Peace in Afghanistan: Realistic Prospect or Distant Dream?
With Aziz Hakimi (University of Sussex), Kristian Berg Harpviken (PRIO), Arne Strand (CMI) and Torunn Wimpelmann (CMI).
The war in Afghanistan is currently the deadliest in the world. Can the ongoing talks between the US and Taliban bring peace, and if so- at what costs?
Over the past six months, talks between the US and Taliban have instilled widespread hopes for a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan, but also deep concerns of a return to authoritarianism, or a full blown civil war. The Afghan government is angered by its exclusion from the talks, while Presidential elections, already overdue, complicate the peace process. Many Afghans are concerned that the Taliban will want to dismantle the constitution, impose severe restrictions on women and refuse to share power. Others argue that there is no alternative to talks, international support is dwindling, and that the Taliban have changed. Global power competition and regional conflicts also play out in Afghanistan, fundamentally shaping the possibilities of a sustainable settlement.
Aziz Hakimi holds a PhD in development studies from the University of London. He is currently an associate researcher at the department of anthropology, University of Sussex. His research interests include war and state formation, politics of armed groups, and more recently the interlinkages between migration, marriage and masculinity.
Kristian Berg Harpviken is a Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). A sociologist by training, Harpviken has focused his research on Afghanistan and the surrounding region. He is broadly oriented towards the study of peace and war, publishes widely, and is a frequently used media commentator and lecturer
Arne Strand is Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI). Holding a PhD in Post-war Recovery Studies he has researched and commented upon a range of issues relating to development, conflict resolution, return migration and corruption in Afghanistan.
Torunn Wimpelmann is a Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI). She works on gender, law and politics in Afghanistan and is the author of the book The Pitfalls of Protection. Gender, Violence and Power in Afghanistan (UCP, 2017).