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Bentley College Professor Larry Goodson to participate in United Nations Special Mission in Afghanistan

April 22, 2002

WALTHAM, Mass.- Bentley College Associate Professor of International Studies Larry Goodson will spend six to eight weeks in Afghanistan as a monitor for the United Nations Special Mission this spring. The monitors have been selected to observe and provide assistance in the upcoming delegate selection process for the "Loya Jirga".

Goodson, an expert on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East and author of Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban (University of Washington Press, 2001), will head to Afghanistan in early May and will be available for expert commentary and media interviews. He plans to send back reports from the scene that will be posted online at

Goodson, one of only a dozen American experts chosen, has done consulting work for the United States-based Asia Foundation since January. Seeking individuals with a combination of language and on-the-ground experience in Afghanistan, the Asia Foundation selected and contracted the American experts for this mission. The Foundation is also providing technical assistance to the U.N. for the "Loya Jirga" process underway,the selection of the grand assembly of elders that will meet and name the next temporary government in Afghanistan and then begin the process of constitutional and permanent government framework.

Goodson's research over the last two decades has centered on democratization and political change, ethnic/religious movements, political violence and war, gender and human rights, refugees and electoral systems. He has two forthcoming books: "The Talibanization of Pakistan: Transformation of a Society" (St. Martin's/Palgrave, 2002) and "Politics in the Middle East" (Sage Publications, under contract, 2003).

In high demand since September 11th, Goodson has been interviewed over 400 times by media outlets including CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Boston Globe, and has done work for the State Department, United States Army, and national intelligence agencies.

Goodson expects to be on the ground in Afghanistan through June, when the Loya Jirga meetings wrap up.

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