Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

International Statebuilding in Afghanistan, 2001-2014 - Lessons and Insights from the Norwegian Inquiry on Afghanistan

A lecture in the Conflict, Security and Peacebuilding speaker series with Professor Mats Berdal (King's College London)

12Dec2017 15:30 - 17:00


Norway's experiences with the international mission in Afghanistan.


The presentation explores the findings of the Norwegian Commission of Inquiry on Afghanistan, an official inquiry set up in 2014 to evaluate all aspects of Norway’s civilian and military contribution to the international operation in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014.

The talk is specifically concerned with the wider lessons to emerge from Norway’s experience. Although Norway’s overall contribution to the international mission was modest, the Norwegian experience, as detailed by the Commission, nonetheless provides a valuable prism through which the failures of stabilisation and the attempt to transfer the structures of modern statehood and Western democracy to Afghanistan can be better understood.

The talk will also reflect on the value of public inquiries and “lessons learned” exercises more generally. To this end, it will compare and contrast the work of the Norwegian Commission with that of the Chilcot Inquiry on the UK’s involvement on Iraq.

About the lecturer

Mats Berdal is Professor of Security and Development at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London where he is also Director of the Conflict, Security and Development Research Programme (CSDRG).

He joined the department in 2003, having previously been Director of Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London from 2000 to 2003.

From 2015 to 2016, Berdal served on the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Norwegian Government to examine Norway’s military, humanitarian and development contributions to allied operations in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014.

His publications include Building Peace after War and the jointly edited volumes Ending Wars, Consolidating Peace: Economic Perspectives; The Peace in Between: Post-War Violence and Peacebuilding; and The Political Economy of Peacebuilding: Power after Peace. Recent publications include “The State of United Nations Peacebuilding: Lessons from Congo” (Journal of Strategic Studies, 2016).

REC A2.09

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