SOAS University of London

Leading experts on Afghanistan to address the country's prospects and Western perceptions at SOAS

10 March 2014

SOAS, University of London and Chatham House bring together leading scholars, the former UN Deputy Envoy to Afghanistan and the former World Bank Country Manager for Afghanistan, to discuss the prospects for Afghanistan and Western perceptions of the country.

Starting at 4pm on 12 March the panel discussion, chaired by Michael Keating, former UN Deputy Envoy to Afghanistan and Senior Consulting Fellow at Chatham House will be on ‘Development, Patronage and Politics: the prospects for Afghanistan’.

The international panel of experts includes William Byrd, United States Institute for Peace former World Bank Country Manager for Afghanistan; Jonathan Goodhand, Professor of Conflict and Development Studies, SOAS; Orzala Ashraf Nemat, SOAS PhD student and civil society activist; and Arne Strand, Research Director, Chr Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway.

The Centre for Contemporary Central Asia and the Caucasus’s Anthony Hyman Memorial Lecture follows the debate. Gilles Dorronsoro, co-founder and editor of the South Asian Multidisciplinary Academic Journal and the European Journal of Turkish Studies, who is an expert on Afghanistan, Turkey, and South Asia, will provide lecture at 6.30pm on ‘An imaginary anthropology: the Western perception of Afghanistan and its political consequences’.

His research focuses on security and political development in Afghanistan, particularly the role of the International Security Assistance Force, the necessary steps for a viable government in Kabul, and the conditions necessary for withdrawal scenarios.

The continuing success of the Anthony Hyman memorial lectures is a testament to the impact which he had on thinking about Afghanistan and the affection in which he was held by his many friends and associates. The lecture brings together those with an interest in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia and provides an opportunity for leading scholars, opinion formers and policy makers to reflect on issues of topical interest.

The events are free and open to the public.  Both events take place in the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre at SOAS.