as the Afghan National Police (ANP). This coherent strategy led to positive results in the building of both the ANA and the ANP. Although, the issue of generating capital domestically to sustain them on a long term basis outside of foreign revenues continues as a serious issue problematizing the future of both the security agencies.
Varied, but interesting reasoning have been forwarded by scholars to explain the failures of state building interventions. Generally speaking, scholars either blame the context solely or criticize both the context and the process of state building, including its statist approach, liberal dimension and internationalization of state building efforts to generate tensions and contradictions in host societies. Among the experts on Afghanistan, a few, criticize the state building practice of developing centralized state institutions in a historically decentralized country, others censure democracy promotion in the face of low performing state structures and absence of institutional framework for resolving disputes. A few scholars consider donor aid policies incompatible with the realities of Afghan political life, and a few more consider ethnic diversity and the resulting complications to be responsible. There are those who consider modernization reforms as inherently conflictual and more so in post-2001 period because of tenuous involvement of external actors in internal political processes. This paper evaluated their major arguments and raised its own, especially with regard to the dichotomies in their approaches in relation to history, context and current expediencies of the state building process in Afghanistan. It is important to note that the prevalent discourses on ‘state failure’ or ‘failed states’ shapes the state building practice in post-conflict societies and resultantly generate paradoxes, which affect the state building results. It should also be emphasized that state failure dynamics that are particular to the intervened state’s context do not disappear at intervention, but influence the post-intervention state building practice and complicate the attainment of successful results. Therefore, any assessments of state building interventions need to be made in the light of how the causes and drivers of failure that may be peculiar to the host state’s geography, its political context (dominated by patrimonial practices), weak and subsistence based economy, rentier statehood and protracted war and conflict dynamics play out in post intervention period. Afghanistan’s case is no different.
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Development theory expounded the need for a coordinated and expanded state intervention in development planning as an approach to handle the Third World economic problems. See Peet, Richard., and Eliane Hartwick. (2009). Theories of Development: Contentions, Arguments, Alternatives. New York: The Guilford Press, pp. 68-75.
See Caplan, Richard. (2005). International Governance of War-Torn Territories: Rule and Reconstruction. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 19-28; and Johnson, Thomas H. (March-June, 2006). “Afghanistan’s Post-Taliban Transition: the State of the State-building after the War.” Central Asian Survey 25, pp. 1-26.
See Mukhopadhay, Dipali. (August 2009). “Warlords as Bureaucrats: The Afghan Experience.” Carnegie Papers, pp. 1-21; Mattco, Tondini. (2008). “Justice Sector Reforms in Afghanistan: From a Lead Nation Approach to a Mixed Ownership Regime?” Transition Studies Review, pp. 1-12; and Lister, Sarah. (July 2009). “Changing the Rules? State building and Local Government in Afghanistan,” Journal of Development Studies 45 (6), pp. 990-1009.
See Woodward, Susan L. (2009). “A Case for Shifting the Focus: Some Lessons from the Balkans,” in Building Peace in the Absence of States: Challenging the Discourse on State Failure, eds. Martina Fischer and Beatrix Schmelzle. Berlin: Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management, pp. 47-54; Boege Volker., Anna Brown, Kevin Clements and Anna Nolan. (2009). “On Hybrid Political Orders and Emerging States: What is Failing-States in the Global South or Research and Politics in the West?” in Building Peace in the Absence of States, pp. 15-31; Barfield, Thomas and Neamatollah Nojumi (Winter 2010). “Bringing More Effective Governance to Afghanistan: 10 Pathways to Stability,” Middle East Policy 17 (4), pp. 40-52; and Schmeidle, Susanne and Masood Karokhail. (2009). “Pret-a-Porter States: How the MacDonaldization of State Building Misses the Mark in Afghanistan,” in Building Peace in the Absence of States, pp. 67-76.
See Wimmer, Andreas and Conrad Schetter. (2003). “Putting State Formation First: Some Recommendations for Reconstruction and Peace-Making in Afghanistan.” Journal of International Development 15, pp. 529-539.
See Rubin, Barnett R. (2006). “Peace Building and State Building in Afghanistan: Constructing Sovereignty for whose Security.” Third World Quarterly 27 (1), pp. 175-185; Suhrke, Astri. (Fall 2010). “Upside-down State-building: The contradictions of the International Project in Afghanistan.” Chapter prepared for an anthology on the rule of law in Afghanistan, edited by Whit Mason and Martin Krygier. Cambridge University Press, EDP, pp. 1-16; Suhrke, Astri. (2007). “Reconstruction as Modernization: the ‘post conflict’ project in Afghanistan.” Third World Quarterly 28 (7), pp. 1291-1308; and Goodhand, Jonathan and Mark Sedra. (2010). “Who Owns the Peace: Aid, reconstruction and peace building in Afghanistan.” Disasters 34 (3), pp. 78-102.
Some Afghan scholars and practitioners in lieu of Pakistan’s role in the Afghan conflict call the 1990’s period as a period of ‘imposed civil war’ in Afghanistan. See for example, Lafrai, Najib. (2009). ‘Post –Soviet Pakistani Intervention in Afghanistan: How and Why?’ in Afghanistan, 1979-2009: In the Grip of Conflict (Viewpoints Special Edition: Middle East Institute), pp. 53-55; and Roashan, G. Rauf, ‘Via Afghanistan: Regional Influences,’ in Afghanistan, 1979-2009, 61-63.
Absence of local support, as Iraq’s case suggests, not only gave a slow start to the state building programme, but also encouraged violent opposition delaying transfer of authority from a transitional administration to indigenous elite.
The offices of the state were distributed among leading tribal chieftains and the non-Durrrani tribes received insignificant amount of land, although, they had to provide 50-60% more soldiers than the Durranis. See Gregorian, Vartan. (1969). The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan: Politics of Reform and Modernization: 1880-1946. Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp. 46-47.
See Guistozzi, Antonio. (November 2008). “Afghanistan: Transition Without End An Analytical Narrative on State-Making.” Development as State Making-Crisis States Working Papers Series 40, no. 2, Crisis States Research Centre.
These arguments are made by Glatzer, Bernt. (1998). “Is Afghanistan on the Brink of Ethnic and Tribal Disintegration.” In Fundamentalism Reborn?: Afghanistan and the Taliban, edited by William Maley, 167-181. London: C. Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd., pp. 170-71; and Schetter, Conrad. (2005). “Ethnicity and the Political Reconstruction of Afghanistan.” ZEF Working Paper Series 3, Center for Development Research, Bonn.
See Starr, Frederick S. (2006). “Sovereignty and Legitimacy in Afghan Nation Building.” In Nation Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq, edited by Francis Fukuyama. Baltimore, M.: The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 107-124.
This brings her to conclude that reform process is highly politicized and influences control over distribution of resources and power holder’s prestige. See Lister, “Changing the Rules,” pp. 990-1009.
For a detailed analysis of Amanullah’s reforms and its impact, see Poullada, Leon B. (1973). Reform and Rebellion in Afghanistan, 1919-1929. London: Cornell University Press, 69-79; Gregorian, Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 239-54; and Saikal, Amin. (2006). Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival. London: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd, pp. 72-75.
Giustozzi, Afghanistan, 25. The earliest disturbances of Nuristan (a remote periphery to centre) in July 1978, suggested misrepresentation of message behind the reforms. See Bradsher, Henry S. (1985). Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 100-101. On reforms of PDPA regime, see Rubin, Barnett R. (1995). The Fragmentation of Afghanistan: State Formation and collapse in the International System. New Heaven and London: Yale University Press, pp.115-20; Arnold, Anthony. (1983). Afghanistan’s Two-Party Communism Parcham and Khalq. Stanford University: Hoover Press Publications, pp. 73-78; Saikal, Modern Afghanistan, 188-190; Rais, Rasul Baksh. (1994). War Without Winners: Afghanistan’s Uncertain Transition after the Cold War. Karachi: Oxford University Press, pp.51-58; Bradsher, Afghanistan, 91-96; Guistozzi, Antonio. (2000). War, Politics and Society in Afghanistan 1978-1992. London: Hurst & Company, pp. 20-32; Roy, Olivier. (1985). Islam and Resistance in Afghanistan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.84-97; and Newell, Nancy Peabody and Richard Newell. (1982). The Struggle for Afghanistan. London: Cornell University Press, pp. 74-90.
For details of how such complexities function, see Aman, Shahida. (Winter 2013). ‘Post-2001 State Building in Afghanistan: Institutional Paradoxes, District Governance and the Inter-play of the Formal and In-formal at Bati-Kot, Nangarhar,’ Central Asia Journal Issue 73, pp. 25-55.
See Aman, Shahida. (2015). “Institutional Paradoxes and State Building in Afghanistan: District Governance and the Interplay of Formal and the Informal in Bati Kot, Nangarhar.” In Conference Proceedings, Dynamics of Change in the Pak-Afghan Borderland: The Interplay of Past Legacies, Present Realities and Future Scenarios 25-26 June, 2014, edited by Shahida Aman and M. Ayub Jan. Organized by Department of Political Science & Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), at Bara Gali, 15-34.
Figure show aid contribution to GDP to climb up to 75 %, which is highest average in the world and out of the total national budget, 89 % contributed was being contributed by foreign sources. See “Ministry of Finance, Development Cooperation Report 2012, (n.d.), 6, accessed April 2, 2013, http://www.undp.org.af/Publications/2013/Development% 20Cooperation%Report%20; and “UNDP and UNDF Draft Country Programme Document for Afghanistan 2010-2013,” (United Nations, 7 April 2009), accessed April 2, 2013, http://www.undp.org.af/Publications/KeyDocuments/2010-2013CPD/UNDDPAFG.
For example, village and clan council of elders were given constitutional roles, combined with Western elements of statehood, such as elections, parliament, public service etc. See Boege et al., “On Hybrid Political Orders,” pp. 15-31.
They call the short time horizon embedded in current state building models ‘macdonaldization of state building’ and argue about enlisting traditional structures in state building consultations. See Schmeidle and Karokhail, “Pret-a-Porter States,” pp. 67-76.
For such governance-centric approach, they propose: promoting local self rule through local policing; formal recognition of traditional council’s (Jirgahs) decisions; financial and administrative devolution to sub-national entities; creation of regional planning centres in Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif and Qunduz; and governor’s appointment through election, for avoiding corruption and providing moderate Taliban groups opportunities to undertake governance in their strongholds. See Barfield and Nojumi, “Bringing More Effective Governance,” pp. 40-52.
Forman, Johanna M. (2006). Striking Out in Baghdad: How Post Conflict Reconstruction Went Awry. In Francis Fukuyama (ed.), Nation Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq (Baltimore, M.: The Johns Hopkins University Press), pp. 204-205.
The decision to build new structures for Kosovo was taken because its security apparatus was dominated by Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) fighters, who had fought the Serbians and were acting as pseudo-police in Kosovo before the takeover of security responsibilities by the United Nations Civilian Police or the UNCIVPOL. See Caplan, Richard. (2005). International Governance of War-Torn Territories: Rule and Reconstruction. New York: Oxford University Press, 45-60.
For state building, they recommend institutionalization (reinforcing state institutions and their service provision) before democratization approach. See Wimmer and Schetter, “Putting State Formation,” pp. 529-539.
Fukuyama, Francis. (2004). State Building: Governance and World Order in the Twenty-First Century. London: Profile Books Ltd., p. 130; Dorff, Robert H. (Winter 1999). “Responding to the Failed State: The Need for Strategy”. Small Wars & Insurgencies 10 (3), pp. 62-81; Eizenstat, Stuart E. John Edward Porter and Jeremy M. Weinstein. (January-February 2005). “Rebuilding Weak States.” Foreign Affairs 84 (1), p. 136; Carment, David. (2003). “Assessing State Failure: Implications for Theory and Policy.” Third World Quarterly 24 (3). Pp. 407-27; USAID. (January 2005). “Fragile States Strategy.” U.S. Agency for International Development, accessed February 6, 2009, http://www4.carleton.ca/cifp/app/serve.php/1326.pdf; Torres, Magui M., and Michael Anderson. (August 2004). “Fragile States: Defining Difficult Environments for Poverty Reduction.” PRDE Working Paper 1, UK Department for International Development, pp. 5-27, accessed February 7, 2010, http://www.ineesite.org/uploads/files/resources/doc_1_FS-Diff_environ_for_pov_reduc.pdf.
See Paris, Roland. (2004). At War’s End: Building Peace after Civil Conflict. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge, p. 161; and Ottaway, Marina. (1995). “Democratization in Collapsed State.” In Collapsed States: The Disintegration and Restoration of Legitimate Authority, edited by William Zartman. Boulder, C.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, pp. 235-49.
The different forms of legitimacy in non-Western societies include, service driven, ideological, populist and clientelist, neo-patrimonial and traditional legitimacy. See Menocal, Alina R. (March 2010). “State Building for Peace: A New Paradigm for International Engagement in Post-Conflict Fragile States?” European University Institute, EUI Working Papers, pp. 12-13, accessed March 14, 2009, http://ddrn.dk/papers_and_reports-thematic-news-administration-democracy-human-rights-papers-and-reports.html.
Fukuyama, Francis. (2006). Nation-Building and the Failure of the Institutional Memory. In Francis Fukuyama (ed.), Nation Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq (1-18). Baltimore, M.: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 6-8.
See Call, Charles T. (2008). Building States to Build Peace? A Critical Analysis. Journal of Peace Building and Development 4(2), p. 70; Ghani, Ashraf., and Lockhart, Clare. (2008). Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractures World. New York: Oxford University Press; and Fukuyama, Francis. (2006). Guidelines for Future Nation-Builders. In Francis Fukuyama (ed.), Nation Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq (231-244). Baltimore, M.: The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 235-42.
For details see, Ertman, Thomas. (1997). Birth of the Leviathan: Building States and Regimes in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press; and Tilly, Charles. (1975). “Reflections on the History of European State-Making”, The Formation of National States in Western Europe, ed. Charles Tilly. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 3-78; and Opello, Walter C. and Stephen J. Rosow. (2005). The Nation-State and Global Order: A Historical Introduction to Contemporary Politics. New Delhi: Viva Books Private Limited, pp. 37-52.
See Miakhel, Shahmahmood. (2009). ‘Repeating History: Parallels between Mujahideen Tactics and Afghanistan’s Current Insurgency,’ Afghanistan, 1979-2009: In the Grip of Conflict (Viewpoints Special Edition: Middle East Institute), pp. 56-60; and Fazlinaien, Ghulamreza and Nick Miszak. (2009). ‘Mullah Omar Wants You! Taliban Mobilization Strategies or Motivations for Joining the Insurgency,’ in Afghanistan, 1979-2009, pp. 64-66.
She argues that only indigenous elite with nationalism serving as the legitimizing agent can initiate and supervise a successful state building process. See Suhrke, “Reconstruction as Modernisation,” p. 1292.
See DFID, (June 2009). “Building the State and Securing the Peace.” Department for International development, Emerging Policy Paper, accessed June 8, 2008, http://www.gsdrc.org/docs/open/CON64.pdf.
See Goodson, Larry P. (2006). “Lessons of Nation Building in Afghanistan,” In Nation Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq, edited by Francis Fukuyama (Baltimore, M.: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), 154-155.
See Perito, Robert M. (2009). “Afghanistan’s Police: The Weak Link in Security Sector Reform.” United States Institute of Peace, USIP Special Report, pp. 10-11, accessed February 12, 2011, http://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/resources/SR322.pdf.
Inspired from the state failure discourses on institutional/functional and liberal shortcomings, state building in post-intervened states is understood and practiced as building of state institutions and improving their effectiveness (institution building), or as building of liberal political and economic order (building of a liberal order). These two variants that are often practiced in tandems produce certain paradoxes which besides complicating the state building process inhibit its performance. See for details, Aman, Shahida. (December 2013). State Failure and State Building in Post Conflict Societies: A Case Study of Afghanistan. Unpublished thesis, Area Study Centre (Russia, China and Central Asia), University of Peshawar.