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Chair: Dr Kieran Mitton, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, King's College London

Speaker: Dr Ashley Jackson, Co-director of the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups at the Overseas Development Institute

Discussant: Professor Mats Berdal, Professor of Security & Development, King's College London 


Based on over 400 interviews with Taliban and civilians, Dr Jackson’s new book – Negotiating Survival – tells the story of how civilians have not only bargained with the Taliban for their survival, but also ultimately influenced the course of the war in Afghanistan. Challenging prevailing beliefs about civilians in wartime, Negotiating Survival presents a new model for understanding how civilian agency can shape the conduct of insurgencies. It also provides timely insights into Taliban strategy and objectives. While Afghanistan’s future is deeply unpredictable, there is one certainty: it is as critical as ever to understand the Taliban—and how civilians survive their rule.

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Ashley Jackson is the co-director of the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups at the Overseas Development Institute. She has worked on Afghanistan for more than a decade and has published extensively on the Taliban.

At this event

Kieran  Mitton

Reader in Conflict, Security and Development

Mats  Berdal

Professor of Security & Development