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Over the last three decades Afghanistan has been plagued by crisis from Soviet invasion in 1979 and Taliban rule to US invasion following the events of 9/11. Here the top specialists on Afghanistan, including Olivier Roy, Ahmad Rashid and Jonathan Goodhand, provide a unique overview of the evolution, causes and future of the Afghan crisis. While much has been written about the problems in Afghanistan, this book also explores the unprecedented transformation of Afghan society, paying close attention to the country’s cultural heritage. With varied perspectives from the fields of politics, history, science, economics, anthropology, musicology, art history and architecture, Centlivres-Demont sheds new light on the development and perception of Afghanistan over the past 30 years. Covering political and military events and examining the role of ethnic groups, religious and ideological factors and the role of the leaders and war chiefs of the period from the anti-Soviet resistance to the presidency of Hamid Karzai this book will prove essential reading to all interested in Afghanistan and the wider Middle East region. Examining recent events in the light of the country’s economy, Afghan civil society and state reconstruction attempts, this is a comprehensive and diverse look at a country whose recent history has been marked by internal conflicts and foreign intervention.