Working Paper 83. Drugs and (Dis)order: a study of the opium trade, political settlements and state-making in Afghanistan.

Abstract

This paper represents one contribution to a wider research project led by the Crisis States Programme, which examines how patterns of resource mobilisation and rent appropriation, in war to peace transitions, shape wider political relations and institutions. The research aims to test the hypothesis that particular types and patterns of rent appropriation may contribute to more inclusive/exclusive political settlements which translates into more/less stability of the state. Here we are primarily concerned with the political economy of post-Bonn Afghanistan, with a particular focus on the role of the drugs industry and its impacts upon processes of state-building and peace-building.

Section one introduces our theoretical framework and background on the Afghan case. Section two gives an overview of the structural characteristics and contemporary dynamics of the drugs industry. Section three provides a comparative analysis of the linkages between drugs, the political settlement and post conflict state-building, through three provincial level studies. Section four building on the case studies and relevant literature draws out some of the underlying relationships and broader patterns connecting drugs, violence and political coalitions in Afghanistan. Section five outlines some tentative conclusions and broader theoretical and policy implications.

Citation

Working Paper No. 83 (series 2), London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 50 pp.

Working Paper 83. Drugs and (Dis)order: a study of the opium trade, political settlements and state-making in Afghanistan.

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