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Challenging CosmopolitanismCoercion, Mobility and Displacement in Islamic Asia$
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Joshua Gedacht and R. Michael Feener

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474435093

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474435093.001.0001

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Afghanistan’s Cosmopolitan Trading Networks: A View from Yiwu, China

Afghanistan’s Cosmopolitan Trading Networks: A View from Yiwu, China

(p.225) 9 Afghanistan’s Cosmopolitan Trading Networks: A View from Yiwu, China
Challenging Cosmopolitanism

Magnus Marsden

Diana Ibañez-Tirado

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores Afghan trading networks that are active across a variety of Eurasian contexts. These predominantly, but not exclusively, Muslim traders have come to fill important niches in the forms of economic activity often identified by anthropology as representing ‘globalisation from below’. This chapter emphasises ethnographically the culturally flexible dispositions of Afghan traders, while also bringing attention to the analytical issues that are raised when they are thought of as ‘Muslim cosmopolitans’. In particular this analysis highlights how 'armoured' forms of cosmopolitanism have been frequently visited on Afghanistan during its modern history, often meaning that mobility has been experienced by the country's people in the context of violence and coercion. We explore these issues through a focused ethnographic examination of the lives and activities of Afghan traders in the Chinese international trade city of Yiwu - a critically important node for this and other trading groups, communities and networks.

Keywords:   Afghanistan, China, trade, networks, Yiwu

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