Ethnic Politics and Political Violence in Post-2001 Afghanistan: The 2014 Presidential Election

SAHAR, Arif and SAHAR, Aqila (2019). Ethnic Politics and Political Violence in Post-2001 Afghanistan: The 2014 Presidential Election. Terrorism and Political Violence, 1-21.

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© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis. This article evaluates the political dynamics of the 2014 presidential election to explore the sense of nationhood that could have formed in post-2001 Afghanistan and to gauge its strength. It examines frontrunner candidates–Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah’s–campaign rhetoric and processes they utilized to manipulate ethnic identities for political ends. Ethnic identities sharpened by ideological and political polarisation during the civil war (1978–2001), continue to play a critical part in the political economy dynamics of post-2001 era. With the popular patriotic idea of citizenship remaining weak, the abundance of ethnic identities provides a paradigm around which power contenders articulate messages that easily feed into popular perceptions of “us” and “other”. The article contextualizes representative and consociational democracy exploring whether these models of democracy offer any solution to social cleavages in Afghanistan. It argues that elites’ manipulation of ethnic identities and distribution of resources through ethnic shares (Bonn Conference 2001, National Unity Government (NUG) 2014) might reinforce ethnic boundaries, leading to deeper consolidation of ethnic divisions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political violence; ethnicity; identity; elections; ethnic-grievance; Strategic, Defence & Security Studies; 1602 Criminology; 1606 Political Science
Identification Number:
Page Range: 1-21
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2020 13:21
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 14:46

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