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The logics of public authority: understanding power, politics and security in Afghanistan, 2002–2014

Theros, Marika and Kaldor, Mary (2018) The logics of public authority: understanding power, politics and security in Afghanistan, 2002–2014. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 7 (1). ISSN 2165-2627

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Identification Number: 10.5334/sta.579


This paper applies the three logics of public authority – the political marketplace, moral populism and civicness – to the case of Afghanistan in 2001–2013. It shows how the logic of the political marketplace offers an apt interpretation of the Karzai regime, while the logic of moral populism is more relevant as a way of categorizing the Taliban. Based on a civil society dialogue project, the paper discusses the way that civil society actors characterize the situation and envisage a logic of civicness. The paper argues that the mutually reinforcing nature of the two dominant logics explains pervasive and rising insecurity that has been exacerbated by external interventions. The implication of the argument is that security requires a different logic of authority that could underpin legitimate and inclusive institutions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Development
Date Deposited: 01 May 2018 10:33
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 01:50
Funders: Justice and Security Research Programme, Department for International Development

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