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The Taliban: what could its return to power mean for Afghanistan?

By Kaweh Kerami, PhD Candidate in Development Studies, SOAS, University of London
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The Taliban is typically portrayed as a group of men with beards and turbans, driven by Islamic fundamentalist ideology and responsible for widespread violence. But to understand the group that is poised to return to power in Afghanistan, and what we might expect from its rule, we need a much more nuanced picture.

To start with, it’s important to understand the Taliban’s origins in the 1980s during the cold war. Afghan guerrillas…

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