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Imagining Afghanistan Synopsis

Over time and across different genres, Afghanistan has been presented to the world as potential ally, dangerous enemy, gendered space, and mysterious locale. These powerful, if competing, visions seek to make sense of Afghanistan and to render it legible. In this innovative examination, Nivi Manchanda uncovers and critically explores Anglophone practices of knowledge cultivation and representational strategies, and argues that Afghanistan occupies a distinctive place in the imperial imagination: over-determined and under-theorised, owing largely to the particular history of imperial intervention in the region. Focusing on representations of gender, state and tribes, Manchanda re-historicises and de-mythologises the study of Afghanistan through a sustained critique of colonial forms of knowing and demonstrates how the development of pervasive tropes in Western conceptions of Afghanistan have enabled Western intervention, invasion and bombing in the region from the nineteenth century to the present.

Imagining Afghanistan Press Reviews

'Theoretically deft and empirically rich, Imagining Afghanistan is a searing account of how imperial narratives facilitate 'humanitarian' interventions. Manchanda forensically dissects this orientalist imaginary forged from a large corpus of hoary cliches about states, tribes and eternal warriors, and deeply gendered portraiture of brown women in need of rescue from threatening brown men. A brilliant book.' Laleh Khalili, author of Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies 'In its secret history of the war in Afghanistan, US military officials confessed that they 'didn't have the foggiest notion' of what they 'were undertaking'. Nivi Manchanda's Imagining Afghanistan explains why not, in painstaking and painful detail.' Robert Vitalis, author of The Myths of Scarcity and Security That Haunt US Energy Policy 'Theoretically deft and empirically rich, Imagining Afghanistan is a searing account of how imperial narratives facilitate 'humanitarian' interventions. Manchanda forensically dissects this orientalist imaginary forged from a large corpus of hoary cliches about states, tribes and eternal warriors, and deeply gendered portraiture of brown women in need of rescue from threatening brown men. A brilliant book.' Laleh Khalili, author of Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies 'In its secret history of the war in Afghanistan, US military officials confessed that they 'didn't have the foggiest notion' of what they 'were undertaking'. Nivi Manchanda's Imagining Afghanistan explains why not, in painstaking and painful detail.' Robert Vitalis, author of The Myths of Scarcity and Security That Haunt US Energy Policy

Book Information

ISBN: 9781108491235
Publication date: 9th July 2020
Author: Nivi (Queen Mary University of London) Manchanda
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 266 pages
Categories: Asian history, International relations,

About Nivi (Queen Mary University of London) Manchanda

Nivi Manchanda is a senior lecturer in International Politics at Queen Mary University of London. Her research interests include postcolonial theory, histories of race and empire, and gender studies. She is co-editor of Race and Racism in International Relations: Confronting the Global Colour Line (2014) and currently serves as editor in chief of the journal Politics.

More About Nivi (Queen Mary University of London) Manchanda

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