The book contributes to the critical debate of exogenous state- and democracy-building experiments pursued in the aftermath of Western-led intervention in war-torn societies. The mistakes committed by the principal intervener, the United States, at the zero hour of state-building in Afghanistan could not be rectified in the following years of intervention. The ‘multilateral state and democracy building project’ remained a ‘unilateral decision-making project’ in practice, making it less cost-effective. Furthermore, a systematic inquiry into the processes establishes the rationale that political change is not the guarantor of social change in conflict-ridden societies like Afghanistan. Failure of the Afghanistan state- and democracy-building experiment clearly shows that the US cannot fix the world according to its own ideas.
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Honour UnmaskedGender Violence, Law, and Power in PakistanNafisa Shah
Based on Shah’s unique insights over many years of experience as a journalist, researcher, and administrator, this fascinating study shows how the state justice system and informal processes of redress are mutually implicated in providing a space for honour-related violence, in the Sindh province, known as karo-kari. The author persuasively argues, however, that the label, karo-kari, masks diverse underlining factors such as contest over leadership, resources, marital strategies, and uses the language of honour as a means of legitimating and appropriating power.
The book is an insightful, scholarly, lucid, and coherently argued treatise on the topic of honour killings. It contains fascinating and richly-detailed ethnography and engages on issues of concern across the anthropology of gender, politics, and law. This landmark study offers a new perspective for understanding and dealing with honour-related violence demonstrating that honour does not lead to violence but that such violence is strategy ‘masked in honour’.