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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53235
Doc. No:TL23189
Call number:‭3384135‬
Main Entry:Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili
Title & Author:The microfoundations of state building: Informal institutions and local public goods in rural AfghanistanJennifer Brick Murtazashvili
College:The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:389
Abstract:Despite persistent central government weakness and decades of conflict, self-ordered customary village organizations provide public goods at the community level in Afghanistan, usually without government support or interference. This project explores how communities are able to provide public goods in the context of a very fragile central government and, by doing so, demonstrates that there is a great deal of informal order even in failed states. The dissertation develops a theoretical framework of local self-governance and systematically tests its implications, using previously unexploited data from two recent, nationally representative surveys as well as original qualitative data from over 300 interviews and focus groups collected in villages across six provinces of rural Afghanistan. The qualitative data represent the most expansive, independent study of local governance conducted in post-2001 Afghanistan. The empirical analysis considers public good provision at three levels: within villages, between villages, and between villages and the lowest level of formal government. First, through analysis of public opinion data, I demonstrate that customary organizations do not hinder support for the central government. Second, I develop a theoretical framework showing why customary organizations are effective in providing public goods and services. This is mainly due to the fact that authority in villages is diffused among several customary organizations, namely village executives ( maliks ), village councils ( shuras/jirgas ), and religious arbiters (mullahs/imams ), each of which derives legitimacy from distinct sources. Third, the dissertation demonstrates that customary organizations are not a panacea and are limited in the kinds of public goods they can provide. Finally, empirical analysis demonstrates the conditions under which customary organizations cooperate with local governments. Such cooperation between these formal and informal organizations is widespread. This project brings comparative and local politics into the study of post-conflict state building and has several implications for persistently "weak" states. In the absence of central authority, individuals may organize productively to provide public goods. While state failure leads to central government anarchy, such power vacuums do not eliminate non-governmental sources of public goods provision.
Subject:Social sciences; Afghanistan; State building; Informal institutions; Political economy; Public goods; Local governance; Political science; Public administration; 0615:Political science; 0617:Public administration
Added Entry:M. Manion
Added Entry:The University of Wisconsin - Madison