This is very cool indeed. I'm about a third of the way through and so far it's very interesting. The persistence of tribal/clan forms of social organization have led me to think that instead of exporting European-style parliamentary democracy with party-based proportional representation, we should be reconsidering and adapting the old idea of "mixed government" to local circumstances. Organizing government in a way that the different "orders" of society are represented, while not appropriate to American circumstances, may be a better way of establishing non-tyrannical, representative governments in places where tribes and other pre-modern social organizations predominate. For example in Iraq and Afghanistan perhaps it would have been better to have instituted a bicameral legislature in which one house was democratically elected and the other provided for equal representation of each tribe or clan. This would have allowed for both the evolution of democracy without abandoning tradition institutions and identities.
# posted by Anonymous : Wednesday, 17 January, 2007
You hit it on the head regarding pre-modern, tranistional, corporative forms of representation.
Western Europe went through this process with the evolution of the English parliament, the French Estates-General, the Holy Roman Empire's legislative-consultive arm ( Reichsraat ? Landesrat ? Where's a good medievalist when you need them?!?).
Arguably even the United States Senate served this purpose in a republican fashion, until the direct election of Senators.
Perhaps for Afghanistan a lower, directly representative house should have been balanced by a Loya Jirga upper house. It might have kept more Pushtun leaders engaged rather than neutral or pro-Talban.