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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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The Unintended Consequences of International Support

The Unintended Consequences of International Support

(p.135) 6 The Unintended Consequences of International Support
Derailing Democracy in Afghanistan

Noah Coburn

Anna Larson

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the period between the 2009 and 2010 elections and the failure of the international community to create lasting reforms. The political environment of Afghanistan had changed a good deal since the 2005 elections. The most notable of these changes are the rise of insurgent activity, a deepening distrust of foreigners, and a lack of support for electoral institutions, among others, which fueled the widespread sense of insecurity that eventually undermined the 2009 elections. Internationally sponsored elections have been frequently cited as the best way to install democratic institutions within nations recovering from conflict, yet these efforts have failed to take into account the shifting political climate of Afghanistan, as the Afghans themselves are continually seen as passive beneficiaries without their own political agendas, loyalties, and concerns. Consequently, democratic reforms have failed to properly take root within the nation, if they are not outright treated with suspicion.

Keywords:   2009 elections, 2010 elections, international community, democracy, Afghanistan, insurgency, democratic reforms, political environment of Afghanistan

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