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.
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.
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.
This report examines some of the constitutional issues that divide the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban—and suggests ideas for how the peace process might begin to resolve them.
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.
What a post-settlement constitution says about Islam may be less important than what it specifies with respect to institutions and due process.
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.
In light of the growing political uncertainty in Afghanistan, this report examines the strengths and weaknesses of the loya jirga as an institution for resolving national crises.