SOAS University of London

Centre of Contemporary Central Asia & the Caucasus

Anthony Hyman Memorial Lecture 2021 - The Palace Politics of 'Precarious' Sovereignty: Afghan State-building in the Era of Counterterrorism

Warlords, Strongman Governors, and the State in Afghanistan
Dipali Mukhopadhyay (University of Minnesota)

Date: 5 May 2021Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 5 May 2021Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Lecture


Since September 11, 2001, the United States and its allies have involved themselves in matters of governance abroad, not out of an altruistic commitment to the spread of liberal democracy, but, rather, as a function of concerns about the presumed nexus between weak statehood and globalized violent extremism. How are fledgling regimes to navigate their own internal politics as a function of their status as clients in the greater Western effort to counter terror? Their approach to governance is often characterized as weak and corrupt and, therefore, an existential obstacle to the effort at hand. But what if that venality is not a bug but, rather, a feature of state-building in the shadow of counterterrorism, given the profound limits interveners place on the very regimes they claim to embolden? Can the kind of competition management a fledgling government must pursue under these terms succeed in advancing the consolidation of the state just the same?

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Anthony Hyman Memorial Lecture 2021 - The Palace Politics of 'Precarious' Sovereignty: Afghan State-building in the Era of Counterterrorism

Dipali Mukhopadhyay

Speaker Biography

Dipali Mukhopadhyay is Associate Professor in the global policy area at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. She is currently serving as senior expert on the Afghanistan peace process for the U.S. Institute of Peace. Prior to joining the Humphrey School, Mukhopadhyay was a member of the junior faculty at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. She is the author of Warlords, Strongman Governors and State Building in Afghanistan (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and Good Rebel Governance: Revolutionary Politics and Western Intervention in Syria (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) with Kimberly Howe. Mukhopadhyay’s research has been funded by the Carnegie Corporation, the Eisenhower Institute, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, Harvard Law School, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of Education. She is vice president of the American Institute of Afghan Studies.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Contemporary Central Asia and the Caucasus

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