Synopses & Reviews
Beyond Swat addresses Fredrik Barth's seminal work, Political Leadership Among Swat Pathans and its reception in relation to contemporary developments in Swat and the larger Afghanistan-Pakistan region. Swat is a Pakistani district located near the Afghan-Pakistan border. This volume explores the relevance of Barth's work and the debates it has generated in scholarship on the key dynamics of the region and its people.
The contributors are anthropologists and historians with long-standing research experience in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as a deep familiarity with one or more of the region's complex languages. Each chapter explores different, though interconnected, aspects of the region's culture, society, and politics throughout history, relating these themes to issues in the Swat debate initiated by Barth more than fifty years ago. While contributors situate their discussions within the context of specific socio-historic settings, they do not limit their conclusions to those contexts. Rather, like Barth, they assert the relevance of their findings to wider debates on the dynamics of this and comparable frontier regions.