Category Afghanistan

Closer to Home: Yiwu in the UK

by Magnus Marsden While conducting research for the TRODITIES project in China, Afghanistan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine I regularly meet traders from Afghanistan who talk about their willingness to do business in the UK. During my last visit to Yiwu (January 2018) there appeared indeed to be a discernible trend among the 100 […]

From the Field: A drive through north western Afghanistan

by Magnus Marsden I am often asked what it is like to do fieldwork in Afghanistan. To give a sense of doing fieldwork in the country today, I provide an account of a two-day trip in the northwest of the country that I made in October 2017. The road connecting Mazar-e Sharif – northern Afghanistan’s […]

After Bukhara: Central Asian trading networks in Afghanistan and Beyond

By Magnus Marsden Several tombs of Afghanistan’s historic figures have been restored in recent years. In the Bagh-e Babur park – elegantly restored by the Aga Khan Foundation – lies the grave of Babur Shah, the Central Asian conqueror who captured Kabul in 1504 AD and went on to lay the groundwork for establishing the […]

‘Ungoverned Spaces’?

by Magnus Marsden **Previously published at Hurst’s blog.** In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Manchester, the term ‘ungoverned spaces’ has returned to the forefront of public debate about the significance of countries ranging from Syria to Afghanistan for so-called ‘Islamist’ terrorist networks. By instigating regime change in Muslim-majority states without making rigorous plans for their […]

Death in Mazar-I Sharif

by Magnus Marsden The brutal killing of up to 140 Afghan Army soldiers on April 22nd at an army base located near the city of Mazar-i Sharif in the north of Afghanistan raises profoundly troubling questions about the state of the country and wider region. The killings in Mazar come shortly after an attack (claimed […]

From the Field: Herat

Notes from the Field: Regional Connectivity as a Site for the Ethnography of Diplomacy, Afghanistan 6/10/16 – 6/11/16 was originally published on the University of Copenhagen’s Asian Dynamics Blog. by Magnus Marsden During this last year of research I have had the opportunity of attending a number of most thought provoking meetings. I have been able […]

Is Lapis Lazuli Fuelling Conflict in Afghanistan?

by Magnus Marsden **Republished from Hurst.** A recent Global Witness report has brought much-needed attention to the plight of Afghanistan’s lapis lazuli and tourmaline mines, located in the country’s north-eastern province of Badakhshan. The report highlights the ways in which the mines have become a focus of dispute between local ‘strongmen’ and the armed groups they […]