chapter  4
State strength and the rule of law
ByWilliam Maley
Pages 15

This chapter focuses on the question of how the realisation of the 'rule of law' in Afghanistan is a political principle that is of great importance but which is also often misunderstood, and affects the prospects for successful consolidation of an effective and legitimate state that can deliver to ordinary people what they look to the state to offer. It explores different ways in which the strength of the state might be assessed, and to elaborating some of the complexities that surround the idea of the rule of law. The chapter looks at developments in Afghanistan since 2001, focusing largely on how the structures of the state and the rule of law have (or have not) developed. It argues that the claim that Afghans are not ready for democracy is a superficial one which 'orientalises' socio-political spaces that are rapidly being shaped by wider forces of globalisation that large numbers of young Afghans are happy to welcome in significant ways.