Modern Afghanistan: The Impact of 40 Years of War

Modern Afghanistan: The Impact of 40 Years of War

Modern Afghanistan: The Impact of 40 Years of War

Modern Afghanistan: The Impact of 40 Years of War

Synopsis

What impact does 40 years of war, violence, and military intervention have on a country and its people? Modern Afghanistan is a collection of the work of interdisciplinary scholars, aid workers, and citizens to assess the impact of this prolonged conflict on Afghanistan. Nearly all of the people in Afghan society have been affected by persistent violent conflict. Issues considered in this volume include social and political dynamics, issues of gender, and the shifting relationships between tribal, sectarian, and regional communities. Contributors consider topics ranging from masculinity among the Afghan Pashtun to services offered for the disabled, and from Taliban extremism to the role of TV in the Afghan culture wars. Prioritizing the perspective and experiences of the people of Afghanistan, the contributors offer new insights into the lives of those who are hoping to build a secure future on the rubble of a violent past.

Excerpt

In this volume, a new generation of Afghanistan studies scholars present systematic interdisciplinary assessments of the impact of almost four decades of war—from outside military invasions and interventions, resistance and rebellions against the center, pervasive internecine factional violence, and proxy wars. They also assess the impact of international political and economic reconstruction programs (since 2002) on the social institutions, personal and collective identities, and political culture of Afghanistan. Unlike the security-centered studies that have predominated recent research and writing on Afghanistan, the aims of contributors to this volume are twofold: first, to offer detailed analyses and assessments of the impact of state failures and violence on the internal sociopolitical dynamics, gender, and intergroup relations (ethno-linguistic, tribal, sectarian, ideological, and regional group and community relations) from the various perspectives of the peoples of Afghanistan themselves; second, to explicate how experiences of war and violence have shaped and reshaped the social fabric, institutional norms, and governance practices in Afghanistan as well as the consequences of ongoing security challenges and poor governance within the country’s troubled neighborhoods and beyond.

Early drafts of ten of the chapters in this volume were presented in two panels held at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in San Francisco. Complemented by eight additional invited contributions from eleven scholars, the papers were then extensively discussed in the workshop held (April 18–21, 2014) at the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington. in all, twentyfive scholars from Afghanistan, Europe, Australia, and the United States (half of them with deep personal roots in Afghanistan) participated in these fora. These highly policy-relevant and timely essays make significant contributions to our knowledge and understanding, not only of consequences of the wars on Afghanistan society and political culture but they also point toward ways to best address . . .

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