Afghanistan’s Transition: Annotated Bibliography

Bose, Srinjoy, and William Maley. 2018. “Contextualising Afghanistan’s Transitions: Influences and Challenges.” In Afghanistan – Challenges and Prospects, 1st ed., 1:1–27. Routledge.

This article focuses on examining the transition process that Afghanistan is currently undergoing. The text raises several main factors affecting the country’s current state: its recent emergence as a separate country, the constant intervention of foreign states, including the United States, and the effect of globalization. Bose and Maley talk about the influence of external elements on the politics and economy of the country, which is consistent with the established question. This source is helpful because it allows analyzing the economic and political results of the invasion in the context of existing changes, as well as assessing the country’s situation and getting additional arguments in defense of the Exogenous version of modernization theory.

Esser, Daniel. 2013. “The Political Economy of Post-Invasion Kabul, Afghanistan: Urban Restructuring Beyond the North–South Divide.” Urban Studies 50 (15): 3084–98. 

Esser’s text examines the situation in Afghanistan and its capital in the context of events following the foreign invasion. Considering the work, Kabul became a platform used by many other countries to demonstrate the effectiveness of the applied practices. Foreign powers are essentially trying to prove the theory of modernization by implementing aid programs to ensure security and economic growth at home. According to the idea of such programs, these two factors are inherently connected with democracy; therefore, they can be achieved together. This source is valuable because it views foreign intervention in Afghanistan from a position close to modernization theory and allows tracing other countries’ measures.

Kabir A.H.M. 2019. “PDA at Work—Exploring Impact in Fragility and Transition. In: Development Aid in Stable Democracies and Fragile States. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. Web.

This chapter from Kabir’s book examines the application of parliamentary development assistance (PDA) and its impact in the case of more fragile countries with weak economies in transition. In particular, Afghanistan is considered in historical and political contexts. Kabir addresses the challenges of the interaction of such programs with the organizational structure in a risky environment. This source is important for several factors. First, it provides detailed historical and political background on the situation in Afghanistan. Second, this text analyzes the volatile effects of aid programs on fragile states.

Maley, W. 2018. Transition in Afghanistan: Hope, Despair and the Limits of Statebuilding 1st ed. Routledge.

Maley’s book provides the reader with a detailed and in-depth analysis on many topics in the context of the situation in Afghanistan. The text deals with the issues of the state structure, the democratic situation, war, and international relations in the country’s modern history. In addition, two vital points that affect the transition process are highlighted: the geographical location in an aggressive and dangerous region and the characteristics of the current neo-patrimonial political regime. This source, firstly, is beneficial for an extensive analysis of the general situation in the country from many different perspectives. In addition, examining the current political regime and comparing it with the current economic situation leads to a conclusion supporting modernization theory.

Suhrke, Astri. 2007. “Reconstruction as Modernisation: The ‘Post-Conflict’ Project in Afghanistan.” Third World Quarterly 28 (7): 1291–1308. 

Suhrke’s article examines the situation and ongoing reconstruction programs in post-war Afghanistan in the context of emerging social change. Such programs are compared with the historic reforms undertaken by the country’s previous leaders and attempts to reconstruct Afghanistan by the forces of other states. Finally, Suhrke notes the contradictions and problems that arise in the reconstruction process due to social tensions and interference from other countries. This resource is significant because it demonstrates the adverse effects of foreign intervention, which directly correlates with the essay question. In addition, the described contradictions, destabilizing the economic state, make it possible to use this article as an argument in favor of the theory of modernization.

Verkoren, Willemijn, and Bertine Kamphuis. 2013. “State Building in a Rentier State: How Development Policies Fail to Promote Democracy in Afghanistan.” Development and Change 44(3): 501–26.

The article by Verkoren and Kamphuis looks at attempts to establish a democratic regime in Afghanistan and analyzes how to remedy the country’s current problems. Although state building is currently considered one of the main ways of reconstruction of Afghanistan, the authors argue that most of these approaches do not consider the importance of historical and geographical factors. Current foreign intervention programs only add to the country’s dependency, and a shift in focus to the economy is required. This source is useful in that it clearly describes the problems in Afghanistan and the shortcomings of intervention by other states. In addition, the economics course proposed by the author fits into the context of modernization theory, which is essential for answering the essay question.