Afghanistan-uka 2015 er et samarbeid mellom Afghanistankomiteen, Chr. Michelsens institutt (CMI) og Institutt for fredsforskning (PRIO). I tillegg bidrar en lang rekke andre organisasjoner til programmet. Sentrale afghanske og internasjonale eksperter og aktører kommer til Norge for å stå bak talerstoler og delta i debatter. Afghanistankomiteen er initiativtaker og koordinator for uka som blir gjennomført med støtte fra Fritt Ord og Norad. De fleste av arrangementene vil foregå hos Røde Kors i Hausmanns gate 7 i Oslo. 

The Afghanistan Week 2015 is a cooperation between the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee, the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), along with a host of Norwegian NGOs. Our aim is to bring Afghanistan to the top of the Norwegian agenda, bringing Afghan and international experts to Norway to inform and debate. Most events will take place at Hausmanns gate 7, hosted by The Norwegian Red Cross.

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Friday, March 27 • 08:30 - 11:30
Afghanistan and its Neighbors: What will 2015 bring? (Oslo)

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2015 promises to be a dramatic year for Afghanistan’s relationship with its neigbours, not primarily as a result of the international military drawdown (as most observers have predicted), but due to the new initiatives of an energetic President Ashraf Ghani, as well as the dramatic rise of the Islamic State and the strained relations between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

The main purpose of this seminar is to take stock of what is a critical factor in Afghanistan's future political stability, namely the relationships with the countries that surround it, changes in those relations as result of larger political upheavals globally, and the state of regional diplomacy. Afghanistan's renewed regional diplomacy, which has led to a new dialogue with Pakistan, and indications of a dialogue between the Afghan government and the Taliban, has created new hope. Simultaneously, the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, with reports of local groups in Afghanstan declaring allegiance to it, introduces new challenges. Russia's assertiveness in Ukraine, with a yet unclear response of former Soviet states in Central Asia, also introduces new uncertainties. What does all of this mean for Afghanistan's neighborly relations?


  • Kristian Berg Harpviken: Afghanistan and its neighbors: Framework and recent developments.
  • Cecilie Hellestveit: The rise of the Islamic State, the future of the Persian Gulf, and impacts on Afghanistan.
  • Pavel Baev: Russia's new assertiveness, Central Asian responses, and consequences for Afghansitan.

As a point of departure, Harpviken will challenge the mainstream analyses, which place Afghanistan at the centre – the so-called 'heart' – of a large pan-Asian region whose fate depends on Afghan stability. Based on his work with Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh (to result in a book later this year), Harpviken will instead situate Afghanistan at the margin of three regional security complexes – South Asia, Central Asia, the Persian Gulf – each characterized by deep security contentions, which, in turn, informs their engagement in Afghanistan. For South Asia, Pakistan and India's sustained Afghan engagement can only be understood in the context of their own enduring rivalry. Within Central Asia, security cooperation is hampered by competition for regional supremacy, each country seeking support from global powers, a dynamic reflected in their half-hearted role in Afghanistan. In the Persian Gulf, Iran and Saudi Arabia fight for economic and political influence, mirrored in their Afghan engagements.

The implication of this analysis for policy is that neighborly interference in the Afghan conflict is best addressed by resolving tensions within its surrounding regions. With the 2014 withdrawal of international forces follows a decline in global interest, and neighboring states will step in to fill the void. This happens at a time when the global geopolitical order is in flux, and the neighborhood undergoes dramatic change. Based on a careful account of the recent history, the seminar will focus on why efforts to build a comprehensive Afghanistan-centric regional security order have failed, and aim to offer important clues about which factors will determine the future of Afghanistan's neighborhood.

This is a breakfast seminar - a light breakfast will be served from 08:00, and the seminar will begin at 08:30.

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avatar for Pavel K. Baev

Pavel K. Baev

Research Director / Research Professor, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
Pavel K. Baev is a political scientist and security scholar. He is currently a research professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and the Research Director of the Social Dynamics department at PRIO. Baev graduated from Moscow State University (M.A. in economic and political... Read More →
avatar for Kristian Berg Harpviken

Kristian Berg Harpviken

Director, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
Kristian Berg Harpviken is the director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Harpviken’s engagement with Afghanistan dates back to 1989. He has studied multiple dimensions of the Afghan conflict, ranging from conflict dynamics at the village level, via the mobilization of... Read More →
avatar for Cecilie Hellestveit

Cecilie Hellestveit

Senior Legal Advisor / Researcher, ILPI
Cecilie Hellestveit holds a PhD on Humanitarian Law and Non-international armed conflict at the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo. Her Phd-dissertation at the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo (2014) concerned the rules of conduct of hostilities in non-international armed... Read More →

Friday March 27, 2015 08:30 - 11:30 CET
PRIO Hausmanns gate 7

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