Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to the Present

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Columbia University Press, Mar 2, 2005 - History - 385 pages

Having traveled and researched in Afghanistan since 1988, Gilles Dorronsoro has developed a rich and nuanced understanding of the country's history and people. In Revolution Unending he draws on his extensive firsthand experience to consider the political, historical, economic, and ethnic factors that will influence Afghanistan's future. He argues that U.S. optimism about Afghanistan following Western intervention and recent elections fails to appreciate the divisions that continue to define the country.

While not underestimating the oft-cited "ethnic factor" in Afghan politics, especially Pashtun dominance, Dorronsoro argues that class and the competition for employment and education are key factors in explaining the country's recent past. The 1990s saw the triumph of religious authorities (the ulema) and the marginalization of the traditional elites. With coalition intervention in 2001 and the subsequent deposition of the ulema-dominated Taliban, the educated elites are back in power. However, as Dorronsoro argues, patching up the country by means of short-term ethnic alliances and a new division of the spoils will only perpetuate the schisms in society. The Afghan civil war, Dorronsoro suggests, is set to continue and perhaps worsen over time.

 

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REVOLUTION UNENDING: Afghanistan, 1979 to the Present

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The Taliban are gone now, but will they be back? To judge by this scholarly account of Afghan politics, the chances are good that the answer is yes.State-building in Afghanistan, Dorronsoro (Political ... Read full review

Contents

The Sociogenesis of the Afghan State
23
The role of imperialism
24
Neopatrimonialism
25
The legitimacy of the state
33
Challenges to the state
40
From Mobilisation to Revolution
61
International funding
63
The polititisation of the educated class
65
Competition and the Impetus towards Monopoly 19922001
235
The collapse of the state
237
The regionalisation of the forces 19921995
240
Towards monopolisation
250
The Ethnicisation of the Conflict
257
Ethnicisation as a strategy
258
Ethnicisation as an unintended consequence
265
The challenge to the ethnic hierarchy
268

The failure of the parliamentary regime
76
Authoritarian mobilisation and repression under Daud
80
the communists in power
85
Part II MOBILISATIONS
93
Jihad
105
Qowm and commanders
108
The social profile of the commanders
111
Models of organisation
123
Finance
129
The Jihadi Parties
137
A typology of the parties
149
The parties and the refugees
169
The Kabul Regime
173
The three strategic dimensions
175
Preparations for the retreat
191
From the Proximity talks to the Geneva accords
198
The postwithdrawal survival of the regime
201
The Guerrillas
207
The evolution of the political map
212
Interparty cooperation
223
The mujahidin after the withdrawal
227
The Clerical State
272
The party functionaries
273
State structures
278
the puritan order and social resistance
284
The radicalisation of the Taliban
301
A Splendid Little War?
315
The strategy of the United States
317
The failure of the Pakistani solution
322
The fall of the Taliban
325
The Return to Political Fragmentation
329
The reconstruction of the state
331
The new guerrilla movement
338
Ethnicity social groups and ideologies
342
The Policy of Pakistan
346
Trial of strength with the proTaliban movements
347
Commercial and human movements
352
Conclusion
354
Select Bibliography
357
Index
363
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Page iii - The CERI series in Comparative Politics and International Studies Series editor CHRISTOPHE JAFFRELOT This series consists of translations of noteworthy publications in the social sciences emanating from the foremost French research centre in international studies, the Paris-based Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), part of Sciences Po and associated with the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). The focus of the series is the transformation of politics and society...
Page iii - ... and this phenomenon is accelerating processes of social and political change the world over. In seeking to understand and interpret these transformations, this series give priority to social trends from below as much as the interventions of state and non-state actors. Founded in 1952, CERI has forty full-time fellows drawn from different disciplines conducting research on comparative political analysis, international relations, regionalism, transnational flows, political sociology, political...
Page iii - ... studies, the Paris-based Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), part of Sciences Po and associated with the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) The focus of the series is the transformation of politics and society by transnational and domestic factors — globalisation, migration, and the post-bipolar balance of power on the one hand, and ethnicity and religion on the other. States are more permeable to external influence than ever before and this phenomenon...
Page 11 - L'organisation paysanne pour la distribution de l'eau pour l'irrigation dans les villages de la steppe, l'institution du mirab», Afghanistan Journal, 1977 ; voir aussi R.

About the author (2005)

Gilles Dorronsoro is professor of political science, Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne). He has written extensively on Afghan and Central Asian politics and is a member of the editorial committees of Cultures and Conflicts and Central Asian Literature.

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