Books

Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War Afghanistan

Book Cover

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 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, then 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 appeared in January 2016 with the Global and International History Series of Cambridge University Press.

Praise for Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War Afghanistan

“Beautifully written and the product of unique and prodigious research, Humanitarian Invasion enhances our understanding of the Soviet Union in the world, while poignantly chronicling the long-term collapse of the Afghan state. With this book, Timothy Nunan has made a critical contribution to our understanding of modern international history.”
Robert B. Rakove, Stanford University, author of Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World

“This is a truly fascinating, impressively researched work. Its highly original perspective illuminates not only the modern history of Afghanistan, but also the wider history of geopolitically-driven development missions in what we used to call the “Third World”.”
Anatol Lieven, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, author of Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power and Pakistan: A Hard Country

Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War is a groundbreaking study of a little understood experience of modernity in what used to be called the third world.”
Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger: A History of the Present and From The Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia

Reviews, Events, and Media Related to Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War Afghanistan:

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.

Praise for Writings on War:

“The translation of Carl Schmitt’s Writings on War is a remarkable achievement. Timothy Nunan has introduced, translated and annotated the text with considerable skill and aplomb. Nunan’s excellent introduction makes clear the painfully compelling relevance of these essays on sovereignty, enmity and empire for contemporary audiences–relevance that is not likely to diminish over the course of time.”
John McCormick, University of Chicago

“Carl Schmitt’s direct assault on liberal views of international law and politics generated massive controversy when they first appeared in German. Now available in an accessible translation, Anglophone readers finally get a chance to understand what the fuss was all about. Zeroing in on the Achilles’ heel of liberal international law, Schmitt ultimately threw the baby out with the bath water by transforming his occasionally astute observations into a full-fledged attack. Despite his flawed normative and political aspirations, Schmitt’s views provide a provocative challenge those of us committed to strengthening international law and global governance simply have to take up.”
William E. Scheuerman, Indiana University

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