Jan 16, 2013

By Dr Zubair Popalzai, Deputy Head of Research

The post-Taleban state-building exercise in Afghanistan facilitated and led by the United States and, to a degree, sustained by the Europeans has been informed by an overwhelming emphasis on an enabling environment for the markets as opposed to the stability of the government. Huntington (1968) credits this historical trend in American foreign policy, which focuses more on trying to close the economic gap in ‘Third World’ countries than on the political gap on the assumption that doing so automatically leads to political stability and that ‘all good things go together.’ Thus, under this line of thinking, achieving one social goal (economic development and with it the elimination of poverty, disease, and illiteracy) would ultimately help to achieve other social goals i.e. political development and stability.

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