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Civil society with guns is not civil society: aid, security and civil society in Afghanistan

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This paper examines the intensified convergence of aid, security and foreign policy goals since 9/11 and its effects on civil society in the context of Afghanistan. As a theatre for both the pursuance of the War on Terror and processes of reconstruction, development and political stabilisation, the Afghan case is of particular interest. Afghanistan’s economy is heavily dependent on foreign aid; its government in turn relies crucially on external military and political support for its survival. The complex intertwining of external (primarily American) military and foreign policy objectives with development goals are played out vividly in the case of Afghanistan, with significant ramifications for the organisational landscape and ideological and political purpose of civil society. These effects are manifested most prominently in the changing organisational landscape of civil society post-9/11, in the refashioning of state-civil society relations with the tools of foreign aid, and the increasingly complex relations between civil actors and the military as the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) and Coalition Forces part of Operation Enduring Freedom engage in developmental and humanitarian interventions as part of the politico-military War on Terror strategy in Afghanistan.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/26323/

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