Afghanistan-uka 2016 går av stabelen mellom 20. og 25. september. Uka er et samarbeid mellom Afghanistankomiteen, Chr. Michelsens institutt (CMI) og Institutt for fredsforskning (PRIO). I tillegg bidrar en lang rekke andre organisasjoner til et stort og variert program. Sentrale afghanske og internasjonale forskere og aktører kommer til Norge for å stå bak talerstolen og delta i debatter. Kultur og brobygging står også på programmet.
Målet med Afghanistan-uka er å plassere Afghanistan øverst på den norske dagsorden. Afghanistankomiteen er initiativtaker og koordinator for uka som blir gjennomført med støtte fra Fritt Ord og Norad.   

The Afghanistan Week 2016 is a cooperation between the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee, the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Our aim is to bring Afghanistan to the top of the Norwegian agenda, bringing Afghan and international experts to Norway to inform and debate.

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Friday, September 23 • 8:30am - 10:30am
Great Power Games in Afghanistan and the Region

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The rapid pace of change in power relations between states – globally as well as in Afghanistan’s immediate neighborhood – will inevitably also have major implications for the country’s political stability. With a US whose power seems to be waning, with a leadership that is perhaps even becoming more principally isolationist, there are new opportunities for other powers, China and Russia in particular, both of whom in different ways are exploring new ways of projecting economic, political or military might in Afghanistan’s immediate neighborhood. In their 2016 book, A Rock Between Hard Places: Afghanistan as an Arena of Regional Insecurity. (London/New York: Hurst/Oxford University Press), Harpviken and Tadjbakhsh challenged the conventional analysis which places Afghanistan at the centre — the so-called ‘heart’ — of a large pan-Asian region whose fate is predicated on Afghan stability. Rather, they argued, it makes analytically far more sense to situate Afghanistan on the margins of three regional security complexes — those of South Asia, Central Asia, and the Persian Gulf — each characterised by deep security rivalries, which, in turn, informs their engagement in Afghanistan.

Yet, in each of the three regions surrounding Afghanistan, there is rapid change. In South Asia, ebbs and flows of amity between India and Pakistan may signal a new era for cooperation between the two, even though a solution to the fundamental issues – including the Kashmir conflict – seems a distant prospect. In Central Asia, elites and parts of the population seem drawn to an increasingly more assertive Russia, as the latter is confronting the West in Ukraine, Syria and beyond. In the Middle East, all-encompassing conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, as well as simmering instability in a number of other countries, raises the prospect a region whose internal power relations as well as outer boundaries are being redrawn. How does all of this manifest itself in Afghanistan, where the internal struggle between the Taliban and an increasingly fragile government alliance continues to intensify? Is time ripe for new diplomatic initiatives in order to commit the country’s neighbors to non-interference, and if so, what would be the right template? How is the shifting attention of global powers to other parts of the world going to affect Afghanistan and its neighborly relations?

These are the questions that will inform this breakfast event, in which the main arguments of the Harpviken and Tadjbakhsh book will be discussed in the context of current developments. Moderator of this event will be PRIO's Kaja Borchgrevink.

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avatar for Kristian Berg Harpviken

Kristian Berg Harpviken

Director, eace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
Kristian Berg Harpviken is the Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), one of the co-organisers of the Afghanistan Week. He has held the position since 2009. Harpviken is known as one of the foremost authorities on Afghanistan in Norway.
avatar for Thomas Ruttig

Thomas Ruttig

Co-director, Afghanistan Analysts Network
Thomas Ruttig has been working on Afghanistan for over 25 years and has spent ten years in the country. He speaks Dari and Pashto. Since early 2009, he has served as Co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), an independent think tank based in Berlin and Kabul.

Friday September 23, 2016 8:30am - 10:30am
PRIO Hausmannsgate 3, Oslo

Attendees (9)