The literature identified through this rapid literature review highlighted a number of factors that support or undermine the legitimacy of the Afghan state, including: local governance structures; corruption; service delivery; legitimising ideologies of the Afghan state; accountability deficits; and the 2001 Bonn Agreement.
In terms of evidence of international community influence on state legitimacy, three areas of focus are explored: international community delivering on state-building and peace-building promises; balancing output- and input-based sources of legitimacy; and examples from donor funded development projects in Afghanistan.
In terms of opportunities and risks of supporting state legitimacy in Afghanistan, three issues are identified: transition to Afghan ownership in 2014; supporting governance related projects; and risks of externally driven state-building.
The rapid literature review conducted for this query revealed a large literature base exploring the factors that have influenced the legitimacy of the Afghan state since 2001. Much of this is found in journals (both in policy- and practitioner-oriented journals, and academic journals) and think-tank publications (largely on conflict or Western policy). The literature tends to focus more on military issues and international dimensions, with a smaller focus on state-building, development and humanitarian aspects. The state-building literature offers fewer references possibly as there has been limited work on legitimacy as an object of study (Mcloughlin, 2013).