Join the Centre for Afghanistan Studies in its lecture, ‘Afghanistan, the Taliban Regime and the Question of Governance’ with guest lecturer Professor Omar Sharifi, Country Director of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies. The event shall take place on September 29th, 2021 at 12:00 pm IST.
About the Centre for Afghanistan Studies (CAS)
Located at the crossroads of South Asia and Central Asia, facing southwards from the Hindukush into the Indian sub-continent and looks down northwards into India’s extended neighbourhood. Afghanistan’s political geography has left a deep imprint not only on the regional geo-political calculus but is also mirrored in its diverse and complex socio-cultural tapestry. Traditionally India has had deep civilizational links with Afghanistan. The change in political geography of the region with the 1947 partition notwithstanding, India has maintained good political relations with the Afghan state.
The only aberration thus far being the period of Taliban rule (1996-2001). India’s engagement with the country was stepped up after 2001 with the aim of contributing to international efforts to bring peace, stability and eventually resuscitating the country as a bridge between South and Central Asia. However intensified political and diplomatic engagement has not translated into a deeper socio-anthropological understanding of Afghan society, essential to evolving a sound policy prognosis.
The Centre for Afghanistan Studies (CAS) through its research intends to provide a window into complex yet fascinating dynamics shaping socio-cultural, geo-political and economic landscape of Afghanistan. CAS would contribute to cutting edge, policy oriented research on Afghanistan and its implications for the region at large. It would also provide a platform for collaborative exchange programs and transmission of knowledge to students and scholars.
About the event
The link between state formation, political stability and governing legitimacy is well studied in political science and sociology. A number of scholars from various disciplines have wrestled with questions about the authority of the state in the Afghan context. As in many multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic Central Asian contexts, the relationship between the state and society in Afghanistan has historically depended on a system of reciprocity that bound national leaders to the local elite and them to the government. Afghan leaders engaged in continuous negotiations as a way to build a consensus between the central authorities and local elites.
Those that thought this unnecessary, such the Khalqis (a faction within the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan) in 1978-9, soon found themselves unable to rule and were ousted from power. With the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, it is the second time that an ideological group are in control of power. Will the Taliban regime follow the fate of its predecessor, PDPA, or it will be able to accommodate itself to the complex socio-political system in Afghanistan.
About the Speaker
Omar Sharifi is Assistant Professor in the American University of Afghanistan, the Senior Research Fellow and Kabul Director of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies. He is Asia Society Fellow and member of Afghan 21 Young Leaders Forum. He is graduated from Kabul Medical Institute in 2003. Following his medical studies, he worked as Head of research and publications for the Foundation for Culture and Civil Society in Kabul, and as Director of the Open Media Fund for Afghanistan. From 2006 to 2008, he studied Cultural Anthropology at Columbia University in New York under a Fulbright Fellowship. He also received a fellowship, through the Rumsfeld Foundation at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. He completed his PhD in anthropology from Boston University in 2019.
To join this event, please register on the link here. Please register as soon as possible, given that there are a limited number of seats.
The lecture will be held online on Zoom and will also be simultaneously live streamed on YouTube. The registration link provides for all the necessary information regarding this.
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