Raju Adhikari

Date of Award


Thesis Date


Degree Type

Honors Thesis-Restricted

Degree Name


Degree Program

International Studies


Merrill Johnson


The international community proclaims victory when a conflict-ridden state is able to get rid of the main cause of the conflict. However, all the problems of the state do not end with that victory. It rather triggers a whole new set of problems, which combined with the aftermath of the conflict, leads the country to a larger crisis. Afghanistan, after the fall of Taliban regime in 2001, faced various social, political and economic challenges that marked the beginning of a transition period that was much more challenging than the previous period. In this paper, I discuss the major problems of transition-period Afghanistan and how the handling of these problems has shaped the image of the government inside the country and outside. I look into various variables that have played leading roles in Afghanistan in the past ten years (legitimacy, corruption, and state capacity), analyze their interconnectedness, and examine the state‘s vulnerability, leading to a discussion of whether there is an immediate need for a changed approach by national leadership. I demonstrate the complex interaction of the variables in connection with their impact on economic development. Towards the end, I suggest the need for a balanced approach, including but not limited to the increase in sub- national capacity, which will involve strong leadership from the government to define and divide the functions of various actors involved in the stabilization of the country. We will see that Afghanistan‘s geographical location, its natural capacity and the international support it has been receiving provide it with immense prospect for stabilization and even development, providing that the variables analyzed in the paper are addressed.


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