Afghanistan Week 2022: Possibilities in a Sea of Trouble? Afghanistan’s Past, Present and Future
Well over a year after the Taliban took power in Kabul, Afghans face a grim future. After two decades of US-led intervention, enormous international investments, and efforts to build a democratic state, secure basic human rights, develop Afghanistan and reduce poverty, Afghanistan is facing crisis at multiple fronts.
Although civilian losses have been reduced, international sanctions have worsened the economic and humanitarian crises, leaving an estimated 90 percent of households unable to secure enough food for themselves
In addition to their massively repressive practices towards women in particular, the Taliban have struggled to manage internal tensions, get their government into gear, fight internal armed threats, and have not gained international acceptance.
The need to understand the sources of, and the potential ways out of, the country’s predicaments is more urgent than ever:
- What is the present-day state of affairs in Afghanistan?
- What brought the country to this point?
- What are the possible paths ahead?
International recognition of the Taliban regime is a distant prospect. Western states and neighbouring ones differ in how they engage with them. At the same time, the space for outside influence on the regime’s policies could very well be shrinking.
For Afghanistan’s growing diaspora, as well as for civil society actors in the country, the question of how to engage, and at what risk, is existential. The contestation over girls’ access to education, which also plays out within the Taliban, is illustrative of what is at stake.
A solid understanding of the Taliban’s social and political roots, its ideological foundations, its conception of the ideal Islamic state, and relations with neighbours and the international community is a prerequisite for identifying avenues for dialogue and leverage and for assessing where positive change is possible.
The Afghanistan Week is a bi-annual event where politicians, journalists, academics, and activists from Afghanistan, Norway and beyond come together to address key issues facing the country, as well as to stimulate debate about, and understanding of, Afghanistan in Norway. Hosted since 2014, the main events of the Afghanistan Week take place from 14 to 17 November, with events hosted in Oslo.
The Week is organized by the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC), the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the Nansen Centre for Peace and Dialogue (NCPD), with support from Norad and Fritt Ord.