Afghanistan 2011: 10 Years of International Engagement

Afghanistan 2011: 10 Years of International Engagement

Afghanistan 2011 - 10 Years of International Engagement

Daily life in Kabul city, May 2011, © Bente Aika Scheller


After ten years of international involvement in Afghanistan, another high-level conference on Afghanistan will take place in Bonn this coming December 2011. Foreign ministers from over 90 countries will, together with the Afghan government, discuss and provide advice on the future of the country. Since 2002, the Heinrich Böll Foundation has actively supported the development of civil society in Afghanistan and has promoted exchanges between the German and Afghan public. The following dossier provides a venue for comments, analysis and debate ahead of the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan. The diverse collection of contributions also address these critical questions: What does the Afghan civil society hope will be achieved at the Bonn Conference and which role will they themselves play? What do they expect from the international community? And how do they see the future of their country, even after international troops withdraw in 2014?




Audiomitschnitte und Interviews

[missing node]

Foreign Ministers Conference and the inclusion of the Afghan civil society

Foreign Ministers Conference and the inclusion of the Afghan civil society

Bonn Conference and Obstacles ahead of Afghanistan

- January 10, 2012 - One of the clear messages of the international community to the Afghan administration in the recently-held Bonn conference on Afghanistan was that the world is commited to support Afghanistan even after 2014. However, the question of what these commitments will look like, remains unanswered.
  Sanjar Sohail more»

Current Debates on Afghanistan

Afghanistan: No More a Priority to the World

- January 10, 2012 - On November 23rd Heinrich-Boell-Foundation organized the international conference “10 Years after Petersberg: Where does Afghanistan stand today?” that addressed the current state of affairs in the country, the role of the regional neighbors and inquired about future prospects for Afghanistan. Sanjar Sohail more»

Public call

In the name of God: Message from Afghan civil society to Afghanistan-Conference

- December 1, 2011 - The International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn is a critical opportunity for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the international community to reaffirm their mutual commitment to work together. Afghan civil society institutions propose the following points to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the international community. They believe these issues will help enable both parties to support a common and unified vision for the future of the Afghan people and the country as a whole. Afghan civil society institutions more»
afghanistan map

Evaluation Report

An Evaluation of Western Policies in Afghanistan under Conditions of a Drawdown

- November 29, 2011 - In 2014 Western combat troops will leave Afghanistan after 13 years of engagement. In the wake of this caesura certain policy changes of actors of the international community have taken place. This report traces these changes in the cases of the negotiations with the Taliban and German governmental development cooperation. Thomas Kieschnick more»
Village in Herat province, Afghanistan, 2009.

Ending the War in Afghanistan: Towards a negotiated settlement

- November 16, 2011 - The current situation in Afghanistan is difficult. The violence is increasing, and neither the international forces or the Afghan government seem to be able to prevent this. A peace process between the government and the rebels which regulates the distribution of power in the state, could pacify the situation. Hamish Nixon more»

Report on Pakistan’s Interests in Afghanistan: Fear and Prejudice

- October 27, 2011 - Afghanistans development is heavily dependend on the role of its neighboring country Pakistan. A new report examines the perceptions of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Elite on the situation in Afghanistan, their interests and strategies. The results are uncomforting. Britta Petersen more»

We Must Become Softer: A Plea to Strengthen Afghan Civil Society

- July 7, 2011 - To the degree that the international community is concerned with the intra-Afghan agreement and security handover, so should it also be concerned that the process does not harm Afghan civil society, but rather ensure that it has an active voice in the process.  Tom Koenigs and Jan Free more»
Aziz Rafiee


Reviewing the past, assessing the future: an interview with Aziz Rafiee

- June 21, 2011 - In his Interview, Aziz Rafiee, Managing Director of the Afghan Civil Society Forum, assesses the developments in Afghanistan during the last ten years. Where can we mark successes and where do gaps persist? Which role does the Afghan civil society play and will the Taliban be invited to the table at the Bonn conference on Afghanistan in December? Caroline Bertram more»
Representatives of the civil society in Afghanistan sitting around a table

Open Letter

Transparency in negotiations with the Taliban and long-term political support

- June 16, 2011 - In view of the upcoming December 2011 Bonn/Petersberg Conference on Afghanistan, leaders from Afghan civil society have appealed to members of the German Bundestag in an open letter. In the letter, they demand, among other things, more transparency in the Afghan government’s negotiations with the Taliban, as well as increased access by the Afghan civil society to the national decision-making process. more»

Fear is Constant Companion of Kabul Journalists

- May 25, 2011 - Even though the working conditions for Afghan journalists are slowly improving, a free reporting is still not possible and many of them have to take high risks for reporting. Furthermore, the Afghan officials prefer talking to Western correspondents rather than with representatives of local media outlets. Aunohita Mojumdar more»

Women in Afghanistan

Collective wedding in Afghanistan, 2011.

Afghan Wedding Law: Playing with Numbers instead of Protecting Civil Liberties

- June 17, 2011 - After strong criticism voiced by Afghan human rights and civil society organizations, the Ministry of Justice has modified the draft law on how to celebrate weddings in Afghanistan. The result is disappointing: The changes are merely technical and do not address the common concern of too much interference in people’s private affairs. Bente Aika Scheller more»

Open Letter from the Women of Afghanistan

- May 30, 2011 - The violence against women and girls in Afghanistan continues to rise. For this reason, the Afghan Women's Network turns in an open letter to political leaders and urges them to act. more»


A Women`s Place - Perspectives on Afghanistan’s Evolving Legal Framework

- May 24, 2011 - Over the past three years, Rights & Democracy has been directly involved in the reform of family law in Afghanistan. In this publikation four authors reflect the central themes: the evolution of reforms in 20th century Afghanistan; the participation of civil society in the legislative process in the post-Taliban era; the marriage contract and registration of marriages; and the gap between the theoretical discourse and practice with regards to protecting the rights of women. more»

How long means never? On International Women’s Day in Kabul, President Karzai commits to women’s rights

- May 23, 2011 - Never will women’s rights be sacrificed in talks with the Taliban and never will the Afghan government close women shelters. These are the promises President Karzai made to his people in the middle of a heated debate on women’s rights in Afghanistan. These are two major commitments. Judging by the overall political trends in the country, it might not be easy to stick to them. Bente Aika Scheller more»

"Voices from a New Generation"

Participants of the Trilateral Student Exchange Program of the Heinrich Boell Foundation in July 2009

Future stability in South Asia: Trilateral Student Exchange Programme

- November 17, 2011 - In July 2009, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung organized an exchange between students from various universities of the three neighboring countries Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. In an open dialogue about future stability in South Asia, the question of a common strategy for effective peace processes in the region employed them especially. Caroline Bertram more»

A First Step on a Long Journey: How Afghans Define Violence and Justice

- July 19, 2011 - In the past 50 years, Afghans have witnessed many rights violation and crimes committed by ethnic and ideological leaders, commanders, belligerent factions and locally powerful forces. This study analyzes the issue by focusing on how Afghan citizens assess these crimes today. Afghan Civil Society Forum-organization more»

Afghan youth push for end to corruption

- May 24, 2011 - Again and again the government of Hamid Karzai has shown that she has no interest to fight corruption seriously. Now the Afghan youth wishes to speak. They have seen the progress made by the peoples movements in the Arab World. They oppose the ideology of the Taliban, demanding an end to corruption and Karzai's withdrawal. Lauryn Oates more»


“My Father Didn’t Care About Freedom of Speech”

- May 24, 2011 - Abasin Azarm was born in Kandahar Afghanistan in 1983. He has managed and run several radio projects in Afghanistan and worked there as a journalist for over 9 years. Now he talks about the changes in his country and the freedom of speech. Abasin Azarm more»


Afghan Women to break the barriers

- May 23, 2011 - Many people in Afghanistan believe it is shameful for women to play any sports, especially football which is thought to be men’s sport. Yet over the last years female football is on the raise in Afghanistan. It all kicked off with the establishment of Afghanistan’s first female football club in 2004. Khalida Popal more»

Background Material


No Time to Lose

- June 7, 2011 - The number of attacks by the Afghan army and police on their own citizens could increase strongly when the international forces withdraw. This fears e.g. the NGO Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium (HRRAC), a longtime partner of the HBS. more»
Foto: Gregor Enste


London 2010: New chance for Afghanistan?

- January 20, 2010 - This Afghanistan Dossier offers a variety of articles, analysis and commentary from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Germany, regarding the current situation in Afghanistan and its potential outcomes. more»

Publication series democracy, Volume 16


- December 28, 2009 - This publication is designed to provide a differentiated view of Pakistan’s complex political processes and social challenges to a broad international audience. Authors from a variety of disciplines present their analyses of Pakistan’s deficits and shortcomings, as well as their ideas and visions for a more democratic and peaceful future. more»


Afghanistan’s Parliament in the Making

- June 29, 2009 - The involvement of women in Afghanistan’s public life is decreasing. Attacks, vigilantism, and legal processes that contradict the basic principles of human and women’s rights are the order of the day. This book, based on interviews of male and female members of parliament, examines the realities of parliamentary work in Afghanistan. more»

Publication Series Democracy

Issue 1: Afghanistan

- December 11, 2008 - This first issue of the publication series on “Promoting Democracy under Conditions of State Fragility” examines critically  the current political and social situation in Afghanistan, as well as the project activities of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in the country. more»

Publication Series on Promoting Democracy under Conditions of State Fragility, Issue 2

International Assistance and Governance in Afghanistan

- December 9, 2008 - Afghanistan in 2006 faced an acute crisis, which can only be solved by a long-term commitment to improved governance. An assistance framework presents opportunities, but requires further elaboration. By Hamish Nixon more»


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