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state actors. The lack of security is a critical barrier to the development of an inclusive and participatory political culture.

  • In spite of this, the idea of elections is still considered positive by an overwhelming majority of respondents from all social backgrounds and all provinces studied.

  • Instability more generally is of critical concern to respondents, who discuss the need for consistency and reliability in contrast to the frequent regime changes of recent history. Political competition generally, and parties more specifically, are seen in a negative light as factors contributing to instability.

Deconstructing “Democracy” in Afghanistan

  • A politics of consensus is commonplace, familiar and accepted by many respondents as a legitimate and peaceful means of decision-making. It is frequently incorporated into elections, which are often adapted from a “one man, one vote” principle to a system of bloc voting. However, this can be problematic as it facilitates greater (and often disproportionate) representation of those communities better able to generate widespread consensus.

  • Security in the short-term

and

stability

in the long-term are crucial precursors of democratisation in Afghanistan.

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