This background paper explores the relationships between Afghan ruling elites at the centre and regional powerholders. It examines the nature of the 'political settlement' at the subnational level (a political settlement being an explicit or implicit agreement ‘among powerful groups about the rules of the political game, the organisation of power and who benefits therefrom’ (Kelsall, 2018: 4). Further, the paper considers historical continuities and disjunctures, and how the political settlement is sustained and reproduced. It also analyses the nature of volatility and exclusion, and how the current political settlement interacts with conflict and instability.
Image credit:Morning in Kabul, Afghanistan Image license:Mohammad Rahmani/Unsplash