Reanimation of the Theocratic Model of Afghanistans Political Regime

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2024-68-5-39-48
G. Machitidze,
Institute for International Studies, MGIMO University, 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.

Received 23.10.2023. Revised 14.12.2023. Accepted 01.03.2024.

Abstract. The article provides comparative analysis of the current theocratic political system of Afghanistan, which was revived practically in the form that it was shaped in the late 1990s, and the previous regime of “democratic authoritarianism” of President Ashraf Ghani. The theocratic regime formed by the Taliban is characterized by authoritarian methods of governance. The main aspects of living of Afghan society are defined by religious norms, the observance of which is guaranteed by the theocratic state. The supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, has broad powers in domestic and foreign policies of Afghanistan. The author emphasizes the similarities between the modern Afghan regime and the previous one, in which authoritarianism masqueraded as democracy. The importance of the parliament was insignificant, the opposition had no real power, the pseudo-democratic regime relied on the support of security apparatus, elections were rigged, the state witnessed large-scale corruption and discrimination against ethnic minorities. All real power was concentrated in the hands of the president who had extensive constitutional powers, including the right to appoint ministers, Supreme Court judges, and all provincial and district level officials. Like the previous regime, the Taliban tends to “Pushtunize” power and concentrate it in the hands of the authoritarian ruler and his inner circle. Unlike the regime of President Ashraf Ghani, where Kabul was the center of gravity, Kandahar has now become the center of political power in Afghanistan. In general, the author concludes that, despite a number of fundamental differences between the regime of “democratic authoritarianism” of Ashraf Ghani and the theocratic regime of Haibatullah Akhundzada, certain similarities are not uncommon.

Keywords: Afghanistan, Islamic Emirate, Taliban, theocratic regime, “democratic authoritarianism”


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For citation:
Machitidze G. Reanimation of the Theocratic Model of Afghanistans Political Regime. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2024, vol. 68, no. 5, pp. 39-48. EDN: NDOHOI

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