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Afghan Crucible: The Soviet Invasion and the Making of Modern Afghanistan

While the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan has usually been treated as a key Cold War case study, this perspective alone is insufficient. Instead, Elisabeth Leake argues, the real significance of the war in Afghanistan can only be understood by examining local, national, regional, and international imperatives and the interlinked histories of anti-colonial modernity, postcolonial statehood, the shifting norms of international relations, as well as the Cold War.

Date & Time

Monday
Oct. 24, 2022
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

Zoom Webinar

Overview

While the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan has usually been treated as a key Cold War case study, this perspective alone is insufficient. Instead, Elisabeth Leake argues, the real significance of the war in Afghanistan can only be understood by examining local, national, regional, and international imperatives and the interlinked histories of anti-colonial modernity, postcolonial statehood, the shifting norms of international relations, as well as the Cold War.

Elisabeth Leake is the Lee E. Dirks Chair in Diplomatic History at The Fletcher School, Tufts University. She studied at Yale and the University of Cambridge, and previously held posts at the University of Leeds and Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the author of The Defiant Border: The Afghan-Pakistan Borderlands in the Era of Decolonization (Cambridge University Press) and Afghan Crucible: The Soviet Invasion and the Making of Modern Afghanistan (Oxford University Press).

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partner (the George Washington University History Department) for their continued support.

Panelists

Amna Qayyum

Amna Qayyum

Postdoctoral Fellow in International Security Studies, Yale University
Jayita Sarkar

Jayita Sarkar

Associate Professor of Economic & Social History, University of Glasgow

Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the surrounding region though research and exchange.  Read more