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Reports Publications Coburn, Noah (2011), Bazaar Politics: Power and Pottery in an Afghan Market Town (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press). 254 pp. ISBN 978-0-80477672-1. Noah Coburn's ethnography, billed on its back cover as `the first long-term onthe-ground study since the arrival of allied forces in 2001', is a much-needed study of local politics in a small town in Afghanistan in the post-Taliban period. It is a well-researched and clearly written work that will be of interest to a wide group of readers. Being largely jargon-free and making its original theoretical points in straightforward language, it may also be useful for readers outside the discipline, including civilian and military personnel involved in the international intervention in Afghanistan. Coburn addresses the question of why, despite complete devastation under Taliban rule, ongoing political tension, weak state control, disputes over resources and `a tendency toward factionalism and feuding' (5), local politics in the town at the time of his fieldwork remained free of violence. He conducted his fieldwork in Istalif, a majority Tajik town on the Shomali Plain, between 2006 and 2008. Coburn considers in turn the incentives for cooperation and competition resulting from a diffusion of power across a number of groups http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Anthropology of the Middle East Berghahn Books

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Publisher
Berghahn Books
Copyright
© Berghahn Books
ISSN
1746-0719
eISSN
1746-0727
DOI
10.3167/ame.2012.070107
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Publications Coburn, Noah (2011), Bazaar Politics: Power and Pottery in an Afghan Market Town (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press). 254 pp. ISBN 978-0-80477672-1. Noah Coburn's ethnography, billed on its back cover as `the first long-term onthe-ground study since the arrival of allied forces in 2001', is a much-needed study of local politics in a small town in Afghanistan in the post-Taliban period. It is a well-researched and clearly written work that will be of interest to a wide group of readers. Being largely jargon-free and making its original theoretical points in straightforward language, it may also be useful for readers outside the discipline, including civilian and military personnel involved in the international intervention in Afghanistan. Coburn addresses the question of why, despite complete devastation under Taliban rule, ongoing political tension, weak state control, disputes over resources and `a tendency toward factionalism and feuding' (5), local politics in the town at the time of his fieldwork remained free of violence. He conducted his fieldwork in Istalif, a majority Tajik town on the Shomali Plain, between 2006 and 2008. Coburn considers in turn the incentives for cooperation and competition resulting from a diffusion of power across a number of groups

Journal

Anthropology of the Middle EastBerghahn Books

Published: Jan 1, 2012

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