Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Ethnic Diversity: As Afghanistan’s Weakness and Strength

Nation building is considered as the end of ethnic loyalties and their replacement by allegiance to a nation. It is a process that any country shall go through it if it wants to put an end to be end to its social conflicts; societies divided by ethnicity, sect or language usually face different conflicts, are less likely to reach co-operative solutions, and more likely to victimize minority social groups.
One of the most serious charges leveled against ethnic, sect or language differentiation is that it is the root cause of violent civil conflicts. Afghanistan, in terms of ethnic diversity weak management is an outstanding example, and as such, it suffers a much higher incidence of civil war. Ethnic conflicts in Afghanistan as a developing country have become a major policy concern. Also, it is one of the key factors for both humanitarian and military interventions in the country. Such policy interventions have been partly motivated by the manifestly debating consequences of civil war for the Afghan society which it occurs. Anyhow, there have probably been also an element of national interest. As civil wars have social affects far beyond the boundaries and borders of the affected state. Evidence show refugees create waves of migration. Of course, most civil wars end to illegal migration and drug trafficking which directly affect other countries, especially the neighboring countries.
Ethnic differentiation is also considered as detrimental to economic in developing countries including Afghanistan. Research findings show that ethnic diversity reduces the rate of economic growth. These findings explain the reduction of the rate of economic growth in terms of hypothesized effect of ethnic diversity upon political choices of the people. In other words, diverse societies are alleged to find it more difficult to solve their conflicts through a co-operative solutions. As in these societies, most often if not always, the social conflicts ends to civil violent conflicts, it is more likely for themto waste resources in distributional struggles.  As weak economic balance show in the Afghanistan, the consequences of this dysfunctional politics are claimed to be immense. Social scholars attribute the Afghanistan’s present poverty mainly to its high ethnic diversity and lack of economic distribution among the different ethnics in the country. Even the findings of Easterly and Levine show that ethnic division aptly summarizes the proposition: ethnic divisions are responsible for economic policies which are so impoverishing as to be tragic. As with civil war, impoverishment casts a long shadow. As a result, the Afghan government attempts to address it through aid programs.
The above mentioned effects of the ethnic division can be tested in Afghanistan. Civil war is the extreme manifestation of the more general phenomenon of dysfunctional politics in Afghanistan. Dysfunctional politics is the product of lack of ethnic diversity management in the country. On the other hand if ethnic diversity is managed systemically and fairly, it will end to functional politics in the country too. The underlying propositions are that ethnic diversity and divisions make co-operation very difficult and it victimizes the minorities ultimately.
Afghanistan is a country with many ethnic groups. The diversity of ethnic groups in Afghanistan has been always a challenging issues for the governments. Thus, ethnic diversity is one of the research fields that social scholars are very interested in and many researches have been conducted to assess the effects of ethnic diversity in different societies. The results of these research show that there is a direct correlation between the type of ethnic diversity management and civil conflicts: If governments employ ethnic political and economic distribution policies that can manage the ethnic diversity and change it to a driver of economic growth in the country and if they lack political and economic distribution policies, the country will experience continuous civil conflicts too. Based on this, the sustainable solution to the pro long Afghan conflicts is, to put political and economic distribution policies in place in Afghanistan build upon the experience and lessons of the countries like Sweden that have successfully managed their ethnic diversity and their citizens live a peaceful life.