State capacity and resistance in Afghanistan
Mullins, Christopher R.
Johnson, Thomas H.
Malley, Michael S.
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This thesis seeks to explain why current attempts to expand the reach of the Afghan government in Kabul are met with heavy resistance. It examines the historical dichotomy between state capacity and the prevalence of solidarity groups' opposition to central rule in four Afghan regimes: the monarchy of Amir Abdur Rahman, the communist regime of the Peoples Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviet occupation, the Taliban's Islamist theocracy, and President Hamid Karzai's democratic Islamic Republic. Charles Tilly's Four State Activities model is used to subjectively determine each regime's relative degree of state capacity in four areas: war making, statemaking, protection and extraction. The basis and composition of major resistance groups during each regime are then analyzed. This thesis concludes with a comparative analysis of state capacity and resistance in each of the four regimes in order to draw implications for how the current government of Afghanistan can best expand its reach without creating further revolt and insurgency. These findings are not only important for the Government of Afghanistan, but also hold serious implications for prosecution of the Taliban insurgency, as well as future international state building and post-conflict reconstruction efforts.
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