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The Politics of the Taliban’s Shadow Judiciary, 2003–2013

In: Central Asian Affairs
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  • 1 Senior Research Fellow, Department of War Studies, King’s College London, antonio.giustozzi@kcl.ac.uk
  • | 2 PhD Student in Political Science Raymond Aron Center for Sociological and Political Studies (cespra) ehess, Paris, adam.baczko@gmail.com
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The Taliban established their own judicial system in Afghanistan as both an instrument of population control and as a means to project themselves as an effective parallel government. Despite the heavy reliance on coercion, the Taliban’s method of dealing with common criminality and resolving disputes was often welcome, though the weak appeal system and the rapidity of the trials was sometimes criticized. A more structured approach to coercion, featuring rules, regulation and supervision over the military, allows less use of violence and promises increased predictability for the population, making active resistance less of a necessity. In the long run, the establishment of credible judiciary institutions reshapes the social environment and creates vested interests in favor of Taliban domination.

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