Afghan Democracy: Opportunities and Obstacles

Each Afghan election since 2004 has been marked by the fact that the international community has claimed as much stake in their success as Afghan voters and politicians. This does not mean that democracy was imposed on Afghanistan by the international community. Research and polling have demonstrated that Afghans value elections; and I have previously argued that there are some defining features of Afghan society that make it predisposed to some form of democracy. But it does mean that whatever democracy means to Afghans, its development has taken place within the tight embrace of international and particularly western conceptions of democracy