Social sciences/humanities and the capabilities formation in Afghanistan

The project aims to explore the functioning of humanities and social sciences in general and political science in particular to produce new knowledge, inform public discourses and policy decisions to facilitate and promote peace and public wellbeing in Afghanistan. The humanities and social sciences, especially political science, do not seem to have succeeded in doing this in Afghanistan so far. The project assumes that universities have been pursuing a rather passive teaching and learning pedagogy with the absence of questioning or curiosity.

Thus, the project therefore poses the following central research questions: (1) How far does the curriculum, pedagogy in political science at various levels of higher education contribute to public intellectualism in the context of Afghanistan? (2) To what extend do the universities, particularly in the political science department, conduct rigorous scientific research to produce relevant knowledge to feed the public discourses and policy decisions in Afghanistan? (3) How can political science and political institutions promote peace and public wellbeing in Afghanistan?

The study will focus on the functioning of humanities and social sciences in general and political science in particular to inform the socio-economic arrangements in Afghanistan in the light of the capabilities approach. The capabilities approach assesses the sociocultural and economic determinism on political arrangements to dig out the real challenges hampering the freedom and well-being of the people.

Empirically, the study will rely on document analysis as well as interviews with elites outside and – if possible – inside the country. The time period will include the time before as well as after the take-over of the Taliban regime.

Funding institution: VolkswagenStiftung

Funding period: 01.06.2022 – 31.05.2024

Funding budget: € 144.300

  Name Arbeitsgebiet(e) Kontakt
Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt
Arbeitsbereichsleitung | Projektleitung
Vergleichende Analyse politischer Systeme und Integrationsforschung
+49 6151 16-57353
S4|23 205
Honorarprof. Dr. Ulrich Müller
Lehrbeauftragter | Projektleitung
Institut für Politikwissenschaft, GIZ
Mohammad Ajmal Behmanish M.A.
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Vergleichende Analyse politischer Systeme und Integrationsforschung
S4|22 308