The Defiant Border; The Afghan-Pakistan Borderlands in the Era of Decolonization, 1936-65

Dr Elisabeth Leake's new book; The Defiant Border has been published by Cambridge University Press

'Elisabeth Leake explains why a small and peripheral part of the world, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of the frontier region between Pakistan and Afghanistan, should have had for much of the twentieth century an influence out of all proportion to their size on the politics both of surrounding states and of the great powers. This book is essential reading for those interested in the geopolitics of South Asia in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.'

Francis Robinson, Royal Holloway, University of London

The Defiant Border explores why the Afghan-Pakistan borderlands have remained largely independent of state controls from the colonial period into the twenty-first century. This book looks at local Pashtun tribes' modes for evading first British colonial, then Pakistani, governance; the ongoing border dispute between Pakistan and Afghanistan; and continuing interest in the region from Indian, US, British, and Soviet actors. It reveals active attempts by first British, then Pakistani, agents to integrate the tribal region, ranging from development initiatives to violent suppression. The Defiant Border also considers the area's influence on relations between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India, as well as its role in the United States' increasingly global Cold War policies. Ultimately, the book considers how a region so peripheral to major centers of power has had such an impact on political choices throughout the eras of empire, decolonization, and superpower competition, up to the so-called 'war on terror'.

Dr Elisabeth Leake completed her BA and MA in history at Yale University in 2009 before moving to the University of Cambridge for her PhD. Dr Leake subsequently held a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship at Royal Holloway, University of London, from 2013-16. She is now a Lecturer in International History at the University of Leeds.

The book launch will be held at the Royal Asiatic Society, London on the 26th January 2017 at 6.30pm.

RSVP to Amy Riach