Where every man is a soldier Analysing security provision by non state governance mechanisms in Afghanistan
Leemputte, W.P.J. van der
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The struggle for centralised rule has dominated Afghan politics of power. The balance between local and central rule was upset by the drive for centralisation and the imposition of social changes without delivering material benefits. Collaboration with foreign empires created the resource base for central governments to strive for centralisation. ! The State-building project after the U.S. invasion set up a highly centralised state and imposed social changes while structurally disregarding the prevalence of non state governance. Although initially welcomed it failed to provide material benefits to the population which steadily delegitimised the government. The Taliban was able to resurge in this environment by addressing the feelings of alienation and fuelling perceptions of foreign cooption of the government. ! ISAF has learned in light of the dysfunctional government that it can only counter the Taliban by winning the popular support and thus by engaging non state governance mechanisms. These mechanisms are systemic to Afghan governance as they provide public goods, such as security, to the population in light of state collapse and a violent environment. ! Public good provision is conducted through patron-client structures following a transactional model. Cooperation and interaction of local communities with military actors in the provision of security is therefore likely to resemble to a transaction. In this sense transactionalism provides a way of explaining social action in Afghanistan. However this thesis does not assume that social action is solely and adequately described by transactionalism as social life cannot be simplified into a game theoretic calculation.