UCL Institute of the Americas


Professor Anthony Teitler

US Policy towards Afghanistan, 1979-2014: A Case Study of Constructivism in International Relations


PhD completed in 2016 


Professor Iwan Morgan and Dr Tony McCulloch

Professor Anthony Teitler
A case study of US foreign policy towards Afghanistan from the Soviet intervention of 1979 to the exit of US/ISAF combat troops in 2014, this thesis examined how the interpretation of America’s interests and identity have shaped its long-term involvement with that country. This sets it apart from the existing literature, which predominantly emphasises how the US has been motivated by its own self-interest in its dealings with Afghanistan. Whilst it does not entirely reject the importance of both realist and neo-realist assumptions, this thesis mainly deploys a constructivist theoretical approach to achieve its objectives.

Dr Teitler is the author of 'US Policy Towards Afghanistan, 1979-2014: 'A Force for Good (2020),  published in Routledge's series 'Studies in US Foreign Policy'. 

Read what Professor Teitler says about his time as a research student at UCL Institute of the Americas.