Anthropology | Afghanistan, the Taliban and Global Terror
E400 | 2506 | Shahrani


The unprecedented terrorist attacks on  September 11th, 2001 aimed at
targets within the United States prompted the coalition War on Terrorism
against the Taliban controlled Afghanistan regarded as the virtual
headquarters of global terrorism led by Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda
terrorist network who are implicated in carrying out the attacks.
Why these attacks on New York city, Pentagon and Pennsylvania?  Who did it
and Why?  Why and how did Afghanistan become a Global Terrorism Inc.?   Is
the rise of Taliban movement in Afghanistan, as a contemporary phenomena
unique?   How is the problem terrorism conceptualized and explained by the
government officials and media experts in the U.S.?  What are the root
causes of the problem of terrorism?  What role, if any, does
religion/civilization, especially Islamic fundamentalism play in the
current tensions?  Will the War on Terrorism work?  Why or why not?  What
are some alternative solutions to the problem of terrorism which are not
being considered and why?  This course will critically examine these and
related questions by focusing on the history, society, economy and
political culture of Afghanistan as a multi-ethnic modern nation-state
which has been ravaged by a century of internal colonialism, and most
recently by foreign invasions, proxy wars and global terrorism.

Required Texts:

Maley, William ed. Fundamentalism Reborn?: Afghanistan and the Taliban.
London: Hurst & Company

Rashid, Ahmed Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central
Asia.  New haven and London: Yale University Press.

Course Requirements:

There will be two examinations.  All exams will be of the essay type,
consisting of short-answer questions and longer essays. Each examination
will be worth 50 points and course grade will be based on 100 cumulative
points. Graduate students are also required to write a 10-15 pages
(double-spaced type written) long term paper due on the last day of class.