The Taliban and the Rural-Urban Divide

Author: Hosna Jalil

This reflection explores the nature of the rural-urban divide in Afghanistan in terms of economic, security, cultural-ideological factors. It then assesses how the Taliban exploited the rural-urban divide in building local support before asking whether the divide may now be undermining Taliban attempts to rule the country.

This publication is part of a series highlighting the work and analysis of the Afghanistan Research Network (ARN), a project convened by LSE / PeaceRep, and the Civic Engagement Project (CEP). The network brings together over 20 Afghan researchers (and several non-Afghans) with diverse expertise and backgrounds investigating a range of issues. This project aims to support Afghan researchers who were recently forced to leave Afghanistan; to ensure expert and analytical provision; inform contextually-appropriate international policies and practices on Afghanistan; and to deepen understanding of evolving political, security, and economic dynamics.

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