Research Report - Power, Inequality, and Local Land Conflict in Afghanistan: A Study of Kabul’s Peri-Urban Areas

Middle East
King's College London

This paper thus looks into how power hierarchies and structural inequality are often entangled within conflicts over land in Kabul’s peri-urban areas. Structural inequalities in Afghanistan create a variety of challenges related to land tenure. This paper thus seeks to explicitly highlight some of the hierarchies that arise in the different land conflicts in Kabul’s peri-urban areas. Based on interviews with community members and leaders in informal settlements as well as government officials working in the area of land administration, this paper highlights some of the ways in which power hierarchies and structural inequality shape the behavior of parties to a conflict over land. By showing these hierarchies, it becomes possible to show that attempts at providing formal titles to residents of peri-urban areas does not necessarily alter the underlying power hierarchies. As a result, formal titling may not have its intended effect of significantly reducing land conflict in these areas.

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