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Islam and Constitutionalism in Afghanistan

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Abstract A constitution is adopted to regulate the relationship between political authorities and the people in a society. Traditionally, this relationship was very loose in Afghanistan; over time, however, as amirs sought to consolidate political and social authority over their society, the establishment of a constitutional framework became a priority for each new leader. This article chronicles Afghanistan’s state formation and constitutional history, beginning with Amir Dust Mohammad Khan’s state consolidation efforts in 1838, and considering all of the constitutions of the country beginning in 1923 continuing to the present. It details the central role both Islam and Afghanistan’s ethno-sectarian diversity have played in constitutional efforts throughout Afghanistan’s history and emphasizes the need for both to ensure a representative, inclusive society in Afghanistan.

Affiliations: 1: Marine Corps University Quantico, Virginia


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