UCL Institute of the Americas


Anthony Teitler

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


Professor Iwan Morgan and Dr Tony McCulloch

PhD Completed in 2018

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 examines 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's doctoral dissertation has been subsequently published in Routledge's series, 'Studies in US Foreign Policy, under the title US Policy Towards Afghanistan, 1979-2014: 'A Force for Good (2020)