Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Jelena Bjelica

The Daily Hustle: Going on a picnic with your family, if you’re a girl 

AAN Team Roxanna Shapour

Going on a picnic and spending time with your family, enjoying Afghanistan’s natural beauty, is a favourite pastime for Afghan families, especially in springtime. However, since the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has imposed many restrictions on women and older girls, public parks in the country have largely become no-go areas for them. AAN has […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
Muttaqi AFP

How The Emirate Wants to be Perceived: A closer look at the Accountability Programme

Martine van Bijlert

As the third anniversary of its return to power approaches, the Islamic Emirate is presumably readying itself for another round of its Accountability Programme, as it has done in the past two summers. These televised sessions, held by ministers and other senior officials in front of journalists, provide a fairly detailed overview of the Emirate’s […]

Political Landscape Read more

The Fate of the Village Councils: The Emirate’s effort to institute hegemony over rural Afghanistan

Jelena Bjelica AAN Team

Afghanistan’s Community Development Councils (CDCs), which were established under the Islamic Republic by the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) and its successor Citizen’s Charter, have been abolished by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA). Government bodies have been told to coordinate economic projects with ulema councils instead. Afghanistan, however, has a longstanding tradition of grassroots, collective, […]

Political Landscape Read more

Where Are My Rights? Afghan retirees appeal for their pensions

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Jelena Bjelica

Afghanistan’s retired public sector employees have not received their pensions since the toppling of the Republic and the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in August 2021. In the almost three years since then, their pleas to the government to start paying what is their due have fallen on deaf ears. In April this […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Before the Deluge: How to mitigate the risk of flooding in Afghanistan

Mhd Assem Mayar

In Afghanistan’s rugged landscape, floods arise from a multiplicity of causes: torrential rainfall, rain on snow, the rapid melting of snow due to warmer weather, glacial lake outbursts, the overflow of natural ponds or even the breach of dams. Regardless of their origins, floods can destroy whole villages, ruin farmland and change the very landscape. Almost […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The State of Research on Afghanistan: Too many poor quality publications and some real gems

Christian Bleuer

Spanning almost 400 pages, the new edition of the Afghanistan Analysts Bibliography provides information about books, journal articles and other publications on a vast range of topics to do with Afghanistan – from ethnic groups, through war, regional relations, the security sector, development, peace-building, governance, opium, women, human rights, migration, education economics and natural resources, […]

Context and Culture Read more

Afghanistan Analyst Bibliography 2024

Christian Bleuer

In its first update for five years, the Afghanistan Analyst Bibliography now covers some 8,000 titles. It is an invaluable resource for those studying and researching contemporary Afghanistan, particularly the post-1979 period. The author, Christian Bleuer, began compiling the bibliography in 2004/05 when, as a graduate student, he became increasingly frustrated with trying to find […]

AAN Bibliography Read more

The Durand Line and the Fence: How are communities managing with cross-border lives?

Sabawoon Samim

The Durand Line, which serves as the de facto border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, has never been officially recognised by any Kabul government. It cuts through the heart of Pashtun tribes, who share family ties, religion and traditions. For most of its existence, it made little practical difference to the lives of the people living […]

Regional Relations Read more

New Day, New Year: AAN wishes happiness and prosperity to all celebrating Nawruz

AAN Team

The advent of spring and the arrival of Nawruz brings with it the promise of new beginnings – of life renewed, of resilience and good fortune. As Spring thaws the cold winter soil, it paints the hills and the valleys with its vibrant greens. It perfumes the air with blossoms and decorates the landscape with […]

Context and Culture Read more
A farmer walks through his destroyed poppy field on the outskirts of Lashkargah in Helmand Province. Photo by Sanaullah Seiam/AFP, 9 April 2023

The Opium Ban: The impact on small farmers, sharecroppers and labourers in Helmand province

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Jelena Bjelica

In what used to be Afghanistan’s largest poppy-growing province, Helmand, cultivation plummeted by 99 per cent in 2023 following the Islamic Emirate’s ban on the crop in April 2022. Although opium trading largely continued, which brought windfall profits to anyone with opium stocks to sell, the ban on cultivation has caused unemployment and an economic […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Daily Hustle: Waiting in Islamabad for evacuation

Rohullah Sorush Roxanna Shapour

When the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan returned to power in August 2021, thousands of Afghans who were working for NGOs left Afghanistan, fearing harassment by Afghanistan’s new rulers, or just taking an opportunity to start a new life elsewhere. Many have already found their way to Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. Others are still […]

Migration Read more

The Contest for a Special Envoy: Will the meeting in Doha yield a shift in the world’s engagement with the Emirate? 

Roxanna Shapour

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will host a second meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in the capital of Qatar, Doha, on 18-19 February 2024. Unlike the last gathering in May 2023, the Emirate has also been invited, although it has not yet confirmed that it will send a delegation. The two-day meeting is expected […]

International Engagement Read more