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A Rock Between Hard PlacesAfghanistan as an Arena of Regional Insecurity$
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Kristian Berg Harpviken and Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190627232

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190627232.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 March 2021

Afghanistan and its Neighborhood

Afghanistan and its Neighborhood

Continuity and Change

(p.139) 5 Afghanistan and its Neighborhood
A Rock Between Hard Places

Kristian Berg Harpviken

Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the hypothesis that the main drivers behind the involvement of the states in the wider neighborhood surrounding Afghanistan are to be found in the dynamic within three distinctive regional security complexes – Central Asia, the Persian Gulf and South Asia – rather than in the bilateral relations each state has to Afghanistan. The chapter takes a critical look at the basic proposition – which has informed most post-2001 policy initiatives – that Afghanistan serves as a connector for the countries of the wider neighborhood, examining this proposition from an identity perspective, an economic perspective, as well as a security perspective. The chapter also scrutinizes unfolding processes of change within each of the three regions surrounding Afghanistan, taking the vantage point of Kabul in asking what possible changes this could bring about in the relationship with each neighboring country and the regions of which they form a part, as well as whether we may see a full transformation of the very regional architecture of the neighborhood.

Keywords:   Afghanistan, Central Asia, Persian Gulf, South Asia, Heart of Asia, Great Powers, Regional Security, Regional Cooperation, Intervention

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