The Pashtun behavior economy an analysis of decision making in tribal society
Holton, Jeremy W.
Johnson, Thomas H.
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Little scholarship exists regarding the ways members of conflict societies think about the economic decisions they face, and what information they value as relevant to those decisions. The literature of the emerging field of behavior economics suggest that in uncertain environments, considerable weight may be given to identity and culture factors to make decisions that will affect personal safety, income prospects and self-fulfillment. Knowledge about the important factors in play when indigenous populations are making decisions regarding their support for government-sponsored counterinsurgency efforts, for example, can lead to better strategies for communication and decision framing on the part of the counterinsurgents to improve the relative attractiveness of the propositions they present to indigenous members in environments where counterinsurgent forces wish to expand their influence. In this thesis, the nature of the decision process in rural Pashtun society will be studied, drawing from sources that study Pashtun ethnography, as well as behavioral economics, to draw conclusions about the way people in conflict societies frame the decisions they make. Studying the Pashtun case in Afghanistan will allow generalizations and patterns to be recognized that can be used in future conflicts to craft operational and communications strategies that have the most chance of counterinsurgency success.
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