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The Hazaras and the Afghan State
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About the Author

Niamatullah Ibrahimi is a political analyst who researches and writes about current and historical affairs of Afghanistan. He has worked for the Crisis States Research Centre of the London School of Economics and the International Crisis Group. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Australian National University.

Reviews

'Ibrahimi's impressively detailed history helps us to make sense of the current political situation in Afghanistan ... throughout the book Ibrahimi adopts a healthy critical stance towards essentialist theories of ethnicity. He aptly shows that to get a full picture of Afghan politics it is necessary to both zoom out to the global and transnational level, and zoom in below the provincial level.' -- The Times Literary Supplement Niamatullah Ibrahimi's richly-textured account of Hazaras' relations with the Afghan state not only sheds light on the social and political complexities of a highly-vulnerable group; it also illuminates dimensions of the state building enterprise in Afghanistan in ways that highlight the challenges of internationally-supported state building more broadly. A pathbreaking book. -- William Maley, Professor of Diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University; author of 'What is a Refugee?' and 'Reconstructing Afghanistan: Civil-Military Experiences in Comparative Perspective' 'In this this sympathetic but nonpolemic book . . . Ibrahimi has undertaken field and archival research to trace the efforts of the Hazaras to protect their identity and patrimony and to find a legitimate place in the Afghan state.' A work of great interest, which skilfully examines the link between nation-state formation since the late nineteenth century and the politicisation of ethnic identities. Focusing on the case of the Hazaras, Ibrahimi demonstrates how ethnicity, far from being a primordial form of social organisation, became an idiom of political mobilisation. -- Alessandro Monsutti, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva; author of 'War and Migration: Social Networks and Economic Strategies of the Hazaras of Afghanistan' Ibrahimi vividly relates the history of the long persecuted Hazara minority, unravelling their relations with the Afghan state for over two centuries, their complex internal political rivalries, the role of foreign interventions, and their recent successes in an on-going struggle for recognition. It is a bloody, tragic, but often inspiring story. -- Richard Tapper, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology in the University of London Ibrahimi evaluates the costs in the creation of modern nation-states in multiethnic societies by narrating the sufferings of one group, the Hazaras, in the making of Afghanistan. A must-read for political analysts, policy makers and those wishing to understand why failed multiethnic nation-states provoke politics of rage and extremism in the region. -- Nazif M. Shahrani, Professor of Anthropology, Central Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Indiana University

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