Keywords: Afghan society, Afghan political system, traditional foundations of governance, traditional power structures


The experience of building a democratic regime in Afghanistan in the period from 2001 to the conquest of power by the Taliban in August 2021 has been considered. It has been emphasized and highlighted how the traditional foundations of governance of the Afghan society were embodied in the political system, which had a democratic structure established by the Constitution of 2004.

The main traditional power centers in the Afghan territorial communities have been identified, existing independently of state institutions and in parallel with them. The essence and mechanism of action of each of them have been revealed. The importance of informal relations and connections, which form the basis of Afghan society and determine the status of a person in it, has been emphasized. As a result, the population strive not to the ideas, but to strong leaders, which allows them to determine the political and social climate in the country. The logic of the emergence and wide existence of traditional power centers, such as jirgas, khans, maliks, battlefield commanders, based on the perception of them by the population as sources of stability and strength, has been determined.

The impact of traditional institutions and relations on the functioning of the central and local political authorities, their influence on the relationship between the population and state bodies has been shown. The process of development by traditional leaders, as the centers of power, of modern democratic mechanisms and means of control and their use in personal interests has been considered. The combination of traditional management institutions with classical democratic institutions has been noted, which manifests itself both in the use of traditional management forms without changes, and in the transfer of traditional forms of leadership and social relationships to modern political structures, which modifies the essence of democratic institutions. In addition, the existence of informal traditional structures that duplicate the functions of official ones has been noted, indicating the weakness of state institutions.


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Author Biography

Maryna Tseluiko, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, 4, Svoboda Sq., Kharkiv, 61022, Ukraine

Associate Professor, Ph.D in Political Science.


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How to Cite
Tseluiko, M. (2021). TRADITIONAL FOUNDATIONS OF AFGHAN SOCIETY IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM. The Journal of V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Issues of Political Science, 40, 66-72.