Date of Award

6-2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Jim Butterfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Priscilla Lambert

Third Advisor

Dr. Mahendra Lawoti

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until

6-15-2024

Abstract

In political science a lot of attention is given to institutions and their role in shaping behaviors in a polity and society. In this thesis I examine the conflict between formal and informal institutions. I believe in many societies informal institutions play a major role in shaping political behavior. In Afghanistan these informal institutions can easily undermine formal institutions. Many of the studies that are conducted about informal institutions in Afghanistan have prized them for being capable of dealing with different problems. However, it is also important to find out whether the way they deal with different problems and solve those problems is fair to all or not. The problem in Afghan society is that formal institutions (de jure) are implemented to promote equal rights for all citizens, men and women, but in practice (de facto) women are oppressed, suffer discrimination and do not enjoy the same liberty that men do. Here it is argued that the informal institutions rooted in patriarchal traditions promote discrimination and violence against women.

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