June 23, 2010, 3:38 p.m.
Thirty years of violence and instability have weakened Afghanistan’s jirga system. These jirgas, which are an ad-hoc group of local elders, have historically managed and resolved conflicts in Afghan society. The erosion of their influence, coupled with weak state institutions, has left the country vulnerable to destabilizing forces. The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has released a brief, which highlights the importance of local jirgas, and the need to increase their power. To do so, USIP is piloting a series of dispute resolution commissions. The institute hopes that the experience of the pilot commissions will inform a set of recommendations for an expanded program. You can access the report here.