The Transnationalization of the Taliban

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2012) The Transnationalization of the Taliban, International Area Studies Review15(3): 203–229.

This article introduces a framework for the analysis of transnationalization – understood as the process by which non-state groups integrate with transnational actors – that distinguishes between (1) organization, (2) resource mobilization, (3) tactical repertoire and (4) ideological framing. This framework is then applied to an examination of the Afghan Taliban’s relationships to Al-Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban (and other local militants) and the Pakistani state. Contrary to dominant analyses, the article finds that the transnationalization of the Taliban has been limited. The Afghan Taliban have been concerned both about losing local support and about coming under the influence of actors with objectives very different from their own, and have therefore consciously limited their own integration into transnational networks.