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Humanitarian Invasion is the first book of its kind: a ground-level inside account of what development and humanitarianism meant for Afghanistan, a country touched by international aid like no other. Relying on Soviet, Western, and NGO archives, interviews with Soviet advisers and NGO workers, and Afghan sources, Timothy Nunan forges a vivid account of the impact of development on a country on the front lines of the Cold War. Nunan argues that Afghanistan functioned as a laboratory for the future of the Third World nation-state. If, in the 1960s, Soviets, Americans, and Germans sought to make a territorial national economy for Afghanistan, later, under military occupation, Soviet nation-builders, French and Swedish humanitarians, and Pakistani-supported guerrillas fought a transnational civil war over Afghan statehood. Covering the entire period from the Cold War to Taliban rule, Humanitarian Invasion signals the beginning of a new stage in the writing of international history.Read more
- Covers the history of development and humanitarianism in Afghanistan throughout the entire twentieth century
- Engages with anthropological debates about humanitarianism through both Western and non-Western case studies
- Makes extensive use of Soviet archives and interviews with former Soviet advisers
Reviews & endorsements
"Beautifully written and the product of unique and prodigious research, Humanitarian Invasion enhances our understanding of the Soviet Union in the world, while poignantly chronicling the long-term collapse of the Afghan state. With this book, Timothy Nunan has made a critical contribution to our understanding of modern international history."
Robert Rakove, Stanford UniversitySee more reviews
"This is a truly fascinating, impressively researched work. Its highly original perspective illuminates not only the modern history of Afghanistan, but also the wider history of geopolitically-driven development missions in what we used to call the "Third World"."
Anatol Lieven, author of Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power and Pakistan: A Hard Country
'A groundbreaking study of a little understood experience of modernity in what used to be called the third world.' Pankaj Mishra, The Guardian Best Books of the Year (www.theguardian.com)
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- Date Published: January 2016
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107112070
- length: 332 pages
- dimensions: 238 x 155 x 26 mm
- weight: 0.62kg
- contains: 8 b/w illus. 2 maps
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. How to write the history of Afghanistan
2. Afghanistan's developmental moment?
3. States of exception, states of humanity
4. From Pashtunwali to communism?
5. Under a red veil
6. Borderscapes of denial
7. The little platoons of humanity
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