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Ethnicity and Civil Society in Contemporary Afghanistan

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This article focuses on the critical question of ethnicity and politics in Afghanistan. It examines current conceptual models of ethnicity and their application to present-day political affairs in the country. Research shows that it is not the presence of ethnic groups per se that leads to violence or instability but the absence of civil society and democratic governance and norms. Lessons may be drawn from Afghanistan's neighbors to the north. These Central Asian nations present cases of emerging civil societies, which are fragile, fragmented, and strongly influenced by the international donor community. After 23 years of war in Afghanistan, repression and neglect have had a devastating effect on civil society.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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