21. Februar 2004. Südasien-Informationen Nr. 3: Wirtschaft & Soziales - Afghanistan The "Bazaar Economy" of Afghanistan

The war which has been going on for more than twenty years has left Afghanistan as one of the most destroyed countries in the world. But the other side of the coin has to be borne in mind as well: some branches of the Afghan economy are alive and have been booming for several years. Most of these branches may be labelled as belonging to the 'war economy'. However, in the following approach the term 'war economy' will embrace not only illegal or illicit economic actions, such as drug traffic or smuggling. Rather, the term 'war economy' will refer to the economic actions of an entire society under the conditions of war. With respect to the endemic Afghan terminology I define the economic practices in Afghanistan as a 'bazaar economy'. The general framework of the Afghan 'bazaar economy' is that the capitalistic free-market economy regulates all economic activities in the absence of any state regulation. Private trade constitutes the most important economic activity, while the production of real goods and the influence of a public sphere almost completely disappear.



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