chapter  3
The state and community self-governance
ByM. Nazif Shahrani
Pages 20

Any calls for community self-governance or decentralisation in Afghanistan have been branded as unpatriotic at best and treasonous at worst. Movements for constitutional monarchy and reform in the past were crushed and, when used as tools for greater centralisation by Shah Amanullah and Zahir Shah, they ended in spectacular failure. Current research has identified two forms of political and economic institutions, namely extractive and inclusive, each with clear consequences for nations that adopt them. Kingship is an ideal model of person-centred, Kabul-centred, sovereignty-based politics of absolutist and exclusivist rule whenever doable. Reliance on considerations of qawmiyat principles for official appointments and access to strategic resources has also contributed considerably to the politicisation of identities and creation of a vicious circle of inequality, poverty, dependency, crises of confidence and illegitimacy. Democratization is a colossal restructuring of the mentality. Therefore, it is important to remember that knowledge and fancy political models do not get rid of extractive politics and corruption.