Past Event


The Search for Stability through Stabilisation: Case Studies from Afghanistan and Nepal

28 May 2013 13:00–14:30

Library Road,

This seminar focuses on what stability is, and what interventions have supported stability in four communities in Afghanistan and Nepal. This is a unique in-depth village level assessment of how populations conceive of stability and stabilisation and thus presents a challenge to existing analysis and research about how to foster stability in contexts in extreme tension and often violent conflict.

The presentation argues that international, particularly Western, notions of stability and stabilisation processes have failed to grasp the importance of local political legitimacy formation, which is a vital aspect of contemporary statebuilding of a ‘non-Wesphalian’ nature. The interventions, across defence, diplomatic and defence lines, have also at times undermined one another and in some cases contributed to instability. This is particularly acute when the interventions have been motivated by the conflicting demands of statebuilding, counter-insurgency (COIN) and development theories.

This seminar argues that the nature of the interventions, their conception of stability and exogenously-driven goals limit the ability to promote stability. Research findings also suggest that the more successful stability interventions have been critically supported by humanitarian and security activities which have provided for the immediate needs of the population. Longer term stability has only been embedded in contexts which have also been able to exploit economic opportunities.

About the Speaker:

Christian Dennys completed his PhD in Stabilisation from Cranfield University/Defence Academy focusing on Afghanistan and Nepal. Christian was previously an Advisor to the Office of National Security Council in Afghanistan on the development of Afghanistan’s National Security Policy and Strategy. He has worked as a policy adviser, research and manager with several organisations including Oxfam and Amnesty International in and around Afghanistan since 2003 and more recently has been evaluating a justice and security sector reform programme in Nepal funded by DANIDA.

He is currently working as an advisor in the the UK Stabilisation Unit. His Bachelor and Master’s degrees are both form the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, in Arabic and Persian and Violence Conflict and Development Studies respectively.

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