Afghanistan

A Cultural and Political History

Author: Thomas Barfield

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691154414

Category: History

Page: 408

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Afghanistan traces the historic struggles and the changing nature of political authority in this volatile region of the world, from the Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century to the Taliban resurgence today. Thomas Barfield introduces readers to the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, explaining what unites them as Afghans despite the regional, cultural, and political differences that divide them. He shows how governing these peoples was relatively easy when power was concentrated in a small dynastic elite, but how this delicate political order broke down in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when Afghanistan's rulers mobilized rural militias to expel first the British and later the Soviets. Armed insurgency proved remarkably successful against the foreign occupiers, but it also undermined the Afghan government's authority and rendered the country ever more difficult to govern as time passed. Barfield vividly describes how Afghanistan's armed factions plunged the country into a civil war, giving rise to clerical rule by the Taliban and Afghanistan's isolation from the world. He examines why the American invasion in the wake of September 11 toppled the Taliban so quickly, and how this easy victory lulled the United States into falsely believing that a viable state could be built just as easily. Afghanistan is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how a land conquered and ruled by foreign dynasties for more than a thousand years became the "graveyard of empires" for the British and Soviets, and what the United States must do to avoid a similar fate.
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The Himalayas: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture

Author: Andrew J. Hund,James A. Wren

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 1440839395

Category: Science

Page: 349

View: 1627

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A thorough and detailed resource that describes the history, culture, and geography of the Himalayan region, providing an indispensable reference work to both general readers and seasoned scholars in the field. • Presents invaluable insights into the dynamics that have shaped the Himalayan region over human history • Provides a context for understanding the importance of the region to a larger understanding of globalization and key related issues we must currently deal with, including but not limited to climate change, border disputes, and economic and political migrations • Offers a balanced understanding of major socio-political issues that affect the region • Supplies a detailed and rich description of the region in a single volume that serves readers who need immediate answers to questions as well as those seeking a comprehensive overview of the complexities of the region
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Comparative Law and Anthropology

Author: James A.R. Nafziger

Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing

ISBN: 1781955182

Category:

Page: 544

View: 2842

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The topical chapters in this cutting-edge collection at the intersection of comparative law and anthropology explore the mutually enriching insights and outlooks of the two fields. Comparative Law and Anthropology adopts a foundational approach to social and cultural issues and their resolution, rather than relying on unified paradigms of research or unified objects of study. Taken together, the contributions extend long-developing trends from legal anthropology to an anthropology of law and from externally imposed to internally generated interpretations of norms and processes of legal significance within particular cultures. The book's expansive conceptualization of comparative law encompasses not only its traditional geographical orientation, but also historical and jurisprudential dimensions. It is also noteworthy in blending the expertise of long-established, acclaimed scholars with new voices from a range of disciplines and backgrounds.
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Culture, Conflict, and Counterinsurgency

Author: Thomas H. Johnson,Barry Zellen

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804789215

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 9089

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The authors of Culture, Conflict and Counterinsurgency contend that an enduring victory can still be achieved in Afghanistan. However, to secure it we must better understand the cultural foundations of the continuing conflicts that rage across Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, and shift our strategy from an attritional engagement to a smarter war plan that embraces these cultural dimensions. They examine the nexus of culture, conflict, and strategic intervention, and attempt to establish if culture is important in a national security and foreign policy context, and to explore how cultural phenomena and information can best be used by the military. In the process they address just how intimate cultural knowledge needs to be to counter an insurgency effectively. Finally, they establish exactly how good we've been at building and utilizing cultural understanding in Afghanistan, what the operational impact of that understanding has been, and where we must improve to maximize our use of cultural knowledge in preparing for and engaging in future conflicts.
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Contested Terrain

Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders

Author: Sally L Kitch

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

ISBN: 0252096649

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 4343

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Sally L. Kitch explores the crisis in contemporary Afghan women’s lives by focusing on two remarkable Afghan professional women working on behalf of their Afghan sisters. Kitch's compelling narrative follows the stories of Judge Marzia Basel and Jamila Afghani from 2005 through 2013, providing an oft-ignored perspective on the personal and professional lives of Afghanistan's women. Contending with the complex dynamics of a society both undergoing and resisting change, Basel and Afghani speak candidly--and critically--of matters like international intervention and patriarchal Afghan culture, capturing the ways in which immense possibility alternates and vies with utter hopelessness. Strongly rooted in feminist theory and interdisciplinary historical and geopolitical analysis, Contested Terrain sheds new light on the struggle against the powerful forces that affect Afghan women's education, health, political participation, livelihoods, and quality of life. The book also suggests how a new dialogue might be started--in which women from across geopolitical boundaries might find common cause for change and rewrite their collective stories.
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The War for Afghanistan: A Very Brief History

From "Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History"

Author: Thomas Barfield

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400843146

Category: History

Page: 62

View: 7235

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When it invaded Afghanistan in 2001, the United States sought to do something previous foreign powers had never attempted: to create an Afghani state where none existed. More than a decade on, the new regime in Kabul remains plagued by illegitimacy and ineffectiveness. What happened? As Thomas Barfield shows, the history of previous efforts to build governments in Afghanistan does much to explain the difficulties besetting this newest experiment. Princeton Shorts are brief selections taken from influential Princeton University Press books and produced exclusively in ebook format. Providing unmatched insight into important contemporary issues or timeless passages from classic works of the past, Princeton Shorts enable you to be an instant expert in a world where information is everywhere but quality is at a premium.
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The Public Law of Gender

Author: Kim Rubenstein,Katharine G. Young

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107138574

Category: Law

Page: 588

View: 6099

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Examines the public law of gender and equality from the perspectives of comparative constitutional law, international law and governance.
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Objects of Translation

Material Culture and Medieval "Hindu-Muslim" Encounter

Author: Finbarr B. Flood

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691180741

Category: Architecture

Page: 384

View: 2982

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Objects of Translation offers a nuanced approach to the entanglements of medieval elites in the regions that today comprise Afghanistan, Pakistan, and north India. The book--which ranges in time from the early eighth to the early thirteenth centuries--challenges existing narratives that cast the period as one of enduring hostility between monolithic "Hindu" and "Muslim" cultures. These narratives of conflict have generally depended upon premodern texts for their understanding of the past. By contrast, this book considers the role of material culture and highlights how objects such as coins, dress, monuments, paintings, and sculptures mediated diverse modes of encounter during a critical but neglected period in South Asian history. The book explores modes of circulation--among them looting, gifting, and trade--through which artisans and artifacts traveled, remapping cultural boundaries usually imagined as stable and static. It analyzes the relationship between mobility and practices of cultural translation, and the role of both in the emergence of complex transcultural identities. Among the subjects discussed are the rendering of Arabic sacred texts in Sanskrit on Indian coins, the adoption of Turko-Persian dress by Buddhist rulers, the work of Indian stone masons in Afghanistan, and the incorporation of carvings from Hindu and Jain temples in early Indian mosques. Objects of Translation draws upon contemporary theories of cosmopolitanism and globalization to argue for radically new approaches to the cultural geography of premodern South Asia and the Islamic world.
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Afghanistan Under Siege

The Afghan Body and the Postcolonial Border

Author: Bojan Savic

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1788317947

Category: History

Page: 264

View: 2666

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In this book, based on field work undertaken in Afghanistan itself and through engagement with postcolonial theory, Bojan Savic critiques western intervention in Afghanistan by showing how its casting of Afghan natives as “dangerous” has created a power network which fractures the country – in echoes of 19th and 20th century colonial powers in the region. Savic also offers an analysis of how and by what means global security priorities have affected Afghan lives.
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