The Taliban are great salesmen. They use modern techniques, have strong messages and make offers that many cannot refuse - at least not if they want to live. One of the 'services' that the Taliban are looking to sell constantly in Afghanistan is law and order.
It may sound ironic, but the Taliban can point to a good record of providing justice - albeit blind, summary and often instant. Just look at what happened when they were overthrown at the end of 2001: one of the first consequences was the UN aid agencies claimed that there was a major breakdown in law and order which bordered on anarchy. The agencies had their offices looted, their vehicles stolen and their staff attacked.
A process started then which continues to this day: replacing and rebuilding Afghanistan's law and order system. Today, the threat is not only the Taliban's efforts to disrupt and disable the new Afghan system: it is also an internal threat of corruption, lack of training and lack of accessibility. This is an area where the international community knows more effort is needed.
In the meantime, the country's informal conflict resolution system has been working well. But how can Afghanistan switch from a cultural, traditional method of local councils, to a modern, codified judiciary? That is the question dealt with many of this edition's contributors. And they also look at the effect that this year's elections could have on the spread of law and order.
What's clear is that none of them have bought the Taliban's promises.