Arne Strand

Deputy Director, Research Director, U4 Director
This project sets out to examine the role and significance of religious groups and networks in the development of Afghan civil society in the post-Taliban era and seek to identify potential lines of tension and collaboration among secular and religious civil society actors. To this end the following main questions will be addressed:  What religiously associated civil society groups and organisations exist in Afghanistan? What are their roles and functions and how do these interact with the government of Afghanistan?  How are religiously associated groups and networks viewed by Afghan and international development actors?  How do religious civil society actors position themselves in the changing organisational environment? The project intends to bring the role of religious actors to the centre of the civil society debate in Afghanistan's peace, reconciliation and development processes. The project will draw concrete policy recommendations from its findings and will produce a working paper and a policy brief that will be shared widely with policy makers and other interested actors in Afghanistan, Norway and internationally, as well as an article in a policy journal.