Displacement, Citizenship, and the State: Afghanistan and the International System

Committee on Forced Migration
November 01, 2021

The withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in August 2021 triggered the collapse of the Afghan government and security forces and paved the way for an insurgent victory on the part of the Taliban. For millions of Afghans, this series of events foreshadowed political, social, and economic calamity and forced many to consider and attempt flight from their homeland. For Afghanistan, this is just the latest migration crisis in a series that began with the Soviet occupation in 1979. For the region, it raises a similar set of concerns and challenges as previous refugee flows from Afghanistan did in past decades when more than 5 million Afghans were displaced. Meanwhile, the United States and its allies must contend with what responsibilities they carry for a war the outcome of which has prompted so many to leave behind their homes, livelihoods, and loved ones. These responsibilities (and any failure to attend to them) have serious implications for a wide range of Western priorities and projects, from ostensible commitments to cosmopolitanism and humanitarianism to larger campaigns aimed at countering insurgency and violent extremism in the Global South.

Join the Committee on Forced Migration on Monday, November 8th at 10 AM (New York) for a discussion.



Dipali Mukhopadhyay, PhD
Columbia University
Associate Professor of Global Policy, University of Minnesota, Affiliated Scholar, Saltzman Institute, Columbia University, Senior Expert, U.S. Institute of Peace

Azmat Z. Khan 
Columbia University
Patti Cadby Birch Assistant Professor of Journalism and Director, Simon and June Li Center for Global Journalism

Noora Lori 
Boston University 
Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies

Omar Sharifi 
Assistant Professor of Social Sciences and Humanities at the American University of Afghanistan.