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Derailing Democracy in AfghanistanElections in an Unstable Political Landscape$
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Noah Coburn and Anna Larson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166201

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166201.001.0001

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Electing the Peace?

Electing the Peace?

Afghanistan’s Fast-Track Democracy

(p.42) 3 Electing the Peace?
Derailing Democracy in Afghanistan

Noah Coburn

Anna Larson

Columbia University Press

This chapter looks specifically at the process of setting up elections following the U.S.-led invasion—following the U.N. conference in Bonn, Germany—that led to a series of state-building initiatives collectively known as the “Bonn process.” The exercise of building the Afghan state in the aftermath of the fall of the Taliban was characterized by simultaneous processes of change and compromise—of the establishment of basic democratic machinery that was consistently undermined by the demands of ongoing conflict and the instability this created. New institutions were not established in a vacuum, but affected and were affected by the context in which they were created. This became particularly evident in the results of international actors' emphasis on three key factors during the Bonn process: “tradition,” legitimacy, and timing.

Keywords:   Bonn process, tradition, legitimacy, timing, state-building initiatives, U.S.-led invasion, elections, Afghan state, Taliban

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