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Jedburgh
02-08-2008, 08:38 PM
A very good paper, published by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation almost two years ago, that I just happened across:

Islamists, Leftists and a Void in the Center. Afghanistan's Political Parties and Where They Come From (1902-2006) (http://www.kas.de/db_files/dokumente/7_dokument_dok_pdf_9674_2.pdf)

Contrary to conventional wisdom, there are political parties in Afghanistan. Not yet in a Western sense, of course: most lack cohesion and structure, a distinguishable programme, and internal democracy. Many are extremely hierarchical or even authoritarian, often organised along ethnic lines. Parties in Germany must have appeared like this in the 1860s. One could say that most Afghan parties are still in the making, or proto-parties. We do not know which ones will survive. A number of parties, though, have already shown remarkable stability over decades.

All this is not surprising: Except for a few years of a relatively open political environment at the turn of the 1940-50s and under the 1964 constitution, during the last years of Najibullah government, and after the fall of the Taleban in 2001, there has never been much time for political forces to come into the open, organise, build links with the population and start a civilised debate about the direction the country should go.....
Complete 52 page paper at the link.