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Back to the Future in Afghanistan? Prospects for U.S. – Russia Cooperation in a Time of Regional Uncertainty

October 19 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Harriman Institute of Columbia University and New York University’s Jordan Center are pleased to announce the third event of the New York Russia Public Policy Seminar. The joint initiative, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, establishes a regular forum for academics and professionals in New York city to engage with pressing issues informing U.S.-Russia relations. The sessions seek to bring innovative and impactful scholarship and analysis to bear on key trends and related policy questions and to create an informed network for open dialogue and debate.

Please join the Harriman Institute and New York University’s Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia for a panel discussion with Barnett Rubin (New York University), Ekaterina Stepanova (IMEMO) and Dipali Mukhopadyay (Columbia-SIPA).

The Trump Administration’s announcement that it would increase the US troop presence in Afghanistan signals a new force-based approach to solving the conflict. In recent years, Russia has actively engaged with the Afghanistan issue, sponsoring regional conferences and peace talks, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented that the Trump Administration’s new strategy is a “dead end.”

How are Washington and Moscow now approaching the promotion of peace and stability in the region and what are their underlying assumptions and constraints? How does each country approach questions of a negotiated political settlement and broader regional diplomacy? Is there a danger of a proxy conflict emerging between the Untied States and Russia in Afghanistan and more broadly across Central Asia? Please join us for a discussion with leading Afghanistan experts from both Russia and the United States.

Alexander Cooley, Director, Harriman Institute
Joshua Tucker, Director, Jordan Center

Dr. Barnett R. Rubin is a Senior Fellow and Associate Director of the Center on International Cooperation at New York University, where he directs the Afghanistan-Pakistan Regional Program. From 2009-2013 Dr. Rubin was the Senior Adviser to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in the U.S. Department of State. In 2001 Rubin served as special advisor to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, during the negotiations that produced the Bonn Agreement. He subsequently advised the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on the drafting of the constitution of Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Compact, and the Afghanistan National Development Strategy. Dr. Rubin has written numerous articles, book reviews, and books on Afghanistan, South and Central Asia, U.S. foreign policy, conflict prevention, state formation, and human rights. He is most recently the author of Afghanistan from the Cold War through the War on Terror (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Dr. Ekaterina Stepanova heads the Peace and Conflict Studies Unit at the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. From 2007-2009, she directed the Armed Conflicts and Conflict Management Program at the Stockholm International Peace Institute. Dr. Stepanova’s research focuses on armed conflicts, asymmetrical violence, the political economy of conflict, and peace-building. She is the author of six books, including Terrorism in Asymmetrical Conflict: Ideological and Structural Aspects (Oxford University Press, 2008). Dr. Stepanova serves on the editorial boards of Terrorism and Political Violence (UK) and International Journal of Conflict and Violence (Germany). She lectures at the European University in Saint Petersburg and is a visiting lecturer at the European Peace University in Austria.

Dipali Mukhopadhyay teaches international security at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she is a faculty affiliate of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. She recently published the book Warlords, Strongman Governors and State Building in Afghanistan (Cambridge, 2014). Prior to joining Columbia’s faculty, Mukhopadhyay spent 2011 as a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University. Her current work on Afghanistan builds on her first book with a study of palace politics during the Karzai presidency. She also has two projects underway on the Syrian civil war related to Western engagement with the opposition and rebel governance. She is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.


October 19
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia
(212) 992-6575


The Harriman Institute
International Affairs Building,15th Floor, 420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027 United States
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