The Afghan state and its economy were shattered during more than a quarter-century of almost continuous armed conflict. What remains of the economy faces an extended period of recovery that will necessarily be both restorative and transformational. Although Afghanistan has many features in common with other devastated economies, there is much that sets the country apart in the requirements, impediments, and opportunities for recovery. Afghanistan’s distinctiveness grows mostly out of its cold war- promoted rentier state economy, its particular sociopolitical complexion and culture, and its relationships with its regional neighbors, most notably with Pakistan. Prospects for Afghanistan’s economy depend to a large extent on overcoming the country’s legacy as a historically weak state. The writ of central authority has never been wide or deeply enforced across the country, nor has the state ever tried very hard to meet the basic needs of most of its citizens.
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Marvin G. Weinbaum
- Palgrave Macmillan US
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