SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Mr Sarajuddin Isar

Bsc in Economics (Kabul University), Diploma in Business Administration (Kardan Institute), MA in Political Economy (University of Manchester)
  • Research


Isar Sarajuddin
Mr Sarajuddin Isar
Email address:
Thesis title:
Taxation and state-building in Afghanistan, a political economy framework
Year of Study:
Year of Entry 2011
Internal Supervisors


Sarajuddin Isar is a political economy researcher with extensive overseas’ experience in banking, finance and international development. He is currently working as a Compliance Officer with a financial firm in London. He is also a part-time editor/writer with Simorg Quarterly (an Afghan diaspora publication) as well as a casual presenter and analyst with BBC Persian. He is a writer and debater on economics, politics and development policy issues and has worked in key roles in a series of organizations including the Central Bank of Afghanistan, United States Agency for International Development/BearingPoint, United Nations World Food Programme and international charities such as the Catholic Relief Services, Acted, Afghanaid and Oxfam. He has also taught economics and tutored community members in a range of different language class settings in Afghanistan and in the UK.

PhD Research

The research studies the fiscal dimension of state building with particular focus on taxation's role in state building in Afghanistan. It discusses the evolution of taxation and fiscal policies historically and today which lies in the linkages and interactions between external resources/influence, rent extraction, state coercive capacity and the nature of the political settlement.


Academic Papers
Media Stories


  • Member of Paiwand's Board of Trustees (an Afghan based charity in London)
  • Advisory Board Member for Transitions (a British charity helping professional refugees into employment)


Political economy of development, taxation and foreign aid, tax reform and fiscal policy, public finance, fiscal sociology and fiscal contract, rentierism and paradox of plenty, elite bargains, limited access orders and political settlement.