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Expert on Afghanistan with experience of producing several hundred expert reports on asylum cases from 2004 onwards on all aspects of Afghanistan and has acted as expert witness in trials in the UK, Australia and the Netherlands. In recent months expert has produced several reports on Pakistani asylum seeker.  

Dr. Antonio Giustozzi
Director, AG Research and Analysis Consultancy; consultant; analyst

Afghanistan security, including insurgents (Taliban, Hizb-i Islami), non-state armed groups, police, army;

The judiciary and state institutions more in general;

Assessment of situations of violence and insecurity;

Assessments of provincial and local contexts in Afghanistan;

Refugees, returnees and conditions in Afghanistan;

Minorities: Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, atheists, unorthodox Muslims;

Afghan political parties, organisations, groups.

Produced reports for academic, government and non-government organisations.


Produced several hundreds expert reports on asylum cases from 2004 onwards on all aspects of Afghanistan; acted as expert witness in trials in the UK, Australia, The Netherlands.

Current positions held (academic):

Visiting professor, Department of War Studies, King’s College London. Participating occasionally is teaching seminars and lecturing

Research fellow, IDEAS (International Relations and International History), LSE

Previously held position:

European Union Special Representative Office, Kabul (2009-11): Collaboration as consultant in the preparation of the bi-weekly and occasional reports

UNAMA (October 2003-September 2004): Political Affairs Officer in Kunduz (till May 2004) and Mazar-i Sharif (from June 2004).

LSE (September 2002- January 2011): Research officer working on Afghanistan within the Crisis States Research Centre. Upgraded to research fellow as of 1 August 2006.

Current projects:

The Afghan National Army; Taliban organisation

Research projects recently implemented:

Taliban and education; Taliban judges; Taliban in Helmand; Taliban military adaptation; reform at the Afghan Ministry of Interior; humanitarian access and Taliban.

Past projects:

Student politics in Afghanistan; the politics of education in Afghanistan; provincial administrations in Afghanistan; political economy of warlordism.


Books, as sole author:

Policing Afghanistan: The Politics of the Lame Leviathan, London : Hurst, forthcoming 2012

The Art of Coercion: The primitive accumulation and management of coercive power, London : Hurst, 2011

Empires of mud: wars and warlords of Afghanistan, London :C. Hurst & Co and New York : Columbia University Press,2009

Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop: the rise of the Neo-Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan,London : C.Hurst & Co. and New York : Columbia University Press, 2007.

War, politics and society in Afghanistan, 1978-1992, London : C.Hurst & Co. and Georgetown University Press, 2000.

Books, as editor:

Post-conflict Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration: bringing state-building back in, Hants ; Ashgate, 2012.

Decoding the New Taliban: Insights from the Afghan field, London : C. Hurst & Co and New York : Columbia University Press, 2009.

Other publications:

‘The military adaptation of the Taliban, 2002-2011’, in Fighting the Afghanistan War: States, Organisations and Military Adaptation, forthcoming 2012

 ‘The local politics of the Taliban’, in Beyond the state – Local politics in Afghanistan, edited by Conrad Schetter, forthcoming 2012

[with Claudio Franco and Adam Bazko] ‘Shadow justice: how the Taliban run their judiciary’, Kabul : Integrity Watch Afghaistan, forthcoming 2012

[with Niamatullah Ibrahimi] ‘From new dawn to quicksand: The political economy of statebuilding in Afghanistan’, in The Political Economy of Post-conflict Statebuilding: Power after Peace, Edited by Mats Berdal and Dominik Zaum, Routledge, 2012

‘Taliban networks in Afghanistan’, Newport : CIWAG, 2012, 84 pp.

‘Justice And State-Building In Afghanistan: State Vs. Society Vs. Taliban’, Occasional paper, Kabul : The Asia Foundation, Reflections on a Survey of the Afghan People, Part 4 of 4, August 2012

‘Auxiliary irregular forces in Afghanistan: 1978-2008’, Chapter in M. Innes (ed.), Making Sense of Proxy Warfare: States, Surrogates, and the Use of Force, Dulles : Potomac Books, 2012.

‘Hearts, Minds, and the Barrel of a Gun: The Taliban’s Shadow Government’, Prism vol. 3 n. 2, March 2012

‘Insurgency in Afghanistan’, in Paul Rich and Isabelle Duyvesteyn (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Insurgency and Counter Insurgency, London : Routledge, 2012

[with Niamatullah Ibrahimi] ‘Thirty years of conflict: Drivers of anti-government mobilisation in Afghanistan, 1978-2011’, Kabul : AREU, January 2012

[with Claudio Franco] ‘The battle for the schools: The Taleban and state education’, Kabul/Berlin : Afghan Analyst Network, 2011

[with Mohammad Isaqzada] ‘Afghanistan's para-military policing in context: The risks of expediency’, Kabul/Berlin : Afghan Analyst Network, 2011

‘Restructuring the defence sector’, in DCAF Afghanistan Working Group, Afghanistan’s security sector governance challenges, Geneva : DCAF, 2011

'Afghanistan: Human Rights and security situation', Oslo : Norwegian Landinfo, 2011

‘Armed Politics and Political Competition in Afghanistan’, in ‘The Peace in Between: Post-War Violence and Peacebuilding’, Ed. By Astri Suhrke and Mats Berdal, London : Routledge, 2011

‘L’Afghanistan come il Congo’, in La crisi afghana e il suo contesto regionale, edited by Elisa Giunchi, special issue of Afriche & Orienti, 3-4/2010

[with Christoph Reuter] ‘The Insurgents of the Afghan North’, Kabul/Berlin : Afghan Analyst Network, May 2011

Double-Edged Swords: Armies, Elite Bargaining and State-Building, Working Paper 86 series 2, London : Crisis States Research Centre, February 2011

‘Los grupos étnicos y la movilización política en Afganistán’, Revista de Estudios Sociales, n. 37, December 2010.

[with Noor Ullah] ‘Tribes’ and Warlords in Southern Afghanistan, 1980–2005’, in Alejandro Colás and Bryan Mabee (eds.), Mercenaries, Pirates, Bandits and Empires: Private Violence in Historical Context, London : Hurst, 2010

 ‘Dilemmas of governance in Afghanistan: between patrimonialism and bureaucratisation’, in Afghanistan: beyond the wild tribes, ed. By A. Schlenkhoff and C. Oeppen, London : C. Hurst, September 2010

 [with Francisco Gutierrez] ‘Networks and armies: Structuring rebellion in Colombia and Afghanistan’, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, vol. 33 n. 9, pp. 836-53, September 2010

The Taliban beyond the Pashuns, The Afghanistan papers n. 5, Waterloo (Ontario) : CIGI,

July 2010

[with Christoph Reuter], ‘The Northern Front: The Afghan insurgency spreading beyond the

Pashtuns’, Briefing Paper, Kabul : Afghan Analyst Network, June 2010

Negotiating with the Taliban:  issues and prospects, New York : The Century Foundation, June 2010

 ‘Cycles of war and peace in Afghanistan: understanding the political economy of conflict’, Policy Direction brief, London : Crisis States Research Centre LSE, June 2010

‘Vers la retalibanisation de l’Afghanistan?’, Outre Terre n. 24, March 2010, pp. 175-186

Nation-building is not for all: the politics of education in Afghanistan, Thematic report 2/2010, Berlin/Kabul : Afghan Analyst Network, May 2010

 ‘The future of the Afghan National Army: problems and reforms’, in Afghanistan Info, n. 66, March 2010, pp. 8-9

‘Between patronage and rebellion: Student politics in Afghanistan’, briefing paper, Kabul : Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit, 2010

[with Talatbek Masadykov and James Michael Page] ‘Negotiating with the Taliban: toward a solution for the Afghan conflict’, Working Paper 66.2, London : Crisis States Research Centre (LSE), 2010

‘Afghanistan’, in Barry Rubin (ed.), Guide to Islamist Movements, Armonk : ME Sharpe, 2010

 ‘Understanding and fighting the enemy in Afghanistan’, chapter 7 of The Character of War in the Early 21th Century, ed. by Christopher Coker, Rune Henriksen and Caroline Holmqvist, London : Routledge, 2009

 ‘The Afghan National Army: unwarranted hope?’, RUSI Journal, December 2009, pp. 34-40.

‘The eye of the storm: cities in Afghanistan’s civil wars’, London : Crisis  States Research Centre, Working Paper 62.2, 2009

‘Afghanistan: the patrimonial trap and the dream of institution-building’, Chapter in 'Persistent State Weakness in the Global Age', ed. By D. Kostovicova and V. Bojicic-Dzelilovic, Ashgate, 2009

Afghanistan: ‘friction’ between civilizations’, Chapter 3 of The Borders of Islam: Exploring Huntington’s Faultlines, from Al-Andalus to the Virtual Ummah, ed . by Stig Jarle Hansen, Atle Mesøy, Tuncay Kardas, London : Hurst, 2009

 ‘Afghanistan: Getting Worse Before Getting Better?’, Writenet Report commissioned by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Emergency Preparedness and Response Section , August 2009

Book review of Robert D. Crews and Amin Tarzi (eds), The Taliban and the Crisis of

Afghanistan, in Journal of Strategic Studies n. 2, 2009

Book review of A. Sinno, Organizations at war in Afghanistan and beyond, in International Affairs, vol. 85 n. 3, May 2009, p. 655

‘One or many? The issue of the Taliban’s unity and disunity’, Brief N. 48, Bradford : Pakistan Security Research Unit (PSRU), April 2009

[with D. Orsini] ‘Centre-periphery relations in Afghanistan between patrimonialism and institution-building: The Case of Badakhshan’, Central Asian Survey, March 2009, pp. 1-16

‘The pigmy who turned into a giant: the Afghan Taliban in 2009’, LSE IDEAS Strategic Update 1/2009, pp. 9-11

 ‘Shadow Ownership and SSR in Afghanistan', in Local Ownership and Security Sector Reform: DCAF Annual (Geneva), 2008, pp. 215-32

Transition without end: an analytical narrative of Afghanistan, Working paper, London : Crisis States Research Centre, 2008

‘The Neo-Taliban insurgency: from village Islam to international jihad’, chapter in Afghanistan: Transition under Threat, by Geoffrey Hayes and Mark Sedra (eds.), Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008

‘The SCO: A Regional Organisation In The Making’ (with Anna Matveeva), Working paper 39 series 2, London : Crisis States Research Centre (LSE), September 2008

‘Comment les Talibans regagnent le terrain’, Alternatives Economiques, Juin 2008, pp. 10-5

‘Afghanistan’s National Army: The Ambiguous Prospects of Afghanization’, in Terrorism Monitor (The Jamestown Foundation), Volume VI, Issue 9, 1 May 2008

‘Bureaucratic façade and political realities of disarmament and demobilisation in Afghanistan’, Conflict, Security & Development, n. 2, 2008

 ‘Armed politics and political competition in Afghanistan’, working paper, Bergen : C. Michelsen Institute, 2007,  pp. 24

“Afghanistan: Political Parties or Militia Fronts?” Chapter 8 of  Transforming rebel movements after civil wars, ed. by J. de Zeeuw, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007

 “Auxiliary force or national army? Afghanistan’s ‘ANA’ and the counter-insurgency effort, 2002-2006”, Small Wars and Insurgencies, Vol. 18, No. 1, 45–67, March 2007

[with N. Ullah] ‘The inverted cycle: Kabul and the strongmen’s competition for control over Kandahar, 2001-2006’, Central Asian Survey n. 2 2007, June 2007

“War and Peace Economies of Afghanistan’s Strongmen”, International Peacekeeping, Vol.14, No.1, January 2007, pp.75–89

“The missing ingredient: non-ideological insurgency and state collapse in western Afghanistan, 1979-1992”, Working Paper Series 2 n. 11, London, Crisis States Research Centre, LSE, 2007

“À qui est l’Afghanistan?”, Paris : Outre-Terre, n. 16, 2006, pp. 197-213

 “The privatizing of war and security in Afghanistan: future or dead end?”, The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1 (2007), pp. 19-23

 “Processes of political ethnicisation in Afghanistan”, Afghanistan Info, September 2006, pp. 9-10

[with N. Ullah] ‘Tribes and warlords in southern Afghanistan’, Working Paper 7 Series 2, London, Crisis States Research Centre, LSE, 2006

‘Genesis of a Prince: The rise of Ismail Khan in western Afghanistan, 1979-1992’, Working Paper 4 Series 2, London, Crisis States Research Centre, LSE, 2006

 “Afghanistan: exploring the peacebuilding potential of the private sector”, in Jessica Banfield, Canan Gündüz and Nick Killick (eds.), Local Business, Local Peace: the Peacebuilding Potential of the Domestic Private Sector, London, International Alert, July 2006

(with Simonetta Rossi) “Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration of ex-combatants (DDR) in Afghanistan: constraints and limited capabilities”, Working Paper 2 Series 2, London, Crisis States Research Centre, LSE, 2006

“The debate on warlordism: the importance of military legitimacy”, Discussion Paper No. 13 of the Crisis States Research Centre, LSE, 2005

“The ethnicisation of an Afghan faction: Junbesh-i Milli from the origins to the Presidential elections (2004)”, Working Paper No. 67 of the Crisis States Research Centre, DESTIN, LSE, 2005

“Afghan demobilisation masks continued militia resistance”, RUSI/Jane’s Homeland Security and Resilience Monitor, May 2005, pp. 17-19

“Good State vs. Bad Warlords? A Critique of State-building Strategies in Afghanistan”, Working Paper No. 51 of the Crisis States Program, LSE, 2004

“The Demodernisation of an Army: Northern Afghanistan 1992-1998”, Small Wars and Insurgencies vol. 15 n. 1, 2004, pp. 1-18

(with Mark Sedra), “Securing Afghanistan’s Future: Accomplishments and the Strategic Path Forward, National Army, Technical Annex, World Bank/Goverment of Afghanistan, January 2004

 “Military reform in Afghanistan”, chapter included in M. Sedra (ed.), “Afghanistan: assessing the progress of security sector reforms”, Bonn International Center for Conversion, Bonn, 2003

“Respectable Warlords? The Politics of State-building in Post-Taleban Afghanistan”, Working Paper No. 33 of the Crisis States Program, DESTIN, LSE, 2003

[Private to EIN members]
Countries of expertise:
Afghanistan, Pakistan