"Giustozzi assesses the dynamics of warlordism...a chilling prognosis for those who believe that the solution to stabilising Afghanistan will come only from the top down--by building strong central government institutions. Although creating a strong centralised state, assuming it ever happens, may help ensure long-term stability, it is not sufficient in Afghanistan. The current top-down state-building and counterinsurgency efforts must take place alongside bottom-up programs, such as reaching out to legitimate local leaders to enlist them in providing security and services at the village and district levels. Otherwise, the Afghan government will lose the war"--Foreign Affairs
"A masterful account of the dilemmas of state-building in Afghanistan and his concluding words should be heeded when he warns that he doubts that strong national leadership will emerge in a context of external intervention in Afghanistan."--International Affairs
"The first book to provide a political sociology of warlordism in Afghanistan; its purpose is to understand in detail how warlord polities work, expand and disintegrate. Empires of Mud will become required reading, both for academics and policy-makers studying the phenomenon of warlordism, and for those with a specialist interest in Afghanistan."--Jonathan Goodhand, School of Oriental and African Studies
Antonio Giustozzi's books and articles on Afghanistan are uniformly penetrating, and this work is no exception. The issue of warlordism in conflict is one of the most challenging that can be confronted in both conceptual and practical terms, and Giustozzi has contributed significantly on both fronts. Empires of Mud is an enlightening study, which in its detailed appraisal of two major Afghan cases adds valuably to the literature on developments in that country since the communist coup of April 1978-an event that sent Afghanistan into a tailspin from which it has yet to recover.(William Maley, author of Rescuing Afghanistan ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.