Prof. Diego Abenante holds a BA in Political Science (Trieste, 1993), a MA in Modern History (London, 1994) and a Ph.D. in History of the extra-European countries (Pisa, 1998). He is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Trieste, where he teaches South Asian and Islamic history. His research interests are the history of Islam in South Asia, with particular reference to the impact of “modernity”; he is also interested in contemporary politics in Pakistan and Afghanistan with special focus on Islamic parties. He has been an invited Researcher at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (Paris), has given seminars at INALCO (Paris), Jawaharlal Nehru University (Delhi), Bahauddin Zakariya University (Multan), Islamabad University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and a member of the European Association of South Asian Studies.
Southern Asia: Afghanistan/Pakistan
The course focuses on the strategies of the colonial State in the regions of nowadays Pakistan and Afghanistan between the first world war and 1947. The discussion emphasizes the historical continuities between the colonial period and the post-independence era, and the dynamic relation between State power and the local structures of power and religious authority. Also, the different strategies followed by the neighbouring States towards Pashtun irredentism and the role of religious leaders are considered. The implications of these policies is discussed with particular emphasis on the political use of Islam by State actors. It also focuses on the situation in the region after the US military intervention in 2001. Among the aspects that are addressed are the growth of the Taliban insurgency and their regional connections; the role of Pakistan in the successive (failed) attempts of peace dialogue; the fragmentation of the Islamist scene after the emergence of Daesh; the growing influence of the Middle East on South Asia; the role of the US in the wake Donald Trump’s new strategy for South Asia.