Chapter I, The Rise and Scope of Islamic Political Influence, provides a concise history of religio-political activity in the Frontier, and outlines several important and recurring patterns of Islamic politics which are essential to understanding the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) today.

Chapter II, The MMA’s Islamist Governance, details the 2002-2007 tenure of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) Islamist alliance in the NWFP, which represented the first sustained attempt at Islamist governance at the provincial level in Pakistan’s history. The chapter also draws lessons from the MMA’s interactions with the international community, other Islamist groups, federal authorities, and Deobandi madrassah networks.

Chapter III, New Islamists and the Return of Pashtun Nationalism, analyzes recent developments in the Frontier including the rise of so-called neo-Taliban groups, the decline of the MMA as an electoral force, and the return of the Pashtun nationalist Awami National Party in the February 2008 general elections.

Chapter IV, U.S. Policy Toward the Frontier, gives a succinct review of American policies toward Pakistan’s frontier areas, with a particular focus on post-9/11 political engagement.

Chapter V, Policy Recommendations, provides recommendations geared for U.S. policymakers, but also relevant to Pakistani officials, in the areas of political engagement, public diplomacy, security and counterinsurgency, governance reform, and development.

An Epilogue, Frontier 2010, presents a near-term “imagined scenario” describing how the United States, partnering with the government of Pakistan, might adopt counterinsurgency-oriented efforts in the settled areas of the Frontier, and incentivize the creation of Model Reform Zones (MRZs) in the FATA which would more effectively integrate local governance, security, and development programming.

Go here to download the complete monograph in PDF format. Printed copies of the monograph are available for $10. To order please call the Institute for Global Engagement at 703-527-3100 (ask for Meagan Carner). Visa, MasterCard, and Discover accepted.

Praise for Pakistan’s Islamist Frontier

“This study is an exceptional resource, and easily the single most in-depth and rigorous treatment of Islamic politics in Pakistan’s tribal Frontier today. We can only hope that U.S. and Pakistani policymakers will learn from Joshua’s research and experience in the region.”
Daniel Markey, Council on Foreign Relations

“Joshua White has done an extraordinary task in revisiting commonly held assumptions about one of the most complex areas of Pakistan. This is the first contemporary work on the Frontier that collects and mobilizes new data. Through detailed fieldwork and analysis, Joshua demystifies in some measure the nexus of religion, politics and militancy….”
C. Christine Fair, RAND Corporation

“Joshua has intimate, detailed knowledge of Islamic politics, Pashtun nationalism, and the roots of radicalism in Pakistan’s Frontier regions. This lucidly written monograph offers an invaluable guide to strategies for improving local governance and countering insurgency. His suggested policy initiatives should greatly interest a new American administration and Congress.”
Marvin Weinbaum, Middle East Institute

About CFIA:

The Center on Faith & International Affairs (CFIA) is the research arm of the Institute for Global Engagement. CFIA works to equip members of the international affairs community with a balanced understanding of the role of religion in public life worldwide. It publishes The Review of Faith & International Affairs. Learn more about other CFIA publications and events related to religion and security.