Find us on Google+


Transition under Threat

Geoffrey Hayes and Mark Sedra, editors

Studies in International Governance Series

Paper 348 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-011-8

Release Date: October 2008

Online discount: 25%

$42.99  $32.24


eBook availability

Many have questioned the wisdom of the international intervention in Afghanistan in light of the escalation of violence and instability in the country in the past few years. Particularly uncertain are Canadians, who have been inundated with media coverage of an increasingly dirty war in southern Afghanistan, one in which Canadians are at the frontline and suffering heavy casualties. However, the conflict is only one aspect of Afghanistan’s complicated, and incomplete, political, economic, and security transition.

In Afghanistan: Transition under Threat, leading Afghanistan scholars and practitioners paint a full picture of the situation in Afghanistan and the impact of international and particularly Canadian assistance. They review the achievements of the reconstruction process and outline future challenges, focusing on key issues like the narcotics trade, the Pakistan—Afghanistan bilateral relationship, the Taliban-led insurgency, and continuing endemic poverty. This collection provides new insight into the nature and state of Afghanistan’s post-conflict transition and illustrates the consequences of failure.

Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation

Geoffrey Hayes is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Waterloo and is the associate director of the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research focuses on the First and Second World Wars and Canada’s role in current international conflicts.

Mark Sedra is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Leader of CIGI’s Global and Human Security Program. He also teaches in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. His current research focuses on the topic of post-conflict state building with an emphasis on the security issues.


“Hayes, Sedra, and their colleagues provide the most comprehensive and balanced assessment to date of the international effort in Afghanistan.”

— Barnett R. Rubin, Director of Studies and Senior Fellow, Center on International Cooperation, New York University

“Straddling the fraught international crossroad of terrorism and drugs, Afghanistan has succeeded in puncturing the hubris of liberal interventionism. It poses a new question to policy-makers: How do you defeat an insurgency in a fragile state? In this comprehensive collection, Hayes and Sedra succeed in bringing together an impressive range of opinion and expertise that adds to our understanding of contemporary Afghanistan and its international significance. This excellent book examines the political, economic, and security considerations underpinning the current search for peace, stability, and nationhood. It provides a sober, penetrating, and, in places, controversial analysis of the missed opportunities, problems, and, indeed, successes of this encounter.”

— Mark Duffield, Professor of Development Politics, Bristol University

“Though originating in the context of Canadian political debates, the volume’s center of gravity is not Canada in Afghanistan, but Afghanistan itself, objectively considered, as a genuine national policy dilemma. For that reason, it is of immediate relevance to decision-making processes presently confronting the United States and those nations whose soldiers and national coffers will provide the means for proceeding in this key theater of ’The Long War.’... Development studies, area studies, South Asian history, international relations, national security studies, post-conflict peace studies, are the principal academic audiences for this text. Many others employed in government, international organizations, NGO’s, and the relevant private sector, are also likely beneficiaries. It is important for academics outside of Canada to learn how Canadians, who GDP and armed forces are a small fraction of America’s, view the magnitude of the challenges, sacrifices, and dilemmas facing Afghanistan c. 2006. Jargon-free in general, well-edited, with a very satisfactory index, the volume is suitable as a supplemental text for advanced undergraduates and above.”

— Paul Kamolnick, East Tennessee State University, Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa


Table of Contents

Related interest

International relations

Military history

Political science

By the same editor

Canada and the Second World War: Essays in Honour of Terry Copp, Geoffrey Hayes, Mike Bechthold, and Matt Symes, editors

Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment, Geoffrey Hayes, Andrew Iarocci, and Mike Bechthold, editors

Related links

Centre for International Governance Innovation