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  • Vishal Chandra

    Research Fellow
    +91 11 2671 7983

    Joined MP-IDSA

    October 2003


    Politics of Afghan Conflict


    M.Phil., School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; studied social-cultural Anthropology and History for undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses.


    He qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET) for Lectureship conducted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India in the year 2000, and was a recipient of the UGC fellowship on Area Studies Programme at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

    He was associated with the Reintegration, Reconstruction & Reconciliation (R3) Working Group on Afghanistan, an initiative of the RNSSC/NESA Center for Strategic Studies, Washington D.C. He has also been associated with the India-Pakistan Track-II dialogue organised by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES, India).

    He regularly lectures on Afghan affairs at various institutions. As part of his research, he has travelled widely in Afghanistan.

    He is also Member of the MP-IDSA Web Editorial Team.

    Select Publications


    • The Unfinished War in Afghanistan: 2001-2014, MP-IDSA, Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2014

      Reviews: Journal of Slavic Military Studies (Routledge, July-September 2015 issue), India Today/Mail Today (March 08, 2015), The Pioneer (Sunday Edition, March 08, 2015), The Book Review (February 2015), The New Straits Times (Kuala Lumpur, January 2015), Indian Foreign Affairs Journal (October-December 2014), Amar Ujala (Hindi, Sunday Edition, March 22, 2015) and Nai Dunia (Hindi, January 2015) 

    Edited Books

    Book Chapters

    • “Beijing: Kabul’s ‘Reliable’ Strategic Partner”, in Jagannath Prasad Panda (ed.), MP-IDSA China Year Book: China’s Transition Under Xi Jinping, Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2016.
    • "Where is Afghanistan Headed?", in Arpita Basu Roy and Srimanti Sarkar (eds.), The Political Future of Afghanistan: Issues and Perspectives , Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS), KW Publishers, New Delhi, 2016.
    • “Afghanistan 2014: Towards Uncertainty” in Maneesha Tikekar (ed.), Constitutionalism and Democracy in South Asia, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2014.
    • “Afghanistan Beyond 2014: The China Factor”, in S.D. Muni & Vivek Chadha (eds.), Asian Strategic Review, MP-IDSA, New Delhi, Pentagon Press, 2013. (co-authored)
    • Afghanistan’s National Army: Expectations and Scepticism”, in India’s Neighbourhood: The Armies of South Asia, MP-IDSA, New Delhi, Pentagon Press, 2013.
    • “Afghanistan: Likely Scenarios & India’s Policy Options” in Rumel Dahiya & Ashok K. Behuria (eds.), India’s Neighbourhood: Challenges in the Next Two Decades, MP-IDSA, New Delhi, Pentagon Security International, 2012.
    • “Negotiating with the Afghan Taliban: Paving the Way to Peace or Civil War?”, in Arpita Basu Roy, Binoda Kumar Mishra & Aliva Mishra (eds.), International Intervention in Afghanistan: Motives & Approaches, New Delhi, Shipra Publications, 2012.
    • “Growing Afghan Maze: An Opportunity for Indo-Iranian Re-Engagement?”, in Anwar Alam (ed.), India and Iran: An Assessment of Contemporary Relations, New Delhi, New Century Publications, July 2011.
    • “Indo-Afghan Relations: Trends & Challenges” in India’s Foreign Policy: Continuity & Change, Delhi, Academic Excellence, 2008.
    • “Afghanistan: Divided Defenders of Democracy” in S.D. Muni (ed.), IDSA Asian Strategic Review 2008 and “Afghanistan: Growing Uncertainties” in S.D. Muni(ed.), MP-IDSA Asian Strategic Review 2007, New Delhi, Academic Foundation.
    • “The Taliban Resurrection & the Changing Course of Afghan Civil War” in K. Warikoo (ed.), Afghanistan: The Challenge, New Delhi, Pentagon Press, 2007.


    Short Articles/Commentaries

    Other Publications

    Select Publications

    • Research Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Mr Vishal Chandra’s commentary, “UNSC Delivers Strong Message to Proponents of Taliban and ‘Emirate’”, was published by All India Radio (AIR), on August 13, 2021.

      August 13, 2021
      IDSA News
    • Research Fellow, IDSA, Mr Vishal Chandra’s commentary, ‘Need for Strategic Clarity on Terrorism in Afghanistan’, was broadcast by the External Services Division of All India Radio (AIR) on April 26, 2017.

      Read commentary

      April 26, 2017
      IDSA News
    • Associate Fellow, IDSA, Mr Vishal Chandra’s commentary titled ‘Pakistan opposes ‘pre-conditions’ for Kabul-Taliban talks’ was broadcast by Air World Service, the External Services Division of All India Radio, on January 13, 2016.

      January 13, 2016
      IDSA News
    • Associate Fellow, IDSA, Mr Vishal Chandra’s chapter ‘Where is Afghanistan Headed?’ was published in the edited volume The Political Future of Afghanistan: Issues and Perspectives by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS), Kolkata, India.

      November 26, 2015
      IDSA News
      • Publisher: Pentagon Press

      Perceptions play a very significant role in South Asian politics. They have largely shaped and influenced state policies and politics among the South Asian countries, especially in relation to India, over the years. State policies have at times been hostage to negative or adversarial perceptions, well-entrenched in the popular psyche. The perception formation in South Asia is an extremely dynamic process and has evolved differently in different countries. Perceptions are not static and often change with the shift in domestic as well as regional and global politics.

      • ISBN 978-81-8274-812-5,
      • Price: ₹. 995/-
      • E-copy available
      • Publisher: Pentagon Press

      This book makes a modest attempt to contribute to the ongoing debate on future challenges for Afghanistan as the largest ever coalition of Western forces prepares to withdraw. It seeks to examine key political developments within Afghanistan over the last one decade in response to the US-led Western military and political intervention.

      • ISBN 978-81-8274-762-3,
      • Price: ₹. 1495/-
      • E-copy available
    • Fears about the Beijing-Rawalpindi axis scripting Kabul politics and thereby causing the complete marginalisation of New Delhi in the region appear far-fetched given the political dynamics of Afghanistan.

      April 28, 2015
      IDSA Comments
    • As all the votes cast in the run-off election are audited and recounted under international supervision, the final outcome could be a close finish with winning candidate leading by a much narrow margin. The process of constitutional amendment can only be initiated after the new parliament is formed as parliamentary elections are due in 2015.

      July 26, 2014
      Issue Brief
    • It is not merely about change in leadership; it is about ushering the country into a ‘decade of transformation’. The most immediate challenge before the incumbent government and the relevant election and security institutions is to sustain and strengthen the people’s engagement in the process.

      April 18, 2014
      IDSA Comments
      • Publisher: Pentagon Press

      This book is an attempt to examine the role, relevance and status of the armies in the ever dynamic socio-political milieu of the countries in India’s South Asian neighbourhood. The book deals with the national armies of seven South Asian countries bordering India, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The contributors to the volume also trace out the likely trajectory of the future role and position of the armies in the given or evolving national and geo-political settings.

      • ISBN 978-81-8274-706-0,
      • Price: ₹. 795/-
      • E-copy available