The Making of Modern Afghanistan

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-03-15
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Examines the evolution of the modern Afghan state in the shadow of Britain's imperial presence in South Asia during the first half of the nineteenth century, and challenges the staid assumptions that the Afghans were little more than pawns in a larger Anglo-Russian imperial rivalry known as the 'Great Game'.

Author Biography

B.D. Hopkins is Assistant Professor of History and international Affairs at the George Washington University, USA. His work focuses on modern South Asian history, in particular that Afghanistan and the north-west frontier during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is also co-author (with Magnus Marsden) of Fragments of the Afghan Frontier, as well as numerous journal articles.

Table of Contents

Note on Transliterationp. vii
Acknowledgementsp. viii
List of Mapsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Afghanistan imaginedp. 1
Situating Afghanistanp. 2
The argumentp. 6
The Power of Colonial Knowledgep. 11
Introductionp. 11
British imaginingsp. 13
Elphinstone's legacyp. 23
Conclusionp. 32
The Myth of the 'Great Game'p. 34
Introductionp. 34
The 'Great Game'p. 35
The Indus Schemep. 47
British policy west of the Indusp. 50
Conclusionp. 59
Anglo-Sikh Relations and South Asian Warfarep. 61
Introductionp. 61
The failure of British strategyp. 62
The Punjab and the 'military labour market'p. 70
The Afghan-Sikh conflictp. 75
Conclusionp. 78
Ontology of the Afghan Political Communityp. 82
Introductionp. 82
The contours of Afghanistan's social ecologyp. 84
A tribal kingdom: The evolution of the Afghan proto-statep. 87
Afghanistan's plundering polity modelp. 90
Afghanistan's Islamic moral landscapep. 98
'Royalism' in an egalitarian societyp. 102
Conclusionp. 107
Camels, Caravans and Corridor Cities: The Afghan Economyp. 110
Introductionp. 110
The Afghan transit economyp. 113
Exogenous factors affecting the Afghan economyp. 123
Conclusionp. 133
The Afghan Trade Corridorp. 136
Introductionp. 136
Typology of caravan corridor citiesp. 137
Corridor cities of Central Asian caravan commercep. 139
Conclusionp. 159
Conclusion: The 'Failure' of the Afghan Political Projectp. 163
The creation of 'Afghanistan'p. 163
The argument revisitedp. 165
Implicationsp. 167
The colonial legacyp. 170
Epiloguep. 174
Notesp. 177
Glossary of Foreign Termsp. 229
Unpublished Sourcesp. 231
Bibliographyp. 234
Indexp. 250
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