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 new issue features a conversation between Jasbir K. Puar and Oishik Sircar, available open-access on the Humanity journal website. The issue also includes essays on the politics humanitarian architecture and the Parisian “Yellow Bubble,” family planning projects in postcolonial Morocco, how Amnesty International's formative years shaped professional human rights activism, and the linguistic and affective labor of field interpreters for UN missions. It contains review essays on theories of political violence and on global histories of slavery and indentured labor.View entire issue >
Recent Blog Posts
Interview with Lori Allen (SOAS) on her recent book A History of False Hope: Investigative Commissions in Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2020). The interview was conducted via email by Tobias Kelly, member of the Humanity editorial collective. Tobias Kelly (TK): Can you tell us how you came to this project and how it relates to your previous work? Lori Allen (LA): I see this book as being a prequel to my first book, The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine Continue reading →
This essay is part of a symposium on Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini’s Human Shields. All contributions to the symposium can be found here. Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini’s Human Shields is arranged as a composition of twenty two tableaux. Each vividly explores distinctive practices of human shielding by excavating diverse types of archival sources—official documents, personal correspondence, memoirs, news media, scholarly works, novels, videogames, and more. The succession of these tableaux occurs mostly in chronological order beginning with the American Civil War, and its Continue reading →