Accepted paper:

Afghan global commodity traders

Authors:

Magnus Marsden (University of Sussex)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores contemporary commodity trading practices amongst Afghans who work in a range of contexts the former Soviet Union, and pays paying particular attention to the forms of friendship and trust that are critical to these.

Paper long abstract:

The paper explores contemporary commodity trading practices amongst Afghans who work in a range of contexts the former Soviet Union, and pays paying particular attention to the forms of friendship and trust that are critical to these. A significant body of work in the social sciences concerns trade's significance to people on the peripheries or margins of the global capitalist economy. Some studies have explored how extra-western trading groups and communities have adapted to the constraints of the global economy; others have focused on how trade is often pursued as a 'survival strategy' by people contending with the transformations in the organisation of economy and society that global capitalism has fulminated. This paper, however, will focus on the capacities, social relations, and skills that traders, who are conventionally held as being peripheral to the global economy, creatively bring to their work, and deploy in the fashioning of flows and circuits of commodities that are of global significance.

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Invisible hands: alternate modes of prosperity, wealth and well-being