This panoramic historical essay generously inspired by Thomas Hobbes and based on secondary sources in English language suggests that modern-day Afghanistan presents an opportunity to observe the process of state legitimacy-building since, in spite of its many problems, the Karzai administration has proved remarkably pragmatic, contrary to a number of its predecessors during the last third of the twentieth century.  Among the reasons why current factions have become more interested in creating a national government that is more open than previous ones, the author notably identifies: (1) the fact that each group now controls its region so firmly at the local level that any central government needs their cooperation in order to function; (2) the Pashtuns have recognised that they cannot restore the status quo ante and must negotiate with armed and militarised former subordinate ethnic groups; (3) no faction has proposed a division of the country along ethnic lines; (4) all factions have understood that the resources of the international community can be effectively tapped only if there is a national government to deal with the outside world.

The Redaction
CER: I-8.4.B-729