This essay explores the various efforts to create an Afghan middle class through three periods: first under the Musahiban dynasty (until 1973) and republic (1973–1978), second during the communist period and Soviet intervention (1978–1992), and lastly since the United States-led invasion in 2001. Drawing on archival research and oral histories, the authors place the development programs of each era into broader context, while pointing to the similarities and differences. The authors also compare the Cold War period, when state-led modernization was in vogue, and the current era, when the role of the state is minimized and NGOs are a dominant part of the development landscape.
Follow Us On TwitterMy Tweets
Our latest issue of Humanity is out! It features essays on refugee theory and the necessity of trespass in Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year; the Balfour declaration as an instrument of imperial protection and Palestinian dispossession; late-Soviet economic thought and global debates over the role of state planning in development; the role of Brazilian Liberation Theology in framing Western European human rights media coverage of Brazil’s military dictatorship; the Standing Rock protests as offering a language of human rights not oriented towards the state; and a review of three recent books that theorize human rights in the face of critique.View entire issue >
Recent Blog Posts
This essay is part of a forum on new histories of the Cold War. All contributions to the forum can be found here. Paul Thomas Chamberlain The Cold War’s Killing Fields: Rethinking the Long Peace New York: HarperCollins, 2018 Lorenz Lüthi Cold Wars: Asia, The Middle East, Europe Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020 Kristina Spohr Post Wall, Post Square: Rebuilding the World After 1989 New Haven: Yale University Press, 2020 Are we entering a new Cold War? Recent years have seen a deterioration of relations Continue reading →
This essay is part of a forum on new histories of the Cold War. All contributions to the forum can be found here. At this point, we know a lot about the Cold War. In part, that has been the product of archival access. Across Eastern Europe, formerly communist states and ex-Soviet republics have flung open their archives, willing—indeed, eager—to share the closely-held secrets of the past. The passage of time, too, has brought mandatory declassifications and regular releases from national archives, foreign ministries, presidential Continue reading →