Questions about the future of Afghan governance loom large as the talks between the government and the Taliban unfold. The poles of this debate are the current liberal, democratic republic enshrined in the 2004 constitution and the Taliban’s preferred Islamic Emirate structure. Whatever form a future government takes, it will need to balance numerous competing interests. There is already tense competition among numerous political factions within the current constitutional system.

The papers in this collection highlight and explore questions of institutional design, democratic politics, the role of Islam in governance, and the evolving nature of elite power politics, all with an eye to historical lessons, comparative cases, and a balance between substance and process.

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Further Reading

Addressing Constitutional Issues in Intra-Afghan Negotiations cover

Addressing Constitutional Issues in Intra-Afghan Negotiations

By Alex Thier and Scott Worden

An in-depth understanding of constitutional reform in the Afghan context is essential for the negotiation of a durable peace framework. This memo addresses several questions and key considerations that will need to be considered during negotiations.

“Centralization v. Decentralization”  cover

Centralization v. Decentralization

By Alex Thier

Identifying who has the power to interpret a constitution is one of the most important provisions in any constitution. This will be particularly important in the current Afghan peace process.

Intra- Afghan Peace Negotiations: How Might They Work report cover

Intra-Afghan Peace Negotiations: How Might They Work?

By Sean Kane

Direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban are likely to involve complex constitutional questions. This report aims to guide Afghan and international policymakers’ thinking on crucial aspects of a possible peace agenda.

Provincial Governors in Afghan Politics report cover

Provincial Governors in Afghan Politics

By Dipali Mukhopadhyay

This report examines subnational politics in Afghanistan to inform a more realistic outlook—not only on Afghan politics past and future, but also on subsequent foreign-led interventions to foster governance in conflict-ridden countries worldwide.