Afghan Elections: The Great Gamble

Afghan Elections: The Great Gamble



Authors Christina Bennett, Shawna Wakefield, Andrew Wilder
Type Briefing Paper
Theme Legal Studies and Constitutional Review
Language English
Date of Publication November 01, 2003
Total Pages 16
Available In English
Despite considerable evidence that elections held prematurely in post-conflict situations do more harm than good, the Karzai administration, the UN and major donors (including the United States) are betting that the potential benefits of 2004 elections exceed the risks. This briefing paper argues that there is a real danger in spending enormous amounts of human and financial resources on the elections at the expense of the more important task of reforming and strengthening state institutions. Relying on elections as “the hook” to keep donors engaged is a shortsighted strategy that could easily backfire. Once elections are over, donors could feel “off the hook” and use the elections as their premature exit strategy from Afghanistan.


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