Speaker: Ligon, G. (University of Nebraska, Omaha)
Date: 21 September 2018
SMA hosted a speaker session presented by Dr. Gina Ligon (University of Nebraska, Omaha) as a part of its SMA CENTCOM (Afghanistan) Speaker Series. During her presentation, Dr. Ligon addressed the following question: “What are the drivers of instability and buffers against it in Afghanistan?” She explained that she and her co-writer, Mr. Michael Logan, have uniquely applied their backgrounds in management and collaboration science and criminology, respectively, to answer this question. She proceeded to identify two primary periods of instability in Afghanistan, as well as the key distinctions between the two and what organizational events took place during each period. She also spoke about social identity theory (SIT) and what makes one identity more salient than others to an individual. These identities influence individuals’ behaviors and determine where their allegiance lies. To conclude her presentation, Dr. Ligon discussed the Taliban’s previous and present leaders’ key character traits and leadership qualities, and explained that leadership predicts organization structure and membership, which in turn predicts the type of instability a country or region experiences.