Pastoral Mobility in Northern Afghanistan

  • Stefan Schütte (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


This article suggests a framework for analysing pastoral mobility in Afghanistan that takes into account the manifold changes and violent upheavals that have affected the country and its people over the past 40 years. It is argued that reconciling the empirical thoroughness and developmental perspective of research on pastoral mobility with the conceptual and analytical power of work on new mobilities offers a promising way forward. An attempt is made to analyse pastoral mobility in Afghanistan by focusing on the territorial scope of movement, the meanings attached to those movements, and the social, economic and political connotations of pastoral mobility. The analytical framework consists of three broad elements that are historically grounded and suitable for addressing change. In conceptual terms, it sees mobility as territoriality, mobility as social and economic relations and mobility as identity. The argument is based on empirical fieldwork with Pashtun pastoral groups from the Kunduz oasis in northern Afghanistan.