Folke Bernadotteakademin

Book presentation The Rule of Law in Afghanistan - MIssing in Inaction

Pressmeddelande   •   Sep 12, 2010 13:49 CEST


How, despite the enormous investment of blood and treasure, has the West’s ten-year intervention left Afghanistan so lawless and insecure? The answer is more insidious than any conspiracy, for it begins with a profound lack of understanding of the rule of law, the very thing that most dramatically separates Western societies from the benighted ones in which they increasingly intervene. This volume of essays argues that the rule of law is not a set of institutions that can be exported lock, stock and barrel to lawless lands, but a state of affairs under which ordinary people and officials of the state itself feel it makes sense to act within the law. Where such a state of affairs is absent, as in Afghanistan today, brute force, not law, will continue to rule.

Where: Conference room Lejonsköldska on the 2nd floor at the Folke Bernadotte Academy, Drottning Kristinas Väg 37. Please follow directions at the entrance.


When: 11:00 on September 21.


There will be opportunities to interview the author. For further information, please contact Marianne Kihlberg, mobile 070 618 2301 or


To register for this event please send an e-mail to, no later than September 16.



Bio note of the author:


Mr. Whit Mason has lived and worked outside his native US since 1989. He edited newspapers in Siberia and the Russian Far East, was a staff writer at Asiaweek magazine in Hong Kong, and reported for CBS News from Bosnia and South Korea. As a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, Whit lived in Istanbul and wrote about the nexus between religion and politics in Turkey, Iran and the southern Balkans for three years. He worked in Kosovo first for the International Crisis Group and then as a speechwriter and adviser to the head of the UN mission, about which he co-authored a critically acclaimed book, Peace at Any Price: How the World Failed Kosovo. He led a large media development project in Azerbaijan, and was communications and outreach director for USAID in Pakistan. In 2008, he opened the UN’s justice coordination office for southern Afghanistan. He is a non-resident fellow of the West Asia program of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney, for which he co-authored Lowy Institute Paper 25, Zealous Democrats: Islamism and democracy in Egypt, Indonesia and Turkey. Whit is a founding member of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Law of the UNSW Faculty of Law. He has spoken on international relations at many prestigious institutions, including NATO, the UN’s Division of Peacekeeping Operations, the Folke Bernadotte Academy in Sweden, the Wilson Centre for Scholars, and Harvard University. He is a regular contributor to media in Australia and internationally. He is currently adviser to USIP’s dispute resolution project in Afghanistan.


Folke Bernadotte Academy is a Swedish government agency dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of international conflict and crisis management, with a particular focus on peace operations.

Folke Bernadotteakademin är en stalig myndighet som arbetar med att stärka den svenska och internationella förmågan inom området konflikt- och krishantering med särskild inriktning på fredsinsatser.