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Timor Sharan

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
Kabul, Afghanistan

Crisis Group Role

Timor Sharan provides regular in-depth analysis and reports on Afghanistan and the wider regional dynamics that shape conflict in the country.

Areas of Expertise

  • Institution-building in post-2001 Afghanistan
  • Political economy and local governance in Afghanistan

Professional Background

Prior to joining Crisis Group, Timor was the Director of Program Management Unit at The Asia Foundation in Kabul. He has worked as the political economy advisor and aid effectiveness expert for a number of the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and USAID projects in Afghanistan. In 2015, he founded the Khedmat Learning Institute, a non-profit organisation that recruits and trains disadvantaged youth from Afghanistan’s most deprived backgrounds to become future leaders.

Timor has a PhD in political economy of international intervention and statebuilding from University of Exeter. Timor writes regular policy articles for Foreign Policy and Politico and appears in news outlets including New York Times, Guardian and Reuters.

Select Publications

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:

  • "Political Networks and the 2014 Afghan Presidential Election: Power restructuring, Ethnicity, and State Stability", Conflict, Security & Development, (Co-authored with Srinjoy Bose) (November 2016).
  • "The Dynamics of Informal Political Networks and Statehood in Post-2001 Afghanistan: A Case Study of the 2010-2011 Special Election Court Crisis", Central Asia Survey, Vol 32 (3). (November 2013).
  • "The Dynamics of Elite Networks and Patron-Client Relations in Post-Bonn Afghanistan", Europe-Asia Studies Journal, Vol 63 (6) (June 2011).
  • "Identity Politics and Statebuilding in Post-Bonn Afghanistan: the 2009 Presidential Election", Ethnopolitics Journal, Vol 10 (1) (June 2011).

Book chapters:

  • "The Dynamics of Elite Networks and Patron-Client Relations in Post-Bonn Afghanistan in David Lane", Elites and Identities in Post-Soviet Spaces, London: Rutledge (February 2012)

Policy Papers:

  • "Out of Harm’s Way? Perspectives of the Special Immigration Visa Program for Afghanistan", The Hollings Centre, September 2016 (co-authored with Noah Coburn).
  • "Political Economy Analysis of Afghanistan Parliament, The UK Department for International Development", (Co-authored with Greg Power).
  • "Women’s Rights and Political Representation: Past Achievements and Future Challenges, Background Brief for the Symposium Women’s Rights and Empowerment in Afghanistan", Oslo 2014, (Co-authored with Torunn Wimplemann).
  • "Moral Crimes: Afghan Women Panel System and its Institutional and Cultural Challenges", Paywand Afghana.


  • English (Native)
  • Persian (Native)
  • Pashto (Fluent)

In The News

23 Feb 2017
The recent wave of attacks within Pakistan is the result of Pakistan’s historical reliance on militant groups to promote its foreign policy agenda, which seems to be biting the country now. The World Weekly

Timor Sharan

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
13 Feb 2017
[Afghan refugees] settle around urban centres, which may be relatively safe, but what essentially happens is it cuts them off from communities they belong to. The Guardian

Timor Sharan

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
28 Jan 2017
[The Taliban] is becoming more efficient in systematically taxing the areas they either control or have a lot of influence on. Efficiency of taxation [helps] to sustain the group for a long time. The New York Times

Timor Sharan

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
19 Jan 2017
Obama's hasty exit strategy along a set timeline had a negative impact on the dynamics of conflict in Afghanistan. Deutsche Welle

Timor Sharan

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
11 Jan 2017
The Taliban need to receive a strong assurance from coalition forces, in particular, the US, before making the move [to proposed safe zones]. AFP

Timor Sharan

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
4 Oct 2016
The Taliban [in their assault on Kunduz] wanted to manoeuvre, raise their flag and then quickly leave. The Taliban know that they are not capable of holding onto the city centre. The Independent

Timor Sharan

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan

Latest Updates

Op-Ed / Asia

Why Europe’s Plan to Send Afghan Refugees Back Won’t Work

There is no quick fix to the refugee crisis; in fact, a short-sighted response raises difficult moral and practical questions.

Originally published in POLITICO Europe