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The Conference of Bonn, December 2001, was the beginning of a most ambiguous period of state-building, peace-making and continuous war for Afghanistan. The course will draw the main lines of societal development and state performance in the 20th century in order to highlight both continuities and radical ruptures in the history of this landlocked, poor and rarely sovereign state. Despite its newly attained independence, Afghanistan is still more a token in the hand of controversial actors than a solid state with adequate social, economic, cultural and military perspectives for a stable future.
I shall give a brief historical account since the days of Amanullah Khan (1917-1929), focusing on the Republic after 1965, the Soviet occupation, the Jihad and the Taliban rule after 1995 – 80 years of slow development, civil wars and violence, but also of hopeful interludes of civil development. All this ended on 9/11, or two days before, when the military leader Ahmed Shah Masood was killed.
2001-2019 is a period of unfulfilled expectations. We shall analyze the reasons of and the consequences from this disappointment.
The course will be a balanced mix of lecture episodes, students’ presentations, visitors and excursions. Former SRSG of UNAMA, Tom Koenigs, historian Philipp Münch, and two recent PhD results on the Soviet intervention (1979f.) and the present problems of Afghan elites (2018): Tim Kucharzewsky and Frangis Dadfar Spanta.
||I recommend regular visits to the website of Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), one of the best news services with a prominent German anchor, Thomas Ruttig, who will be also invited to the course: http://afghanistan-analysts.org
There will be a session focused on sources and trans-disciplinary approaches toward a comprehensive insight into Afghan history and structure. The students will be invited to participate in Prof. Daxner’s archive and bibliography.
Daxner, M. (2017). A Society of Intervention - An Essay on Conflicts in Afghanistan and other Military Interventions. Oldenburg, BIS.
Lieven, A. (2012). "Afghanistan: The Best way to Peace." NYRB LIX(2): 3.
Münch, P. (2015). Die Bundeswehr in Afghanistan. Freiburg, Rombach.
Ruttig, T. (2013). How It All Began - A Short Look at the Pre-1979 Origins of Afghanistans Conflicts. Occasional Papers. AAN. Kabul, AAN.