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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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Engineering Elections Locally

Engineering Elections Locally

(p.98) 5 Engineering Elections Locally
Derailing Democracy in Afghanistan

Noah Coburn

Anna Larson

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the presidential and provincial council elections of 2009 as a context for understanding the ways that local communities and individuals have attempted to manipulate elections, and some of the repercussions of these practices. In Afghanistan, elections are not simply top-down affairs that rely on the Western model of rules, procedures, and institutions; they emphasize individual and community experiences and relationships over mere questions of who won and lost. Elections created a new, albeit loose set of rules for how resources would be distributed, local practices and individuals themselves shaped how elections actually played out in the communities in which they were held. Individuals and communities then took advantage of these structures to rework alliances and attempt to gain resources.

Keywords:   presidential elections 2009, council elections 2009, local practices, Afghanistan, Western model, repercussions

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