'Hard but not Impossible: State Building and the Peace Process in Afghanistan'

  • img01i
    Photo by Leslie Pratt / CC BY 2.0

Afghanistan faces increasing challenges following the withdrawal of the bulk of international combat forces from 2012, sharp declines in foreign aid, legacy of the highly contested 2014 presidential elections, and the ability of Taliban insurgents to challenge central government control of the country. This situation, on the one hand, undermines state building processes and stabilisation while, on the other, it offers an opportunity to readjust the course of state building and the peace process.

The panel discussed the following questions:

  • What are the challenges and promises of state building and the peace process in Afghanistan?
  • How can the international community support continuing state building and peace processes in Afghanistan?
  • How will women and civil society actors affect (or be affected by) the peace process?


Dr. Nematullah Bizhan, is an Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow at University College, University of Oxford, a Visiting Fellow at Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy, and a former Afghan Deputy Minister. He has been a prominent youth and civil society activist since 1996 in Afghanistan.

Barbara J. Stapleton was the senior political adviser to the European Union Special Representative for Afghanistan (2006-2010), former Policy Coordinator for ACBAR the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief, the main Afghan and international NGO coordination body in Kabul (2003-2005). She is a member of the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

Dr. Orzala Ashraf Nemat is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Development and Conflict at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, and a governance and civil society expert in the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit. She has been a prominent civil society activist since 1999.


Richard Caplan is Professor of International Relations and Official Fellow, Linacre College, University of Oxford.

Download: (55.2MB)

Speakers: Nematullah Bizhan, Barbara J. Stapleton, Orzala Ashraf Nemat, Richard Caplan

Prof. Richard Caplan is Professor of International Relations and Official Fellow, Linacre College