Governance and Political Economy
AREU has had a long-standing focus on issues related to governance and political economy. Continued political instability has anecdotally led to a growth of rent-seeking and hedging at the sub-national level by government actors. Ongoing research on corruption and transparency will continue to be valued by the Afghan public, the national government, and international donor community.
In addition to its specific focus on constitutional law as a new strategic thematic area, AREU also has a history of strong research on justice-related issues – particularly with regards to women’s rights and alternative or non-state justice practices. This research will become increasingly important as the new government has committed to rekindling long dormant policy and law reform discussion around regulating the informal justice sector.
AREU’s focus on field-based research has allowed it to have deep, long-term relationships with communities throughout the country. This enables it to explore issues of local governance, decentralisation, and provincial decision making, as well as the impacts of transition on local governance in a way that other organisations simply are unable.
AREU’s leadership transition and internal expertise also place it in a perfect position to continue to explore national perceptions and understandings of democracy and what it means to the Afghan people. This will prove hugely beneficial and relevant during forthcoming parliamentary elections and any constitutional reform process that may be on the horizon.