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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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Violence and Voting

Violence and Voting

(p.162) 7 Violence and Voting
Derailing Democracy in Afghanistan

Noah Coburn

Anna Larson

Columbia University Press

This chapter looks at the role of violence and instability in elections, particularly the Wolesi Jirga election of 2010. Violence, as well as the fear and unpredictability it inspires, is used as both a legitimizing and disrupting force within the state. While violence from insurgencies did deter a number of potential voters in the days leading up to the 2010 elections, it was in its role as a legitimizing force in the electoral process that undermined the elections' democratic character. State and political authority in Afghanistan remain fluid concepts as violence or the threat of it demonstrated to citizens that the elections are not about whether candidates won or lost, as power can be renegotiated in other ways.

Keywords:   violence, 2010 elections, Wolesi Jirga, insurgencies, electoral process, political authority

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