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Wednesday, 02 November 2016 - Events

Book presentation \ Afghanistan as an Arena of Regional Insecurity

On 2 November 2016, Dr. Kristian Berg Harpviken, Director, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), presented his recently published book "A Rock Between Hard Places: Afghanistan as an Arena of Regional Insecurity" at ZEF (Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung), Bonn.

Kristian Harpviken (PRIO) during his presentation. All Photos: ZEF

The Center for Development Research (ZEF), the United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), and the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) are jointly organizing a seminar series on Risk and Uncertainty for Sustainable Development in Bonn.

They cordially invited to the lecture on 2 November 2016:

Book presentation \
A Rock Between Hard Places: Afghanistan as an Arena of Regional Insecurity 

Speaker: Dr. Kristian Berg Harpviken, Director, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Chair: Professor Dr. Eva Youkhana, Director ZEFa

Discussant: Dr. Katja Mielke, Senior Researcher at BICC

Abstract of lecture

In their 2016 book, A Rock Between Hard Places: Afghanistan as an Arena of Regional Insecurity (London/New York: Hurst/Oxford University Press), Kristian Berg Harpviken and Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh challenge 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 argue, 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 characterized by deep security rivalries, which, in turn, informs their engagement in Afghanistan. A basic premise for their claims is that the basic composition of regions, and the amity/enmity between states, is remarkably constant.

Yet, in each of the three regions surrounding Afghanistan, there is rapid change. Simultaneously, we also see change in the involvement of the global powers, with US influence seemingly waning, Chinese interest on the rise and considerable uncertainty over Russia’s future engagement. 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?

 Dr. Eva Youkhana (ZEF) chaired and moderated the event.

The interested audience took part in the discussion.

 Dr. Katja Mielke (BICC) discussed the book.