Professor Jennifer Murtazashvili nominated for World’s Top Thinker

July 21, 2022
"Jen Murtazashvili"
Professor Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili

UK-based Prospect Magazine released their annual list of the world’s top 100 thinkers “coming up with the most exciting and potentially game-changing ideas in their fields.” The nominees include Elon Musk, Kendrick Lamar, and GSPIA Associate Professor Jennifer Murtazashvili. 

“When the Taliban retook Kabul last summer, everyone was searching for answers about why it happened,” writes Prospect.  

“Murtazashvili, an academic and researcher with years of on-the-ground experience in Afghanistan, provided a compelling thesis: in trying to impose models of democratic engagement from the outside, the US failed to take account of local structures of accountability. Corruption and cynicism flourished—Afghans quickly realized that the flashier a new government building was, the less authority it had in reality—and the rebellion was fueled.” 

Her research can be further explored in her book Informal Order and the State in Afghanistan (Cambridge University Press, 2016), which Prospect Magazine considers “vital reading for any occupying force contemplating nation-building.” 

Murtazashvili, director of the Center for Governance and Markets (CGM), is also responsible for the Afghanistan Project. Launched after the collapse of the Afghan government in August 2021, the program establishes an intellectual home at Pitt for displaced Afghan scholars to continue their work in exile. Read more about it in Pitt Magazine

Vote for Dr. Murtazashvili as the World’s Top Thinker 2022 here