This paper explores the succession of civil wars in Hazarajat, the central highlands inhabited by the Hazara people. It argues that these were caused by a complete absence of social and political networks in the region, due to the connection between the local rulers (the khans) and the state. Tracking the causes and characteristics of the civil wars, this paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the history of Hazarajat. Concepts of identity, ideology, legitimacy and the state are central to the explanation of the emergence of a political system in a region historically confronted with state collapse and exclusionary politics. Lessons can be learned from the unification achieved under Hizb-e Wahdat.
Working Paper No. 41 (series 2), London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 30 pp.