This October marks the 10th anniversary of the first democratic elections in Afghanistan, when Hamid Karzai won 21 of the 34 provinces, defeating his 22 opponents and becoming the first democratically elected leader of Afghanistan. Many interpreted this victory as a symbolically important ‘new beginning’ for the war-torn nation. Whilst Karzai has carved out a reputation as a shrewd statesman, the enormous challenges faced by Afghanistan (including government corruption, Taliban insurgents, and severe poverty) have made his work difficult.
Professor Emeritus David Weir, the Chair of our Editorial Advisory Board, has worked extensively as a consultant in risk and crisis management in the Arab Middle East. He explains the challenges facing Afghanistan:
“It is indeed a decade since the ‘first democratic elections in Afghanistan’ placed Karzai in the President’s office in Kabul. It is something to celebrate, but the next decade must see significant progress towards solving the underlying issues of poverty, inequality, women’s rights, corruption and the gross urban-rural divide that scar the social landscape of Afghan society, or else the democratic impulse will be frustrated. Here, and elsewhere in the Near and Middle East, improved access to global communications is part of the answer, but, at present outside of Kabul, many remote areas are still without Internet coverage and, though fibre optic cables are currently being built, progress is slow and coverage is patchy.”
To commemorate this anniversary, and to reflect the cultural, social and economic diversity of Afghanistan, Cambridge Scholars is offering our readers a 50% discount on 3 of our best-selling titles. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code AFGHAN14 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 2nd November 2014.