24. april 2013

Private Sector and Stabilisation in Afghanistan - A Promising Match?

On the 24th of October 2012, the conference “Private sector and stabilisation in Afghanistan – a neglected match?” was organised in collaboration between the Centre for Business and Development Studies (Copenhagen Business School), the Public-Private Platform, (Copenhagen Business School), the Centre for Military Studies (University of Copenhagen) and the Institute for Strategy (Royal Danish Defence College).

By combining perspectives from strategic studies and business and development studies, the conference offered a deep insight in the challenges and opportunities of the private sector in Afghanistan, and opened up new perspectives concerning the interrelatedness of private sector and stabilisation in war-contexts such as Afghanistan. While Afghanistan was the chosen case, the findings of the conference may well be relevant to consider in other conflict/post-conflict regions.

An important priority in setting up the conference was to nurture the academic discourse with the practitioners’ valuable empirical insight, and provide the practitioners with a stringent analytical frame for discussing their practical experience. This approach proved very fruitful, as the complementary contributions of the participating scholars, practitioners, military personnel and administrative personnel provided a very broad panorama of the issue. 

Held in 2012, the conference also marked the ten years that have passed since the international community engaged in Afghanistan in 2002. As such, it allowed a review of past and present initiatives on the ground, failures as well as successes. We as the organisers are very grateful to the participants for having engaged in a frank debate concerning the challenges met on the ground. If we really want to understand what can induce change in the future, insight in initiatives that have not produced the desired result is just as - if not more -precious than the success stories. Moreover, it inspires us as scholars to review our theories in the light of the practical realities.

Due to the application of Chatham House Rules, the following conference proceedings are presented as a summary of important points from the conference, without mention of participants’ names. 

Get the report here.