Implementing the Bonn Agreement for Afghanistan, 2001 to 2005

Richard J. Ponzio

in Democratic Peacebuilding

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199594955
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725562 | DOI:
Implementing the Bonn Agreement for Afghanistan, 2001 to 2005

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Chapter 3 examines the leadership role of the United Nations, from 2001 to 2005, in helping the government and people of Afghanistan to build democratic institutions and practices at national and local levels. The UN, seeking a better form of governance that could also politically unite non-Taliban factions through the Bonn Agreement, pursued with Afghan elites a risky strategy of democratization with a “light footprint” during a (at the time) low-intensity insurgency. Despite skillful efforts to engage traditional authorities and governing institutions, such as the loya jirga, moving politics away from ethnicity, sectarianism, and other forms of division embedded in Afghan society to something more merit-based and rooted in modern democratic values faced innumerable challenges, especially given the insufficient international resources allocated. By pinpointing shortcomings from the Bonn Agreement implementation period, the “Post-Bonn Strategy,” designed in late 2005, is shown to give heightened attention toward building local capacity for subnational governance, executive—legislative relations, managing elections, and strengthening the rule of law and fight against corruption.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Bonn Process; traditional governance; Loya Jirga; democracy; peacebuilding; authority; low-intensity insurgency

Chapter.  18940 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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