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The 'new' Taliban regime in Afghanistan: different methods but the same political goal

By Niels Terpstra, Assistant Professor, Law, Economics and Governance, Utrecht University
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In the press conferences that have followed the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the group has projected a changed image. Its spokesmen have attempted to distance this Taliban from the legacy of brutal force and violent oppression of women and ethnic minorities that characterised their 1990s regime, instead emphasising their concern for the safety and security of all Afghans.

In an uncertain period, it has been difficult to assess whether to take this image at face value. I argue that the Taliban’s ideology has not changed substantially, but that some aspects of the broader political…

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