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Political Economy

Status: Completed

AREU’s current research on the economy of Balkh explores the economic implications of the 2014 “Transition” on greater Balkh Province, with special focus on labor and employment. Balkh is significant because of its position as a regional political and economic hub, and because the experience of Balkh may have implications for other areas in Afghanistan.

Previous AREU research on Afghan political economy has focused on issues surrounding the country’s attempts at transition to a more diversified, formal economy driven by private-sector growth. Papers include a 2006 briefing paper on the Afghan government’s attempts to privatise state-owned enterprises, and a three-province study on the development of rural small and medium-sized enterprises completed in 2007.

The upcoming Issues Paper on the political-economy of Balkh will be made available in summer 2013.


Publications from this research project:

Enabling or Disabling? The Operating Environment for Small and Medium Enterprises in Rural Afghanistan

This working paper provides an overview of the key challenges faced by small and medium-sized rural enterprises (SMEs) in Afghanistan. It provides case studies, analysis, and a series of recommendations aimed at improving the operating environment for rural SMEs.

Putting the Cart Before the Horse? Privatisation and Economic Reform in Afghanistan

This briefing paper holds that before embarking on the privatisation of enterprises that are not doing much harm in fiscal terms, the government should implement structural reforms to ensure adequate investment legislation, improved security and infrastructure and streamlined and strengthened Read More