The strongest demand by civil society actors and the Afghan government continues to be that the peace process “protect the gains” of the past 20 years since the U.S. ousted the Taliban. Most important among them are the civil and political rights afforded by the 2004 Constitution. A number of the papers in this collection consider the unprecedented advances that have been made, in particular, in the pursuit of equality for Afghan women and the actors, organizations, and processes driving that progress.

Another key issue likely to arise as part of the peace process involves the prospects for justice for atrocities committed during the war. Perspectives differ on how to handle such crimes, and a number of papers in this collection will consider lessons learned from past cases as well as processes, institutions, and experiences indigenous to Afghanistan that may be relevant going forward.

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