Afghanistan: the death of liberal internationalism?

Afghanistan has been in the headlines for many years – but tragically for all the wrong reasons. First invaded by the Soviets in 1979, the country experienced the trauma of civil war followed by intervention after intervention, concluding in August 2021.

Today, Afghanistan and its people face multiple interrelated challenges, including those of women’s rights, the drugs economies and human trafficking and exploitation. Now under Taliban rule, what does this country's unique history and complex present political landscape mean for Afghan society, and competing actors in the international system? This event examined the multiple dimensions of conflict; what happened, why, and what the future holds for the country now the Taliban are back in power.

These are some of the critical issues raised in Michael Cox’s recent LSE Press volume ‘Afghanistan: Long War: Forgotten Peace’ which can be accessed free online from our website and can be purchased in physical format via other online bookshops such as Book depository.


This webinar was held on Monday 13 March.

Meet the speakers and chair

Caroline Kennedy-Pipe is Professor of International Relations and International Security at the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences, Loughborough University. She joined Loughborough in 2018 from the University of Hull, where she was Professor of War Studies and Director of the Centre for Security Studies. Her research interests include contemporary war, the ethics of war and Cold War politics as well as terrorism and Russian foreign policy. She is currently President of the British International Studies Association and was Chair of the Association from 2004 to 2006. She has a first class honours degree in History, an MsC Econ in Strategic Studies and a DPhil in International Relations.

Michael Cox is a Founding Director of LSE IDEAS. He was Director of LSE IDEAS between 2008 and 2019. He was appointed to a Chair at LSE in 2002, having previously held positions in the UK at The Queen's University of Belfast and the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth. He helped establish the Cold War Studies Centre at the LSE in 2004 and later co-founded LSE IDEAS in 2008 with Arne Westad.

Michael John Williams is associate professor of International Relations at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, where he directs the MA in International Relations Program. His research focuses on international security and in particular on NATO and transatlantic relations. He is the author of “The Good War: NATO and the Liberal Conscience in Afghanistan” (Palgrave 2011) and coauthor of “Science, Law and Liberalism in the American Way of War” (Cambridge 2015).

Mary Kaldor (@KaldorM) is Professor Emeritus of Global Governance and Director of the Conflict Research Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science.