Desecuritisation, Deradicalisation and National Identity in Afghanistan: Higher Education and Desecuritisation Processes

Arif Sahar, Christian Kaunert

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    Abstract

    This article assesses the processes and trends of desecuritisation through the deradicalisation of identity politics within the higher education sector in Afghanistan. It examines the desecuritisation of radicalisation through efforts directed at deradicalisation in the context of a securitised conflict environment. The article draws on the data generated through interviews and discussions with actors engaged with higher education. Higher education, whilst manipulated by numerous actors for ideo-political purposes, can function as a ‘desecuritisation’ and ‘deradicalisation’ mechanism by supplementing the statebuilding efforts, and more subtly, by providing a venue for critical teaching and learning processes. This article highlights that while the sector is typically a very low reconstruction priority, if addressed strategically, it has the potential to contribute to the desecuritisation of ethnic politics through the deradicalisation of ethnic grievances and hence function as a catalyst for effective and sustainable post-war recovery.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number31
    Pages (from-to)189-206
    Number of pages18
    JournalEuropean Journal of International Security
    Volume7
    Issue number2
    Early online date25 Nov 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Nov 2021

    Keywords

    • Afghanistan
    • Higher Education
    • Ethnic Identity
    • Desecuritisation
    • Deradicalisation
    • statebuilding

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