Home » A State Built on Sand: How Opium Undermined Afghanistan by David Mansfield
A State Built on Sand: How Opium Undermined Afghanistan David Mansfield

A State Built on Sand: How Opium Undermined Afghanistan

David Mansfield

Published
ISBN :
Hardcover
352 pages
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 About the Book 

Variations in opium poppy production in Afghanistan had long been associated with how the state was perceived at the time of the 2001 inva- sion. The Taliban, for instance, had imposed a cultivation ban in 2000-1. But the international community’sMoreVariations in opium poppy production in Afghanistan had long been associated with how the state was perceived at the time of the 2001 inva- sion. The Taliban, for instance, had imposed a cultivation ban in 2000-1. But the international community’s subsequent attempts to regulate opium poppy became intimately linked with its own state-building project, and rising levels of cultivation were cited as evidence of failure by those international donors who spearheaded development provinces like Helmand and Kandahar.Mansfield’s book examines why drug control has been imposed in Afghanistan- he documents the actors involved- and he scrutinises how prohibition served divergent and competing interests. Drawing on almost two decades of fieldwork in rural areas, he explains how these bans affected farming communities, and how prohibition endured in some areas while in others opium production bans undermined livelihoods and destabilised the political order, fuelling violence and rural rebellion.Above all this book challenges how we have come to understand political power in rural Afghanistan. Mansfield highlights the role that rural communities have played in shaping the political terrain, including establishing the conditions under which they could persist with opium production.