chapter  1
Contextualising Afghanistan’s transitions
Influences and challenges
BySrinjoy Bose, William Maley
Pages 27

This introduction presents some key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book draws upon the new generation of Afghans to shed light on the challenges that Afghanistan faces as 'transition' under a new leadership leads to the shrinking of the major international, and specifically US, presence that has been a dominant feature of its experience since Operation Enduring Freedom overthrew the Taliban regime in 2001. Afghanistan has undoubtedly had a turbulent history since its emergence as a distinct unit in the mid-eighteenth century, and it is tempting to view that history as fundamentally constraining the kinds of options from which Afghans can choose when seeking to craft their own futures. Some of the most inspiring Afghans are young people who want to see their country move forward, not because they are creatures of ideology, but simply because globalisation has opened up alternatives to what for many of them has been a dismal past.