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Humanitarians Must Reject the Taliban’s Misogyny

January 10, 2023
Guest Post from Hugo Slim, Senior Research Fellow at the Las Casas Institute for Social Justice at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford ‘Once again, humanitarians are bogged down in a moral predicament in Afghanistan. The extreme misogyny of Taliban policy is back and international humanitarian agencies should refuse to cooperate with it. The Taliban’s initial tolerance of gender equality in
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How to Write About Afghanistan: A Style Guide for Western Journalists

August 20, 2021
I loved this blistering twitter thread by Justin Podur (@justinpodur) so much, I turned into a blogpost for the untwittered. ‘(In homage to Binyavanga Wainaina) First, the opening. All good articles about Afghanistan start with a few lines from a poem by British imperialist poet Rudyard Kipling. You know the one, “the women come out to cut up what remains,
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What to Read on Afghanistan? Some of the best stuff I’ve read so far – please suggest more

August 18, 2021
On Monday, exasperated by the nature of the coverage of the fall of Kabul, I tweeted a request for links: ‘What to read on Afghanistan? Interested in power analysis/stakeholder mapping of domestic players, which Afghan groups support/oppose Taliban, informed speculation about what comes next.’ Here are some extracts from what came back (plus of course, the ever-reliable Wikipedia). Do please

Illicit economies, shadowy realms, and survival at the margins

May 16, 2018
Guest post by Eric Gutierrez, Senior Adviser on Tackling Violence and Building Peace at Christian Aid After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, poor landless farmers in the most conflict-affected areas of southern Afghanistan started migrating in increasing numbers to the relatively more insecure rocky desert areas. With the help of loans worth a few thousand dollars (typically provided

Book Review: Can Intervention Work? Rory Stewart and Gerald Knaus

April 25, 2018
We’ve had some great speakers at the LSE this year, but Rory Stewart was top of the pops, according to the students’ evaluations. He rocked up at LSE, despite having just been reshuffled to Minister for Prisons, spoke without notes, and blew everyone away. Alas, he insisted on it being off the record, so I cheated – I went back

Links I Liked

November 9, 2015
Powerful, harrowing photo essay of Syrian refugee children asleep. Suffragettes v suffragists. Nice movie, shame about the (lack of) theory of change – it was really the suffragists wot won it Oxfam America takes on Big Chicken in the US, using leader/laggard tactics to push for a better deal for 250,000 workers and getting some very quick wins Remember all

How not to run an aid programme: Afghanistan

March 10, 2011

Why militarizing aid in Afghanistan is a bad idea

February 4, 2010
Along with several other international NGOs working in Afghanistan, Oxfam last week published a powerful paper on the damage being caused by the militarization of aid. In many ways it resembles the debate on how to ensure that Haitian reconstruction builds, rather than undermines, its battered state. In the last half hour, one Afghan woman died from pregnancy-related complications, another

Can states be built?

December 21, 2008

Fixing Failed States

February 23, 2008