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Province’s deeply controversial parliamentary election process—there are nevertheless few incentives at present to push leaders at the top toward more accountable government.

The words “at present” are key here. Central to Tilly’s conception of democratisation as discussed in the introduction is its tendency to move back and forth along a continuum over time. It is also arguable that historical or religious factors do not in themselves preclude the furthering of a

Deconstructing “Democracy” in Afghanistan

democratic politics. In theory, then, there remains space for change. How and when this change occurs, however, will depend on the extent to which democratisation is seen as “Afghan” as opposed to imposed from outside, on shifting levels of security, and on how resources and access to power are distributed. None of these factors can be addressed in the short-term, however; thus combined, they point to a long and complex path ahead for Afghanistan’s nascent democratisation process.

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