Benjamin D. Hopkins Discusses Afghan Independence on the BBC World Service

Dakka plain Afghanistan, 1919
Dakka plain Afghanistan, 1919 (courtesy of NYPL).
July 01, 2019

To mark the centennial anniversary of Afghan independence from Britain, the BBC World Service dedicated a recent podcast episode to the creation of an independent Afghanistan in 1919. The episode, “How Afghanistan won its freedom from Britain,” unites three expert professors on Afghan history: Shah Mahmoud Hanifi, Sana Haroon, and the Elliott School's Benjamin D. Hopkins. Together, these professors offer a sweeping yet nuanced discussion of Afghan history with a special focus on 1919 and its repercussions. Critical topics include: the Third Anglo-Afghan War, Afghan declaration of independence, and decade-long rule of Amanullah Khan. Diving deeper, the discussion also examines Afghanistan’s financial and political relationship with Britain, the formation of Afghan national identity, and evolution of Afghanistan's leadership. This conversation is highly valuable for anyone interested in learning more about Afghanistan or geopolitical history in Central Asia. For more of Professor Hopkins’ work in this area, pick up his book The Making of Modern Afghanistan or check out his 2015 article in the The National Interest, “America’s Shocking Ignorance of Afghanistan.”