Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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USIP: Youth Protest Movements in Afghanistan

AAN Thomas Ruttig < 1 min

USIP, 1 February 2020

An interesting report about three of Afghanistan’s youth protest movements, ie case studies of Jombesh-e Tabasum (Tabassum movement) in 2015, Jombesh-e Roshanayi (Enlightenment movement) in 2016–17 and Jombesh-e Rashtakhez-e Taghir (Uprising for Change) in 2017. The authors – Srinjoy Bose (University of New South Wales), Nematullah Bizhan (Australian National University) and Niamatullah Ibrahimi (Deakin University) – concluded that the three movements illustrate the response of a range of youth and civil society groups to the post-2014 deterioration in political, economic, and security conditions; highlight the emergence of a new generation of youth and civil society activists, inspired by new ideas about (and promises of) social, political, and economic change. They embraced social movement tactics such as grassroots mobilisation and collective decision-making processes, represented a shift away from person-centred political leadership – but were “unsuccessful and ineffective in achieving their goals, in part because they lacked access to funding and political power, in part because they faced soft repression at home and disinterest from the international community. Moreover, the movements were unable.” They also had to struggle with the cooptation strategies by various segments of the elites.