1st Edition

Geopolitics of the Pakistan–Afghanistan Borderland

Edited By Syed Sami Raza, Michael J. Shapiro Copyright 2021
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    To understand the historical complexity of the Pakistan–Afghanistan borderland, this book brings together some of the foremost thinkers of this borderland and seeks to approach its various problematic dimensions.

    This book presents an overview of the geopolitics of the Pakistan–Afghanistan borderland and approaches the topic from different methods and perspectives. It focuses on some of the least debated dimensions of this borderland, for instance, the status of women in the tribal-border culture, the legal status of aliens in the making of the border, material and immaterial manifestations of the border, political aesthetics of the border, and the identity crisis on the border. Given the fact that its authors come from diverse backgrounds, academic and geographic, they make an enriching contribution. Employing their expertise in different theories and methods, they focus on local memories, literature, and wisdom to understand the border. This book seeks to give voice to the plight of local tribal people, their culture, and land on an advanced academic level and makes it legible for the international audience.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal Geopolitics.

    Introduction: Politics on Border – Critical Reflections on the Pakistan–Afghanistan Borderland

    Syed Sami Raza and Michael J. Shapiro

    1. Geopolitics on the Pakistan–Afghanistan Borderland: An Overview of Different Historical Phases

    Rasul Bakhsh Rais

    2. Of Pious Missions and Challenging the Elders: A Genealogy of Radical Egalitarianism in the Pashtun Borderscape

    Jan-Peter Hartung

    3. Legal Sovereignty on the Border: Aliens, Identity and Violence on the Northwestern Frontier of Pakistan

    Syed Sami Raza

    4. Security is a ‘Mental Game’: The Psychology of Bordering Checkposts in Pakistan

    Maximilian Lohnert

    5. Performing the Afghanistan–Pakistan Border Through Refugee ID Cards

    Sanaa Alimia

    6. Tribal Women, Property and Border: An Auto-Ethnographic Critique of the Riwaj (Tradition) on the Pakistan–Afghanistan Borderland

    Noreen Naseer

    7. Pashto Border Literature as Geopolitical Knowledge

    James Caron

    8. Writing Stars in the Sky or Decentring the Glocal Discourse of the ‘War(S) on Terror’ through Narratives of Those Displaced

    Andrea Fleschenberg and Tariq Saeed Yousufzai

    9. The Moving Border of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

    Alvin Cheng-Hin Lim


    Syed Sami Raza is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Peshawar, Pakistan. His research focuses on topics of geopolitics, critical IR, and critical legal theory. He is the author of The Security State in Pakistan: Legal Foundations (Routledge 2018).

    Michael J. Shapiro is Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawai‘I at Manoa, Honolulu, USA. Among his recent publications are Punctuations: How the Arts Think the Political (Duke UP, 2019) and The Cinematic Political: Film Composition as Political Theory (Routledge, 2020).