Conflict, education and fragility in post-2001 Afghanistan: A political economy analysis

Conflict, education and fragility in post-2001 Afghanistan: A political economy analysis

Arif Sahar
Doctoral Scholar, UCL Institute of Education

5:30pm – 7:00pm, 25th January 2017
Room: Elvin Hall
UCL Institute of Education (20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL)

Afghanistan is often characterised as a ‘failed’ or ‘fragile’ state in terms of state ‘functionality’, lacking in capacity to provide security and wellbeing to its citizens and generating security threats, violent conflict and terrorism. Since 2001, education has become a major victim of Afghanistan’s protracted crisis that historically underpins radical ideologies, international military interventions and fragile democracy. Drawing upon qualitative interviews with educational officials and development practitioners in Afghanistan and critically examining the literature in the area of education, conflict and international development, we argue that Afghanistan’s education is caught in the nexus between failing security conditions, weak governance and widespread corruption, resulting in capture of educational spaces for radicalisation and violent extremism. We also highlight some critical issues relating to educational programming in conflict-affected contexts.

Arif Sahar is currently pursuing his PhD at UCL Institute of Education. His research focuses on the political economy of education in post-2001 Afghanistan. Arif completed his MA in Political Science at UCL. Currently, Arif is researcher at University of Derby, College of Education. Prior to his appointment, Arif worked as Senior Adviser to the Afghan Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Finance. He has also worked for numerous international development partners, including World Bank, UNDP and DFID. Arif has widely published in peer-reviewed journals, most recently in Central Asian Survey, Asian Journal of Political Science and The Diplomat. Arif has also translated books from English into Persian/ Dari.

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