The effects of Afghanistan’s political evolution on migration and displacement

Nemat Bizhan

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review


Afghanistan represents a case in which the erosion of political order due to armed conflict and economic decline since 1978 has resulted in major changes in the demography of the country. Conflict has forced about one third of the population to either take refuge outside Afghanistan, mostly in Pakistan and Iran, or to move outside their communities within Afghanistan. By 1990 about 6 million Afghans were living outside Afghanistan as refugees (UNHCR, 2016). However, a new political order arising after the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001 changed this pattern. It affected migration and internal displacement at three stages – renewal and hope, the rise of insurgency and the triple transitions. The establishment of a new political order based on the principles of democracy and the emergence of international consensus to stabilize Afghanistan along with the flow of development and military aid had positive impact on the return of Afghan refugees to Afghanistan and of displaced people to their communities inside Afghanistan. But the resurgence of the Taliban and the deterioration in the security situation after 2005 slowed down the return of refugees
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-9
JournalMigration Policy Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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