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Save the date: 30.10.2024 – 01.11.2024

Three Years of Taliban Rule: Contested Knowledge


The Afghan Taliban seized control over Kabul on 15 August 2021, bringing two decades of internationally supported statebuilding to a definite end. The Taliban have had three years to build their   state based on their heavily contested understanding of Afghan and Islamic values – in which popular participation, and individual rights and universal welfare, are given short shrift. Taliban’ policies are much disputed among Afghans, in the international domain, as well as within the Taliban itself.

The 2024 Afghanistan Week will take stock of the last three years, examining the evolution of Taliban rule, the international engagement with the regime, and the adaptation of Afghans to the new state of affairs:

  • Consolidation or Muddling Through? What is the status of the Taliban’s ruling apparatus, what internal divisions exist, and how are those being managed?
  • The Costs of International Engagement or Non-Engagement Different international actors engaged with the Taliban, what is driving the variety of positions taken by different actors, and what are the lessons learnt?
  • What are the internal pathways for change?Some actors believe engagement with the Taliban will make a difference, others might focus on day-to-day endurance – or resistance. What do strategies for change and survival look like inside the country? And what about the role of the Afghan diaspora?

These questions are asked against the backdrop of a dramatic humanitarian situation reinforced by the impact of climate change, grave violations of human rights,  incomparable restrictions of women and girl’s access to education and work, and continued uncertainty and mounting tensions, but increase in trade between Afghanistan and many of in its neighboring countries. Each of the questions asked raise a multitude of dilemmas, yet with a population of some 40 million people living under Taliban rule, overlooking them is not an option.