How Tribal Are the Taliban?
Thomas Ruttig, in ’Under the Drones: Modern Lives in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands’, Shahzad Bashir and Robert D. Crews, eds, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.) and London, 2012.
The book contains chapters about a broad spectrum of issues, both political and ethnographic, that go back to a seminar held at Stanford University in late 2009: James Caron’s ‘Taliban, Real and Imagined’ which deals with the role of the taleb as a social symbolic figure in Afghan folklore; Lutz Rzehak explains how Baluch groups in Afghanistan can be Baluch without speaking the language and knowing to which Baluch tribe they belong; Sana Haroun scrutinises ‘Religious Revivalism across the Durand Line’; Jamal J. Elias looks at ‘The Politics of Pashtun and Punjabi Truck Decoration’; Tahir Andrabi, Jishnu Das and Asim Ijaz Khwaja at the statistics about Pakistani madrassas. Other authors include Farzana Shaikh, Fariba Nawa, Amin Tarzi and Gilles Dorronsoro. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig contributed an article called ‘How Tribal Are the Taleban’ that was further developed into an AAN paper under the same title.