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09-11-2023

Institutional stickiness and Afghanistan’s unending revolution

Authors: Tariq Basir, Ilia Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili

Published in: Public Choice

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Abstract

Analysis of revolutions typically focuses on de jure constitutions and how their elite- or mass-led character influences their consequences. De facto constitutions are political and economic rules that people use to govern themselves which may or may not be recognized in the evolving de jure constitution. We argue that the nature of change resulting from revolutions depends on whether the emergent constitutional order recognizes the autonomy of de facto constitutions. We theorize neglect, disregard, and hostility toward de facto constitutions contributes to cycles of constitutional instability. We use this theory to explain Afghanistan’s unending revolution. Neither elite-led nor mass-led revolutions in Afghanistan produced a lasting constitutional order because they share a disregard for the de facto constitution.

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Footnotes
1
See, for example, Dutta et al (2013), Leeson and Harris (2018), and Murtazashvili and Murtazashvili (2020)
 
2
For a more discussion of the comparative advantages of customary institutions in managing property relations, see Murtazashvili and Murtazashvili (2021).
 
3
For a similar analysis of comparing imperfect alternatives, see Coyne and Leeson (2012) on comparisons of criminal justice in Liberia, Leeson on clan governance in Somalia (2007), and Crepelle et al (2022) on military societies providing policing services in Indian country. In each of these examples, the authors show that customary or traditional governance often works better than predatory rule by government.
 
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Metadata
Title
Institutional stickiness and Afghanistan’s unending revolution
Authors
Tariq Basir
Ilia Murtazashvili
Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili
Publication date
09-11-2023
Publisher
Springer US
Published in
Public Choice
Print ISSN: 0048-5829
Electronic ISSN: 1573-7101
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-023-01119-z