In Afghanistan, inter-elite competition over power, resources, and ideology on the one hand, and repeated foreign interference and invasion on the other hand continue to be two major drivers of conflict and instability. As Afghans prepare to head to the polls for parliamentary and presidential elections in the coming months, the future of their government is shaky, so is the broader economic, political, and security stability of the country. Joining us this week to discuss recent developments and future trajectories in Afghanistan is Dr Nematullah Bizhan, Senior Research Associate at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University, and a Visiting Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University. Dr Bizhan, will discuss Afghanistan’s transition, state-building efforts, economic development, and the country’s geopolitical role in South and Central Asia.
We are very pleased to be joined by Dr Nematullah Bizhan who is an alumnus of the Centre of the Arab and Islamic Studies, having completed a PhD in Political Science and International Relations there. He was an Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow (2015-2016), an Australian Leadership Awardee (2009-2013) and a Fulbright Scholar (2005-2006). Dr Bizhan’s research focuses on international development, state building and legitimacy in conflict-affected and fragile societies, public policy and political economy. His new book, 'Aid Paradoxes in Afghanistan: Building and Undermining the State', examines post-2001 state building and the role of international actors in Afghanistan. He has contributed to post-2001 Afghanistan reconstruction. He has served as Afghanistan’s Youth Deputy Minister; Founding Director General for Policy and Monitoring of Afghanistan National Development Strategy; head of the Secretariat for the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board; and Director General of Budget at the Ministry of Finance.