Democratic Possibilities

Ashraf Ghani speaks on Sovereignty in Afghanistan

Video of conference keynote, May 2011

Ashraf Ghani Describes Path to Modern Sovereignty from Watson Institute on Vimeo.

Essay: Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani and Democratic Possibilities

by Michael D. Kennedy

Afghanistan?s last decade speaks volumes about democratic possibilities. Afghans and those who work with them have elaborated in extensive practice and many texts how to write constitutions, extend the rule of law and improve electoral practices, to deepen civil society and reduce inequalities within it, to refine the quality of independent media and judiciary, to submit security to democratic civilian control, and to develop good governance in the process.

Alongside such a canonical democratic checklist one can find an increasingly familiar list of obstacles and problems too. Some of them are associated with a global transition culture that debates how to design processes to diminish recurring problems like corruption. Even while focused on obstacles, such a perspective keeps democratic possibilities at the core of the discussion. A much stronger wave seems to move democratic possibilities and Afghanistan beyond the pale of relevance, however.

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