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The Australian National University

Dr Nematullah Bizhan

PhD in Political Science and International Relations (Australian National University), MA in Development Economics (Williams College), MD in Medicine (Ibnsina Faculty)
Visiting Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy's Development Policy Centre
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific and ANU College of Business and Economics


Nematullah Bizhan is a Research Fellow at Oxford University where he studies the role of identities and networks in establishing state legitimacy and effectiveness in fragile and conflict-affected societies.  He is also working with the Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development, a joint initiative of the Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government and the London School of Economics (LSE).  In addition, Nematullah is a Senior Research Associate with Oxford University's Global Economic Governance Program. He is a member of the steering committees of both the South Asia in World Politics Section of the International Studies Association (ISA) and the Oxford Network of Peace Studies (OxPeace).

His research focuses on international development, state building and legitimacy in conflict-affected and fragile societies, public policy and political economy. His new book, Aid Paradoxes in Afghanistan: Building and Undermining the State (Routledge), examines post-2001 state building in Afghanistan and how aid has affected it.  His opinions have appeared in Project Syndicate, Foreign Policy, ABC, Development Policy Centre’s blog, BBC Persian and 8Sobh Daily. His recent op-ed, A Path to Self-Reliance for Afghanistan, appeared in 27 publications in 9 languages around the world. He is a regular commentator on TV and Radio.

Nematullah has contributed to post-2001 Afghanistan reconstruction. He has served as Afghanistan’s Youth Deputy Minister; Founding Director General for Policy and Monitoring of Afghanistan National Development Strategy; head of the Secretariat for the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board; and Director General of Budget at the Ministry of Finance.

Nematullah was an Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow (2015-2016), an Australian Leadership Awardee (2009-2013) and a Fulbright Scholar (2005-2006).  Born and raised in Afghanistan, he graduated first in his class from school. Nematullah can be found on Twitter @Nematbizhan.

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Updated:  19 December 2018 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers