Trust is the Coin of the Realm shines a rare light into the labyrinth of Afghanistan’s ‘money men’ and their influential informal economy that links the Islamic world. Hawala is the ancient financial system that predates Muhammad, and provides a vital key to engaging with many of the world’s traditional cultures. Stereotyped as ‘built for terrorism’ and a dangerous pipeline for dirty money in the wake of 9/11, Thompson reveals it to be indispensable to the work and reach of humanitarians, donors, family members, and the business community. Outsiders striving to build states and peace in crisis countries will find this book invaluable for earning the trust that is essential if their efforts are to make a lasting difference.


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Edwina A. Thompson draws from a diverse career working with humanitarian organisations, governments, and the military in complex environments from Somalia, Sudan and Sri Lanka to Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, and of course Afghanistan. Her academic work is original and inter-disciplinary, pushing forward on a number of theoretical and policy debates that have implications for the very meaning of social capital in 'failed states'.


TEDx Talk

What the War on Terror Has Taught Me

January 2015


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