The author questions the common-place idea of an Afghanistan briefly administered by centralised states under the Communists from 1978 to 1992 and the Taliban from 1996 to 2001, and otherwise given over to a recurrent anarchy partaking of vernacular tradition.  At the same time, whilst assessing the role and impact of the central state in the country’s modern history, the author also casts light on the fragility of present-day state institutions—the exponential increase of drug trade creating resources that escape state control and favour the emergence and consolidation of alternative powers.

The Redaction
CER: I-8.4.B-733