Afghanistan webinar examines constitutionalism and ethnic accommodation in Afghanistan

The first webinar of the 2024 series presented a critical take on the Republic’s constitutional accommdation of ethnic groups.

The latest webinar hosted by the Afghanistan Legal Research Network at the Max Planck Foundation featured keynote speaker Dr Bashir Mobasher, who presented his recent work on theories of constitutional design in countries facing rapid democratic and constitutional transition, as had been the case in post-2001 Afghanistan. His lecture was broadened into a discussion with panellists Dr Antonia Baraggia and Jason Criss Howk, contextualising the trajectories of ethnic accommodation and its failures.

The discussants were united in their rejection of the view that Afghanistan had simply not been ready for democracy. Instead, they highlighted the early faultlines following on from a rushed constitution-making process, external political interference and old and new political elites’ yearning for power and patronage.

In a lively question-and-answer session with attendees, Dr Mobasher further explained the insights of his recent work and the key institutional choices that had been made, from the allocation of power between offices and institutions to the design of the electoral process that marred Afghanistan’s two decades of democracy.

The webinar was part of a series of the project ‘Civil Society and the Rule of Law in Afghanistan’ , supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.