Exploring the Future of Democratisation in Afghanistan

Exploring the Future of Democratisation in Afghanistan

Hello and welcome to this podcast by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit -- featuring a public lecture by governance researcher Anna Larson entitled, “Exploring the Future of Democratisation in Afghanistan.”
It was recorded at the AREU library in Kabul in August 2010, as the country geared up for its second parliamentary election since 2001. AREU has published a series of papers on the election, and on democratization and governance in Afghanistan more generally, all of which are available for download from the AREU website, at www.areu.org.af

  1. The first question asks if the research touched on attitudes toward women in the political sphere and whether such attitudes are changing?
  2. The next question asks if people in the research said what country was the best example of a marriage between Islam and Democracy?
  3. The next member of the audience asks if the research team talked to higher level people in the Afghan government or universities, because, in his experience, they can also feel that democracy is an imposed system that’s not going to work in Afghanistan.
  4. The next speaker talks about experiences in the field in Afghanistan, where he often encounters a feeling that democracy can somehow solve all of the country’s problems. The question is, does Anna feel that people understand that democracy is tough, imperfect, and hard to achieve?
  5. The next question is about feelings toward the idea of a central state in general.
  6. The next question asks if the research team talked to local mullahs?
  7. The next speaker says he was surprised by the many middle-class, educated Afghans who did not vote in 2005, and noted that participation has dropped since then. The question is whether respondents were asked whether they intended to vote, and was there any relationship between that and their views about democracy?
  8. A follow-up question asks how respondents felt about fraud.


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