Western Support to Warlords in Afghanistan from 2001 - 2014 and its Effect on Political Legitimacy
Morgan Edwards, Lucy Helen
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This is an integrative paper aiming to encapsulate the themes of my previously published work upon which this PhD is being assessed. This work; encompassing several papers and various chapters of my book are attached behind this essay. The research question, examines the effect of Western support to warlords on political legitimacy in the post 9/11 Afghan war. I contextualise the research question in terms of my critical engagement with the literature of strategists in Afghanistan during this time. Subsequently, I draw out themes in relation to the available literature on warlords, politics and security in Afghanistan. I highlight the value of thinking about these questions conceptually in terms of legitimacy. I then introduce the published work, summarising the focus of each paper or book chapter. Later, a ‘findings’ section addresses how the policy of supporting warlords has affected legitimacy through its impact on security and stability, the political settlement and ultimately whether Afghans choose to accept the Western-backed project in Afghanistan, or not. I argue that this issue is important as it has security implications not just in the immediate region, but increasingly, throughout the Middle East and possibly further.
PhD by Publication in Politics