Former DPhil Matthew Willner-Reid co-edits SI on politics of development in Afghanistan

21 January, 2019

Matthew Willner-Reid, who completed his DPhil at ODID in 2017, has co-edited a new special issue of Asian Survey which explores the politics of development in Afghanistan.

The issue is edited by Dr Willner-Reid with Nematullah Bizhan of the Global Economic Governance programme at Oxford and Jasmine Bhatia of SOAS.

The authors argue that most commentary on Afghanistan has tended to focus on the ongoing insurgency; the myriad power struggles underpinning the international state-building enterprise are much less often the focus of academic study.

When development policies do come under the spotlight, the approach is often highly technocratic, insufficiently taking into account the political forces that determine how programmes are conceived, perceived, and received by various actors at every level, and how these factors determine what impact they ultimately have.

Combining considerations of power, politics, and development, the new special issue aims to examine struggles between various state and non-state development-oriented actors, the processes through which such conflicts are resolved, and the resulting impact on development policy and outcomes in Afghanistan. 

The issue also includes an article written by Dr Willner-Reid, on Competition in the Aid Marketplace in Afghanistan: Mercenaries, Missionaries, and Misfits.

Read the special issue here.