Books

Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War Afghanistan

Humanitarian Invasion is the first book of its kind: a ground-level inside account of what development and humanitarianism meant for a country touched by international aid like no other: Afghanistan. Relying on Soviet, Western, and NGO archives, interviews with Soviet advisers and NGO workers, and Afghan sources, Humanitarian Invasion forges a vivid account of the impact of development on a country at the heart of the Cold War.

The West German-managed Paktia Project in eastern Afghanistan, circa late 1960s. Photograph courtesy of Christoph Häselbarth.

The West German-managed Paktia Project in eastern Afghanistan, circa late 1960s. Photograph courtesy of Christoph Häselbarth.

The book argues that Afghanistan functioned as a laboratory for the future of the Third World nation-state. If, in the 1960s, Soviets, Americans, and Germans sought to make a territorial national economy for Afghanistan, later, under military occupation, Soviet nation-builders, French and Swedish humanitarians, and Pakistani-supported guerrillas fought a transnational civil war over Afghan statehood. Covering the entire period from the Cold War to Taliban rule, Humanitarian Invasion seeks to make a major contribution to the writing of international and Cold War history. It is scheduled to appear in December 2015 with the Global and International History Series of Cambridge University Press.

Carl Schmitt, Writings on War (editor & translator)

Carl Schmitt, Writings on War

Carl Schmitt, “Writings on War”

Writings on War collects three of Carl Schmitt’s most important and controversial texts, here appearing in English for the first time: The Turn to the Discriminating Concept of WarThe Großraum Order of International Law, and The International Crime of the War of Aggression and the Principle “Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege.”

Written between 1937 and 1945, these works articulate Schmitt’s concerns throughout this period of war and crisis, addressing the major failings of the League of Nations, and presenting Schmitt’s own conceptual history of these years of disaster for international jurisprudence. For Schmitt, the jurisprudence of Versailles and Nuremberg both fail to provide for a stable international system, insofar as they attempt to impose universal standards of ‘humanity’ on a heterogeneous world, and treat efforts to revise the status quo as ‘criminal’ acts of war. In place of these flawed systems, Schmitt argues for a new planetary order in which neither collective security organizations nor 19th century empires, but Schmittian ‘Reichs’ will be the leading subject of international law.

Writings on War will be essential reading for those seeking to understand the work of Carl Schmitt, the history of international law and the international system, and interwar European history. Not only do these writings offer an erudite point of entry into the dynamic and charged world of interwar European jurisprudence; they also speak with prescience to a twenty-first century world struggling with similar issues of global governance and international law.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s