Under the former Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, corruption was not just endemic, it was a critical part of the political settlement. Powerbrokers at the centre and in the provinces placed their allies in key administrative and security positions and collected substantial rents on cross-border trade and roadside checkpoints. Now research reveals just how fundamentally ‘the rules of the game’ have changed in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

In this webinar, Dr David Mansfield discussed findings from his XCEPT research with Alcis, combining interviews, high-resolution satellite imagery, and geospatial analysis to map and quantify changes to economic and political power in Afghanistan. Across detailed study of the country’s major border crossing points and key value chains, as well as positions of power in the case study provinces of Nimroz and Samangan, David addressed the implications of Taliban efforts to regulate, centralise, and maximise revenues, and to place Pashtun former fighters and ‘technocrats’ from other provinces in key positions of power.

Recording coming soon.

Speakers included:

  • Dr David Mansfield, responsible for the design and management of the research and the primary author
  • Dr William Byrd (Discussant), Senior Expert on Afghanistan, U.S. Institute of Peace

The session will be moderated by:

  • Dr Mette Bastholm Jensen, XCEPT Deputy Director