Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Special Reports

Special Reports – formerly known as thematic reports or briefing papers – are more substantive publications on subjects that are high on the policy agenda. Special Reports are all externally peer-reviewed.

Boys threshing wheat in Ghor province (Adam Pain 2008)

Growing Out Of Poverty? Questioning agricultural policy in Afghanistan

Adam Pain

A new AAN paper seeks to understand why agricultural policy since 2001 has failed to increase production, lift rural Afghans out of poverty or secure their food supply. It finds the answers in the stories agricultural development planners tell themselves about how to ‘modernise’ agriculture, even as they ignore evidence from the field. AAN guest […]

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Kabul Unpacked: A Geographical Guide to a Metropolis In The Making

Fabrizio Foschini

Today, AAN publishes a new report, “Kabul Unpacked: A Geographical Guide to a Metropolis In The Making”. In maps and text, Author Fabrizio Foschini charts Kabul’s 22 police districts, their history, landmarks and architecture, population and security. We hope this guide will be a go-to, easily-used backgrounder for a city that many of us love, […]

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Afghanistan’s Paradoxical Political Party System: A new AAN report

Thomas Ruttig

The role of political parties in Afghanistan’s highly centralised presidential system, with only limited parliamentary checks and balances, is an important yardstick by which to measure how the country has fared in its attempts to democratise in the post-Taleban era. This new AAN thematic report, in cooperation with the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), looks […]

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Ideology in the Afghan Taliban: A new AAN report

Alex Strick-Van-Linschoten Anand Gopal

The Taleban’s ideology has transformed over the past two decades. While the movement once typified a ‘traditionalist’ Islam – that is, it sought to articulate and defend a particular concept of Islam found in southern Pashtun villages – it is now, in its insurgency phase, closer to forms of political Islam espoused in the Arab […]

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Backgrounder: Literature Review of Local, Community or Sub- State Forces in Afghanistan

Erica Gaston Kate Clark

Afghanistan’s history has long been dominated and shaped by the interaction of militias with the state. In the post-2001 era, international actors, sometimes with Afghan state cooperation, have tried to use militias to fill perceived gaps in security. Since 2002, a range of foreign-backed local, hybrid or non-state security forces (LHSFs) have emerged. They include […]

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Afghan detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Left to Right): Hamidullah, Bostan Karim, Abdul Zahir, Haji Wali Mohammed and Obaidullah. Photo: New York Times

Kafka in Cuba: New AAN report on the Afghan experience in Guantánamo

Kate Clark

A major new report from AAN’s Kate Clark looks at the Afghan experience in Guantanamo, where a quarter of the total number of detainees held were Afghan, the largest national group. The report takes a ‘deep dive’ into the cases of eight of the longest-serving Afghan detainees. Five are still in Cuba, while three were […]

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Afghan Refugees camp under a Paris canal bridge (September 2015). Photo: Evan Bench [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

»Wir wussten, dass sie in Kabul keine Zukunft hatten«: Fluchtentscheidungen afghanischer Familien

AAN Team

The German version of our study ‘“We Knew They Had No Future in Kabul”: Why and How Afghan Families Decide to Leave’ (link here) in cooperation with and funded by the Afghanistan office of the German Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Foundation) (FES) is out now and can be read and/or downloaded here as well as on the FES website. The increasing […]

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Photo: Christine Roehrs 2015

Economic Management in Afghanistan: What worked, what didn’t, and why?

Bill Byrd

Afghanistan’s past experience with economic management has seen both notable successes and salient failures. A new paper for AAN by Bill Byrd, a former head of the World Bank in Afghanistan (currently a senior expert with the US Institute of Peace), reviews several economic policies during the period 2002-2014. It points to important lessons for Afghanistan’s […]

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Beyond Jihad and Traditionalism: Afghanistan’s new generation of Islamic activists

Borhan Osman

Not all Afghan youth who are politically active and who want to change the status quo fit into the often simplified categories of being either progressive and educated, or uneducated and subversive. There is an often-overlooked segment of Afghanistan’s youth that is educated and engages in modern political debates and activities, while at the same […]

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Shah Shuja holding a durbar (court) at Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Folly of Double Government: Lessons from the First Anglo-Afghan War for the 21st century

Noah Arjomand

The latest AAN report, a discussion paper named “The Folly of Double Government: Lessons from the First Anglo-Afghan War for the 21st Century” by guest author, Noah Arjomand, revisits Britain’s attempt at state-building in Afghanistan from 1839-1841. The disastrous British retreat from Kabul in January 1842 and the subsequent British pillage of the Afghan capital […]

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“RS – ta’alimat, kumak, mashwerat” (training, assistance, advice) reads the coat-of-arms of the new NATO military mission in Afghanistan. Photo: NATO (http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_116351.htm).

Resolute Support Light: NATO’s New Mission versus the ANSF Political Economy

Philipp Münch

AAN’s first paper of the new year – “Resolute Support Light: NATO’s New Mission versus the Political Economy of the Afghan National Security Forces” by guest author Philipp Münch – looks at NATO’s chances of achieving its goals in Afghanistan with Resolute Support (RS). The mission replaced ISAF on 1 January 2015. NATO’s motto in Afghanistan has […]

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Photo: Pajhwok

Between Co-operation and Insulation: Afghanistan’s Relations with the Central Asian Republics

S Reza Kazemi Christian Bleuer

The latest AAN report, “Between Co-operation and Insulation: Afghanistan’s Relations with the Central Asian Republics”, by Christian Bleuer and Said Reza Kazemi, looks at the state of Afghanistan’s relationships to the former Soviet republics of Central Asia to the north. The authors look at the multi- and bilateral cooperation on various levels and from both […]

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