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Trading WorldsAfghan Merchants Across Modern Frontiers$
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Magnus Marsden

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190247980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190247980.001.0001

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Everyday Diplomacy on Afghanistan’s Central Asian Frontiers

Everyday Diplomacy on Afghanistan’s Central Asian Frontiers

Chapter:
(p.157) 4 Everyday Diplomacy on Afghanistan’s Central Asian Frontiers
Source:
Trading Worlds
Author(s):

Magnus Marsden

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190247980.003.0005

This chapter explores the ways in which traders reflect upon the wider implications that the forms of flexibility, skill, wit, and cleverness which are so central to their working lives have for their own moral worth. It is critical to explore the moral dimensions of their thinking and everyday lives given how easy it would be to assume that if these men possess “economic agency” then they are ultimately the hard-nosed and inherently immoral profiteers that both some scholarship and local communities widely depict traders in this and other contexts as being. The chapter addresses in particular the ways in which the traders frequently refer to themselves as diplomats, and, in doing so, seeks to present an ethnographic approach to the study of diplomacy.

Keywords:   Everyday/unofficial diplomacy, Islam, Ethnicity, Morality and ethics

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