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Columbia University Press
Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to the Present / Edition 1

Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to the Present / Edition 1

by Gilles Dorronsoro, John King


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231136266
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 03/02/2005
Series: The CERI Series in Comparative Politics and International Studies
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 385
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 5.70(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Part I. The Origins of the Afghan Revolution
1. The Sociogenesis of the Afghan State
2. From Mobilisation to Revolution
Part II. Mobilisations
3. The Commanders
4. The Jihadi Parties
Part III. The Dynamics of Confrontation
5. The Kabul Regime
6. The Guerillas
Part IV. The Taliban
7. Competition and the Impetus towards Monopoly (1992-2001)
8. The Ethnicisation of the Conflict
9. The Clerical State
Part V. The American Invasion and the Return of Fragmentation
10. A Splendid Little War?
11. the Return to Political Fragmentation
12. The Policy of Pakistan
Select Bibliography

What People are Saying About This

William Maley

Better than any other scholar, Dorronsoro has rebutted the image of politics between the fall of communist power and the rise of Taliban as simply a primordial struggle devoid of logic or rationale.

William Maley, author of Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban

Anatol Lieven

This magnificent work of research and interpretation deserves to become a classic in the field.

Anatol Lieven, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism

Antonio Giustozzi

Even after September 11 and the rush to publish new books on Afghanistan, [ Revolution Unending] stands out as one of the best general studies of the Afghan conflict.

Antonio Giustozzi, author of War, Politics, and Society

Barnett Rubin

One of the finest studies of the origins, structure, and conduct of the conflicts in Afghanistan. It is based on solid fieldwork and informed by a sophisticated intellectual framework.

Barnett Rubin, director, New York University's Center on International Cooperation and author of The Search for Peace in Afghanistan and director, New York University's Center on International Cooperation and author of The Search force in Afghanistan

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