Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Publications

AAN research and analysis is published in the format of AAN reports - former dispatches, special reports - former thematic reports, dossiers - former thematic dossiers and other publications. The reports are reflective of AAN’s eight thematic areas.

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Reports

The Cost of Support to Afghanistan: New special report considers the causes of inequality, poverty and a failing democracy

Kate Clark

A new AAN special report looks at why the political vision of the 2002 Bonn Agreement and 2004 constitution with its promises of a representative democracy has failed to materialise. It finds answers in the huge levels of unearned foreign income that has flowed into Afghanistan since 2001, both aid and the money spent by […]

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The Kot-e Sangi Bazaar in Kabul during the run-up up to Eid. Photo: Ali Sina Sorush, 20 May 2020.

AAN wishes a peaceful and healthy Eid al-Fitr to all our readers

AAN Team

After a Ramadan that has been difficult for many in Afghanistan, there is finally some better news: the Taleban have announced a three-day ceasefire to mark Eid ul-Fitr and the Afghan government has reciprocated. Acknowledging that the many people who have lost dear ones in the brutal violence this spring or are afflicted by coronavirus […]

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The case of Mawlawi Mehdi and Balkhab District: Are the Taleban attracting Hazaras?

Thomas Ruttig

Recently, a story appeared in the media reporting that the Taleban have appointed a Shia Hazara as a shadow district governor in Sar-e Pul province. This ethno-religious group is barely represented in the insurgent movement, and stands in the way of the Taleban’s attempt to present itself as nation-wide. Mehdi, however, is not physically present […]

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End of the Post-Election Impasse? Ghani and Abdullah’s new power-sharing formula

Ali Yawar Adili

The electoral and political standoff which had beset the country for months has been ended by a new power-sharing agreement signed on 17 May 2020 by President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Dr Abdullah Abdullah. Both had claimed the presidency and held rival inaugurations in March. AAN’s researcher Ali Yawar Adili (with input from Thomas […]

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Covid-19 in Afghanistan (3): Distributing aid and changing aid politics – view from a Herati village

S Reza Kazemi

At a time when coronavirus-related aid in Afghanistan is becoming a topic of heated discussion, and the cause of some unfortunate violent incidents, the aid that flowed into a rural community in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat was bitterly and deeply contested. With the day-to-day rhythm of life in this already impoverished village troubled by […]

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A Request to Delay: Another Afghan government attempt to prevent an ICC war crimes investigation?

Ehsan Qaane

The Afghan government has submitted a request to the ICC Office of the Prosecutor to defer the ICC’s investigations in Afghanistan, on the grounds that domestic investigations are taking place into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity that occurred on Afghan soil. They argue this means there is no need for the ICC investigation. […]

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Special Reports

The Cost of Support to Afghanistan: New special report considers the reasons for inequality, poverty and a failing democracy

Kate Clark

In a new AAN special report, Kate Clark considers the apparent paradox that despite almost two decades of international support to Afghanistan, poverty for most Afghans has deepened. She also explores the gap between the promise of the 2002 Bonn Agreement and 2004 constitution, a multi-ethnic, fully representative government, a democracy with strong checks and […]

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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

Anand Gopal Alex Strick-Van-Linschoten

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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Dossiers

AAN Dossier XXV: The Quest for Peace in Afghanistan, 2015 to 2020

AAN Team

Any day now, a first diplomatic breakthrough toward peace in Afghanistan is expected: the United States and the Taleban have both announced that they have finalised their negotiations which would exchange withdrawal of the US and other NATO troops from the country for anti-terrorism guarantees from the Taleban. These negotiations started in October 2018 in […]

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Thematic Dossier XXIV: Ten years of reporting on civilian casualties, still no ceasefire

AAN Team

As the Taleban and the United States sit down together again to discuss the possibility of a peace agreement, the issue that appears to be most pressing for Afghans is a ceasefire. Not surprising given that 2019 is likely to be the sixth year in a row when the number of civilians killed and injured […]

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Nad-e Ali poppy farmer

Thematic Dossier XXIII: Afghan drugs – opium, cannabis and meth

AAN Team

Since AAN was established ten years ago, drugs have often featured in our reporting, both directly and indirectly. Drugs and counter-narcotics efforts are not a priority for either Afghan politicians or foreign donors at this time. However, for anyone seeking to understand Afghanistan’s economy, people’s livelihoods and the political economy of elections, appointments and insurgency, […]

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Afghan migrants, including minors, living in inhumane conditions in a Belgrade, Serbia squat. Photo: Martine van Bijlert, April 2017.

Thematic Dossier XXII: Afghan migration to Europe and beyond (2)

AAN Team

The subject of Afghans trying to migrate to Europe and beyond may have dropped out of the headlines in the last couple of years, but AAN has continued to follow their stories. Getting into Europe and then getting across eastern Europe into the west has become much more difficult since we published our first thematic […]

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Thematic Dossier XXI: The aftermath of the 2018 Afghan parliamentary elections

AAN Team

Two months after Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections on 20 October 2018, a final result is still not in view. Afghanistan’s electoral institutions remain deep in their drawn out counting phase. A number of delays have made the original plan to announce a final result yesterday, on 20 December 2018, obsolete. To maintain an overview over post-elections […]

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Thematic Dossier XX: Electoral reform and the preparations for the 2018 elections

AAN Team

Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections are scheduled for 20 October this year, three and a half years late. They were delayed so that the electoral system could be reformed – although what that delay achieved in terms of reforms, is questionable. The country’s first district elections are also still scheduled for the same day, although the Independent Election Commission […]

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