Locations

Afghanistan

Select a country in the map above or list below to find relevant staff, as well as publications, projects, news or events relevant to that region.

People

Halvor Berggrav

Halvor Berggrav

Adviser to the Director

Kai Eide

Kai Eide

PRIO Visiting Fellow at Brookings

Kaja Borchgrevink

Kaja Borchgrevink

Doctoral Researcher

Kristian Berg Harpviken

Kristian Berg Harpviken

PRIO Director

Lina Elter

Lina Elter

MA Student

Pavel K. Baev

Pavel K. Baev

Research Professor

Rahmatullah Hashemi

Rahmatullah Hashemi

Researcher

Scott Gates

Scott Gates

Research Professor. Editor, International Area Studies Review

Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh

Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh

Associate Researcher

Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2014) Split Return: Transnational Household Strategies in Afghan Repatriation, International Migration 52(6): 57–71.
Borchgrevink, Kaja (2013) Transnational Links of Afghan Madrasas: Implications for the Reform of Religious Education, Prospects: Quarterly Review of Comparative Education 43(1): 69–84.
Baev, Pavel K. (2012) How Afghanistan Was Broken: The Disaster of the Soviet Intervention, International Area Studies Review 15(3): 249–262.
Simonsen, Sven Gunnar (2009) Leaving Security in Safe Hands: Identity, Legitimacy and Cohesion in the New Afghan and Iraqi Armies, Third World Quarterly 30(8): 1–19.
Suhrke, Astri & Kaja Borchgrevink (2009) Negotiating Justice Sector Reform in Afghanistan, Crime, Law and Social Change 51(2): 211–130.
Simonsen, Sven Gunnar (2004) Ethnicizing Afghanistan? Inclusion and Exclusion in Post-Bonn Institution-Building, Third World Quarterly 25(4): 707–729.

Monograph

Harpviken, Kristian Berg & Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh (2016) A Rock Between Hard Places: Afghanistan as an Arena of Regional Insecurity. New York: Oxford University Press.

Book Chapter

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Ceri Oeppen (2017) Forced to return? Agency and the role of post-return mobility for wellbeing among returnees to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Poland, in Vathi, Zana; & Russell King, eds, Return Migration and Wellbeing: Discourses, Policy-Making and Outcomes for Migrants and Their Families. Abingdon: Routledge .
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) The Conflict of War and Politics in the Soviet Intervention into Afghanistan, 1979-1989, in Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, War and State-Building In Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury (113–130).
Gates, Scott & Kaushik Roy (2015) lntroduction: Armies, Warfare and the State in Afghanistan from Pre-modern Times to the Present Era, in Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, War and State-Building In Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury (1–20).
Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2015) Heart or Periphery? Afghanistan's Complex Neighbourhood Relations, in Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, War and State-Building In Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury (245–279).
Gates, Scott; Kaushik Roy; Marianne Dahl & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård (2015) Continuity and Change in Asymmetric Warfare in Afghanistan: From the Mughals to the Americans, in Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, War and State-Building in Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury (21–42).
Roy, Kaushik (2015) Great Mughals, Warfare and COIN in Afghanistan, 1520-1707, in Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, War and State-Building in Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury (43–78).
Roy, Kaushik (2014) British-India and Afghanistan: 1707–1842, in Kaushik Roy, ed., Chinese and Indian Warfare – from the Classical Age to 1870. London: Routledge (91–120).
Borchgrevink, Kaja & Kristian Berg Harpviken (2010) Afghanistan: Civil Society Between Modernity and Tradition, in Civil Society and Peacebuilding: a Critical Assessment. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner (235–257).

Edited Volume

Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, (2015) War and State-Building in Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury. Bloomsbury Studies in Military History.
Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, (2014) War and State-Building in Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Bloomsbury Studies in Military History.

Popular Article

Miklian, Jason; Kristian Hoelscher & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård (2016) What makes a country dangerous for aid workers?, The Guardian.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg & Kaja Borchgrevink (2009) A Muted Voice? Religious Actors and Civil Society in Post-2001 Afghanistan, Afghanistan Info, 15 March.
Bakkevig, Trond & Kristian Berg Harpviken (2001) Forsoning i Afghanistan [Reconciliation in Afghanistan], Dagbladet, 9 December.

PRIO Policy Brief

Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2016) ‘Voting with Their Feet’ or Returning to Fight?, PRIO Policy Brief, 9. Oslo: PRIO.
Brattvoll, Joakim (2016) Uzbekistan’s ambiguous policies on Afghanistan, PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.
Brattvoll, Joakim (2016) Is Russia Back in Afghanistan?, PRIO Policy Brief, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Leander, Anna (2012) Commercial Politics of Peace. Military Markets Recasting European Engagements in Afghanistan, PRIO Policy Brief, 8. Oslo: PRIO.
Tariq, Mohammed Osman; Kaja Borchgrevink & Kristian Berg Harpviken (2011) Building Trust and Institutions - Religious Institution-Building in Afghanistan: An Exploration, PRIO Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: PRIO.
Suhrke, Astri (2011) Disjointed Incrementalism: NATO in Afghanistan, PRIO Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: PRIO.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2011) Power Prevails: The Failure of Whole-of-Government Approaches in Afghanistan, PRIO Policy Brief, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Borchgrevink, Kaja & Kristian Berg Harpviken (2010) Teaching Religion, Taming Rebellion: Religious Education Reform in Afghanistan, PRIO Policy Brief, 7. Oslo: PRIO.

PRIO Paper

Tadjbakhsh, Shahrbanou (2016) Regional Responses to Radicalization in Afghanistan: Obstacles, Opportunities and an Agenda for Action, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Tadjbakhsh, Shahrbanou & Mohammad Fazeli (2016) Iran and its Relationship to Afghanistan After the Nuclear Deal: A New Era for Constructive Interaction?, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Hedayat, Lida Nadery & Kristian Berg Harpviken (2014) Where Do Afghan Women Stand on Education and Economic Empowerment?, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Sharan, Timor & Torunn Wimpelmann (2014) Women's Rights and Political Representation: Past Achievements and Future Challenges, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Eide, Kai (2014) Afghanistan and the US: Between Partnership and Occupation, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Tadjbakhsh, Shahrbanou (2013) The Persian Gulf and Afghanistan: Iran and Saudi Arabia's Rivalry Projected, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Borchgrevink, Kaja (2010) Beyond Borders: Diversity and Transnational Links in Afghan Religious Education, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Borchgrevink, Kaja (2007) Religious Actors and Civil Society in Post-2001 Afghanistan, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - Other

Carling, Jørgen; Marta Bolognani; Marta Bivand Erdal; Rojan Tordhol Ezzati; Ceri Oeppen; Erlend Paasche; Silje Vatne Pettersen; & Tove Heggli Sagmo (2015) Possibilities and Realities of Return MigrationOslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).
Borchgrevink, Kaja; Kristian Berg Harpviken; Kanishka Nawabi; Mirwais Wardak; Astri Suhrke; & Arne Strand (2007) Disconnected and Discounted? Religious actors and Civil Society in Post - 2001 Afghanistan, PRIO-CPAU-CMI Policy Brief. Oslo/Bergen: PRIO/CPAU/CMI.

Report - External Series

Godal, Bjørn Tore; Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv; Mats Berdal; Torgeir Hagen; Gro Nystuen; Kristian Berg Harpviken; Sten Rynning; Astri Suhrke; Rolf Tamnes; & Torunn Wimpelmann (2016) En god alliert – Norge i Afghanistan 2001–2014, Norges offentlige utredninger, 8. Oslo: DSS.
Dommersnes, Ida (2011) Bringing War Home: The use of Provincial Reconstruction Teams by Norway and Denmark to construct strategic naratives for their domestic audiences, Security Policy Library, 1. Oslo: The Norwegian Atlantic Committee.
Borchgrevink, Kaja; & Kristian Berg Harpviken (2010) Afghanistan’s Religious Landscape: Politicising the Sacred, Noref Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF).
Strand, Arne; Kristian Berg Harpviken; & Abdul Wasay Najimi (2001) Afghanistan: Current Humanitarian Challenges, CMI Report, 5. Bergen: CMI.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg; Merete Taksdal; & Muhammad Suleman (2001) Strengthening the Self-Reliance of Returnee Communities: The Enjil Community Development Program, Herat Province, Afghanistan, Report from an Independent Mid-term Review for Ockenden International. Wooking, UK: Ockenden International.

Newsletter

Lorentzen, Jenny & Julie Marie Hansen (2016) Integrating Gender into Foreign Policy, PRIO Gender, Peace and Security Update, 2016: PRIO.
Lorentzen, Jenny & Torunn L. Tryggestad (2014) Symposium on Women’s Rights and Empowerment in Afghanistan, PRIO Gender, Peace and Security Update, 2014: PRIO.

Past Events

Blog Posts

Women, Peace and Security?

Posted by Cecilie Fleming on Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Norwegian government had lofty ambitions to implement UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in Faryab Province in Afghanistan. However, attempts to realise these ambitions were half-hearted. The role of the gender adviser became a political alibi for the Norwegian Provincial Reconstruction Team’s haphazard efforts to implement the resolution. The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in October 2000. Norway, a leading nation in the fields of peace negotiation, human security and women’s equality, became one of the first countries to develop a national action plan to implement the resolution. The national ...

Rhetoric as Required

Posted by Pia Bergmann on Tuesday, 20 September 2016

From “the pre-emptive defence of Norway”, to “conflict resolution and peace”, even in the event of “war-like actions”, Norwegian politicians have adapted their rhetoric on Afghanistan as required by circumstances and public opinion. From day one, the Norwegian government has been enthusiastic in its support of intervention in Afghanistan. But over the years many different reasons have been put forward to justify Norwegian involvement. If one considers the period from 2001 to the present day as a whole, the only phrase that has remained set in stone is “a clear UN mandate”. Apart from that, it is possible to identify ...

Political Defeat – Military Inadequacy! The Swaddling Blanket of Intervention

Posted by Robert Mood on Thursday, 9 June 2016

The military interventions by the West in the Middle East, Afghanistan and North Africa in recent years are examples of bold and efficient use of force resulting in immediate achievement of goals. Saddam Hussein’s military forces were defeated, the Taliban were deprived of their havens and possible massacres in Libya were prevented. The attempts however to build stable democracies in the aftermath of such use of military force have been less successful. Iraq, Syria and Libya are all once again experiencing significant conflict, and the Taliban are back on the advance. These are clear reminders that the use of classical ...

Can Afghans Reintegrate after Assisted Return from Europe?

Posted by Ceri Oeppen & Nassim Majidi on Friday, 22 May 2015

Governments present the assisted return of rejected asylum seekers and other ‘unwanted’ migrants as the cornerstone of an effective migration management policy. However, it is also a practice criticised by migrants’ rights advocates for being a form of coerced, rather than voluntary, return. One response to critiques is to highlight the potential such programmes have in the successful reintegration of returnees. But what is meant by ‘successful’ reintegration? Based on research in Afghanistan with returnees from Norway and the United Kingdom, we highlight the extreme difficulties faced in achieving reintegration. Most Afghan research participants did not want to return to ...

An Uncertain Future in Afghanistan

Posted by Arne Strand on Thursday, 26 March 2015

Under the tripartite agreement entered into between Afghanistan, Norway and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Afghans who are refused asylum in Norway have two choices: either to take advantage of the assisted repatriation programme; or to reject this offer and risk being forcibly deported and returned to Kabul almost empty handed. The two groups return home under very different circumstances. Refugees on the assisted repatriation programme receive a cash sum on arrival in Kabul, and may apply for rent support for a limited period. They are also entitled to six months’ financial support in order to establish a ...

A Muted Voice? Religious Actors and Civil Society in Post-2001 Afghanistan

Posted by Kristian Berg Harpviken & Kaja Borchgrevink on Wednesday, 25 March 2015

In general, religious actors are not perceived as possible contributors to civil society. In Afghanistan, where religion permeates society and politics, and where religious leaders and networks bear considerable influence, this is particularly problematic. There is a need for a thorough rethink of what civil society is, and the role of religion within it. While knowledge is deficient in vital areas, what we do know merits a thorough reorientation of policy and practice. Religious actors are under double pressure. The Taliban, as the main armed opposition, see Islam as their main source of legitimacy. Religious leaders who express support for ...

A Young and Fragile Time in Afghanistan

Posted by Shaharzad Akbar on Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Afghanistan’s “youth boom” means that the country has a large generation of young people with high expectations for a better future – and high levels of frustration. Such a situation provides fertile ground for radicalization. Afghanistan’s population is estimated to have grown by as much as 2.4 per cent in 2014, and around 68 per cent of the total population is under 25 years of age. The absence of a strong and responsive state means that young Afghans’ prospects and quality of life are blighted by lack of security, poverty, drug dependency, lack of educational opportunities, and unemployment. At the ...

How can Norway best Support Afghanistan?

Posted by Arne Strand & Liv Kjølseth on Monday, 23 March 2015

The current situation in Afghanistan is the subject of two opposing narratives: one is a success story about international support and involvement since 2001; the other is a story where much has gone wrong and everything can only get worse. Agreeing on a narrative that is closer to the truth is crucial when deciding what form Norwegian support and involvement should take in the future. The lion’s share of international funding has so far been earmarked for security measures. Over time, the international forces have changed their focus from attacking Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to also rebuilding an Afghan army ...

A New Afghan Spring?

Posted by Kristian Berg Harpviken on Monday, 29 September 2014

Sitting in Kabul today, watching the Presidential inauguration on local television, it is difficult to say whether we are seeing a new Afghan spring or the onset of a disaster. After weeks and weeks of quarrelling, the two main presidential contenders settled on a power-sharing formula: Ashraf Ghani is the new president, while Abdullah Abdullah takes up a newly established Prime Minister post. The latter also demanded a more prominent role during the inauguration, however, which led to a hot debate over the inaugural liturgy during the last few days. In fear of Abdullah abstaining, many sighed with relief when ...

The Taliban are an Organized Fighting Force

Posted by Kristian Berg Harpviken on Sunday, 8 June 2014

A new UN report blames the Taliban for a sharp rise in violence against civilians. The Taliban are an organized fighting force. They combine a relatively strong central command with a networked structure in which each of the various factions operate with considerable independence. Establishing control over certain territories has been a main rationale for the Taliban. While their military tactics have changed a lot, their ultimate objectives have not. For the Taliban, military capacity and the ability to control territory are key to their success. Read more about structure, tactics and aims of the militants in DW’s in-depth interview with ...

Complexities and Challenges in Afghan migration?

Posted by Ceri Oeppen on Tuesday, 25 June 2013

If you look at the return programs organized by European governments (usually in partnership with the IOM) you will notice that return and reintegration are often mentioned together, as if they always coincide. However, reintegration (however it is defined) does not automatically follow return. Also, how ‘success’ in reintegration assistance is defined differs: is it where those assisted do not re-migrate? Or, as I would argue, reintegration is a multi-dimensional process that involves (re)negotiating membership in a variety of different spheres of society (economic, political, social, and cultural). In a high mobility society like Afghanistan, with a ‘culture of migration’, ...