Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution
Afghanistan’s modern history and the development of its political, economic and military institutions are deeply enmeshed in global processes of capitalist market penetration and politics of regional empires. The popular image of Afghanistan as a primitive, violent and inward-looking marginal borderland has failed to provide a realistic reflection on the everyday lives of many Afghans who over the course of their history have engaged with the wider world as pilgrims, traders, scholars, artists or state builders. The latest phase of this encounter of the local-and-global has been in the context of the Global War on Terror and in the form of an international peacebuilding and statebuilding intervention since 2001. Given the continued interest in the outcome of this unprecedented intervention, our research and capacity-building work on peacebuilding explores the interconnections between international military and statebuilding efforts and the social, political, economic and military transformations in the country.
PTRO’s training, research and advocacy work mainly serves to promote a culture of peace and reconciliation and the peaceful resolution of conflicts in light of Afghanistan’s legal framework and international human rights laws. Our research on Afghanistan’s Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP) has focused on assessing the role of women in the peace process and the impact of reintegrating former combatants into local communities. Our training work in relation to APRP has focused on strengthening local capacity for mediation and conflict resolution, including providing training to local shuras and provincial peace councils. More broadly, we have provided a diverse set of training programmes to local officials, religious scholars, community leaders, youth and women activists in the theory and practices of conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
The Afghan government and donors’ efforts aimed at countering violent extremism and radicalization in society is intimately tied to our peacebuilding work and our research in this area explores the linkages between radicalization trends and (in)effectiveness of government and donor interventions in the social, political, military and economic spheres.