I am an early-career scholar in Politics and International Relations, and I research topics in critical peace studies including international interventions, state formation, political violence and order, conflict transitions/transformations, democratisation, governance and governmentality, and the political economy of statebuilding and peacebuilding. My current research agenda comprises two core (and long-term) studies: first, I am working towards publishing my first book (based on my PhD dissertation), titled ‘Legitimacy and Legitimation in Afghanistan: Death by a Thousand Cuts or Dance of the Seven Veils?’. The book manuscript investigates the tensions in legitimation strategies between local and international actors, and its effects on state-society relations and statebuilding. Second, concurrently, I have developed a follow-on study that uses political economy analyses to focus attention on the ‘vernacular’ of local politics and how notions of legitimacy are coded and gain meaning in particular contexts.
I am a COFUND (Marie Sklowodska-Curie Action) Fellow at the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University (UK), and am also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Coral Bell School, The Australian National University. I also consult as a geopolitics, security, and NGO analyst. In the past, I participated as research and drafting consultant with The Liaison Office, Kabul, on various projects including, assessing the 'Protection Needs and Vulnerabilities of Urban Displaced Youth in Afghanistan' (funded by Norwegian Refugee Council) and 'State Legitimacy in Afghanistan and the Role of the International Community' (funded by DfID, UK). In my different professional capacities, I work with public-sector experts, government officials, diplomats, UN and INGO representatives, activists, and even armed groups.
I am co-editor of 'Afghanistan--Challenges and Prospects' (Routledge, 2017) that analysed the political and military transitions in Afghanistan, and co-editor of the journal special issue, 'Elections and the State: Critical Perspectives on Democracy Promotion in Afghanistan' (Conflict, Security and Development 16(6), 2016) that used a political economy framework of analysis to assess the impact of elections in statebuilding. I recently co-edited two volumes that interrogate the use of 'hybridity' in peacebuilding and development, for publication with Third World Thematics: a TWQ Journal and The Australian National University Press (both forthcoming in 2018).