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Political Systems of Tribes

The need for a tribe as a politics system and its reluctance to subdue to the state of hawaii efforts to remove it


The tribe can be an important political system that existed on the globe mainly in the area of the Middle East. The Rwala and the Pathans are two types of existing tribes that play a major role in the region where they are located, proved by the fact that their tribal system coexist within the claims boundary. Both tribes not only do they leave in one country nonetheless they maintain their existence within different countries. Because of the geographical location where the two tribes live, the border area, each country remaining them alone using their politics system without interference from the central federal. The Rwala have good relationships within the countries they resided in its borders with the exception of Iraq, as the Pathans were clear of express control until recently, when the united states invaded Afghanistan and pressured Pakistan to manage the tribal regions of Pakistan as they harbor Taliban. Why does the tribal politics system remain in the age of the Westphalian state system? And just why will be the tribes' resilient into the state activities to take control of their area? These are the questions that this research paper will investigate. The research paper is split into three parts. The first one is specialized in giving qualifications information about both tribes of Pathans and Rwala. The second part explores the reason why behind the strength of the tribes and the last part probes the reason why behind the reluctance of tribes for the policies of the state to detribalize them.

Background Information regarding the Rawala and the Pathans

In order to comprehend the reasons behind the coexistence of the tribe as a political system with the current politics system of the state, a basic description for the tribe in needed. The tribe is: "a notional form of human social organization based on a set of smaller groups. . . having temporary or permanent political integration, and identified by practices of common descent, language, culture, and ideology. "[1] The participants of your tribe show many quality with the other person that make them similar and the main the first is common descent which denotes having relation to the family of the prophet, his companions or his tribe Quraish. To get a tribe to legitimize its rule and endure it must trace its geology to the prophet. Any connection to the prophet or his area serves as the essential device to justify the rule of the tribe. This is both true and fictive, for occasion many Berber tribes in Northern Africa changed their labels from Berber to Arabic to indicate their relations to the prophet. While in the Ottomans were utilizing such titles as Ali and Hussein to justify their rule of Islamic empire to the scope that in any mosque in Turkey the name Hussein and Ali are etched which make people to slip-up the mosque for a Shiite one, which is not. Without lineage to the prophet, the tribe will eventually lose earth and cannot authentic its electric power within its inhabitants, therefore honor lies in lineage.

The tribe is out there because its members insure its living by carrying out a particular code that functions as the bottom of order and regulation. This code might differ from one tribe to another however the basic idea would be that the code insures that every person in the tribe is abiding by the traditions of the tribe; this is done through the participation of individuals in decision-makings that are done through consensus. For example, the tribal code within the Rwala is completely different from the Islamic laws to the scope that when a case involves a man and a women the tribal judge tend to favor women, while one of the Pathans the tribal code "Pukhtunwali" tend to be influenced by Islamic regulation to the amount that both the tribal legislations and Islamic rules are two face of 1 coin.

The Rwala are a tribe that is split into five sections: the Murath, the Doghman, the Ga`adza`a, the Frejje and the Kwatzbe[2] that live in the border zone of four countries: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq. While the Pathans are a tribe that are in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, specifically in the boundary zone between your two countries, both the Pathans that stay in Afghanistan and those that stay in Pakistan do not recognizes the physical border and respect themselves as you united tribe. For example, whenever their fellow tribes are in big trouble they immediately help them as it is shown in the movie, "the Pathans" Disappearing World, the Pakistani Pathans gathered to help their fellow Pathans in Afghanistan through the Soviet invasion, and one of the Pathans justified this become helping their sibling with time of need. This sense of brotherhood is not only present among Pathans but also one of the Rwala, this help is a responsibility that every person in tribe is required to accomplish for his family members, this responsibility is not obligatory. For example, a person may won't help his uncle and become scot-free; however his reputation is going to be tarnished.

The Political Need for the Tribe

The political importance of the tribe lies in the way of life of tribal people which prices consensus, solidarity, reputation and revenge. There is no person with extreme authority in the tribe nor is vitality hereditary. Each tribe has a chief but this main cannot oblige his tribe to do certain actions without going right through consensus, as every person in the tribe has a right to express an judgment over matter that concerns the tribe. This need for consensus among tribal people helps it be hard for any state to control the tribe or effect it, because when the tribes perceive its chief as being a federal agent or acknowledging bribes from federal his reputation will be unsavory and will the population will elect a new chief; and even though tribes are being outstripped of the minds, they still stay intact. Reputation is in an important aspect of tribal people because chiefs cannot coerce or compel his inhabitants; however the only political drive available to him is to effect decision making. And in order for a key to effect his human population he needs four factors: "good information, the ability to give advice, a reputation for acoustics counsel and an audience to impact, "[3] the resources of reputation for the Rwala result from Lineage, honor, raiding, generosity, bravery, hospitality. Besides, the fact of having a consensus where every individual's view is valued which makes it hard to attain a unified view about any subject, to the level that the tribe is being under the tyranny of the minority. The consensus includes major issues such as supporting those who find themselves at war or a very small matter like a home scuffle between a dad and his son. Inside the movie, the Jirga, the body in charge of making consensus one of the Pathans, accumulate to make his view about the father that complained about his boy not paying him enough. The result of the consensus was interesting because even although son didn't like the decision, in the long run he subdue to the decision of the Jirga by kissing the white bribe of his dad. The Islamic influence helps to demonstrate the decision created by the Jurga as parents are giving special status in Islamic legislations.

The absence of a central electric power in the tribal structure makes it hard to control the tribe because "no specific has political vitality, no group has political power no family has political power; power is fixed to the workings of general population opinion. Even general population opinion does not have any formal coercive ability; co-operation can be withdrawn that is certainly all. "[4] The tribal people does have loyalties with their tribe however, not to the state of hawaii, because their state is a resented system by the both Pathans and Rwala for just one reason: it interferes in their lifestyle and tribal people do not like to be interfered with. Even when the tribal human population exerts loyalty to a particular state it does so with the thought of paying tribute to the ruling family rather than to the state itself. For example, the Rwala members who are in the land of Saudi Arabia pledge their loyalty beyond your tribe to the category of Al Saud rather than the talk about of Saudi Arabia. [5]

Solidarity is another aspect that explains the effectiveness of the tribe. Each member of the tribe is accountable for his family and the tribe is accountable for its associates. This solidarity does not only involve vital issues but also mundane and quotidian ones like re-sewing a tents, as it is mentioned by William Lancaster: "resewing a tent is a good exemplory case of how co-operation is achieved. . . it might be a formidable job for just one or two different people, but it is always a co-operative effort. "[6] This existence of solidarity does not mean that tribal people don't have problems or that they do not create troubles between themselves, problems and disagreements exist within tribes. However, the ways problems are fixed differ in a manner that they are resolved but not to the amount of requiring disturbance outside the tribe. Because the tribe needs always showing strength and that its members are not divided, as it is directed by William Lancaster "The have difficulties between your two brothers for the smuggling franchise was fixed, on the top at least, by the need to present a united face towards intervention. "[7]

Revenge is an important characteristic of the tribe; this vindictiveness is allowed whenever a person from the tribe is killed. Therefore his family members have the duty to have his revenge not necessarily by killing at fault but by eradicating any member of the family or the tribe of the culprit. No one can stop revenge or avoid the killing from taking place, unless the category of the bereaved accepted a financial retribution for the death of her family member. [8] The revenge process requires a pattern that is hard to avoid without blood to the magnitude that the reason behind the feud might be ignored. Since it is described by William Lancaster: "the Mu`abhil have been involved with an individual feud for fifteen two decades. It began with a row over the camel or a sheep, no-one can keep in mind. . . A Mu`abhil wiped out a Sabih. Funds was set up and the Mu`abhil paid about forty-five camels in settlement. "[9] However, the situation did not completely end because the lifeless man still left a son who was simply 4-year old at the time of the compensation deal and when he was raised he demanded for his share that the Mu`abhil refused to pay due to the increasing prices of camel. Revenge is most beneficial understood that nothing of the tribes' member's blood vessels is cheap and this killing its inhabitants will involve an extended fight before being it resolved. The tribes are unwilling to check out the bureaucracy of the state of hawaii by heading to civil courts to get their right as it will require time and most likely the ruling will never be something they expected. Therefore, they would rather take revenge instead. This is another reason making their state unattractive to the tribal society.

The Reasons for the Failure of the State in Subduing Tribes

One of the reasons behind the reluctance of tribes to be urbanized and are categorized as the guideline of the state lies in its distrust of disturbance. As the Rwala and Pathan both welcome new ideas they, however, dislike any change exerted by force. According to William Lancaster "changed imposed from outside is another matter and they will withstand it bitterly, not because its imposition will not allow them to react and partake in accordance with other factors. "[10] The same thing goes for the Pathans, the United States of America is influencing Pakistan to obtain the areas where Pathans live. However, the Pathans are not prepared to subdue because they don't like any change to be imposed on them from the exterior. [11]

The two tribes of Rwala and Pathans both reside in very hypersensitive areas to the degree that countries do not make an effort to impose state rule their areas and allow them have their tribal legislation, not because both Jordan and Pakistan (prior to the US-Afghan warfare) are not able to ruin them but because simply suppressing them is not worth it; it could just bring more troubles than benefits. Furthermore, both tribes have relationships with the says they live in. For instance, the Rwala maintain good relationships with Saudi Arabia through relationship relations to the family of Al Saud while in Syria they can be associates in the parliament, therefore offering the interest with their tribe. About the Pathans, the existing present of Afghanistan Hamid Karazai is Pathan from the Durrani section.

The monetary autonomy of the tribal people is also one of the reason why that give circumstances a hard time when dealing with tribes. Especially as the means used by tribes aren't illegal. For example, the livelihood of several Rwala Population is situated on smuggling which is effective for the tribe as it is situated in a boundary area. Although this smuggling is much resented by areas such as Jordan, it is tolerated for two reasons. First, the state gives certain autonomy so long as they patrol the boundary. Second, even smuggling can be beneficial to countries such Iraq through the Gulf War where the embargo averted its people from getting its basic needs such as wheels, while Saudi Arabia gets fruits from Styria in substitution for cars.

As it is discussed above revenge can be an essential requirement that defines a tribe, it is one of the most misunderstood conditions about the tribes, because revenge does not necessitate the eliminating the person who determined the murder. But getting rid of anybody from his family, tribe or country is sufficient to quench the necessity for revenge. When People in america bomb areas in Waziristan and Swat Valley and eliminate many people, the Pathans feel the need for taking revenge for the killings of the members of the family by getting rid of any American soldier that they run into, which revenge circuit is hard to avoid as long as any person deceased requires a revenge, save in the event the family accepts a financial retribution.

Other options of detribalizing the tribes is on either urbanizing them or make them kill one another but the questions rise of whether it is worthwhile and who'll patrol the boundary in case of the border area between Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The British isles tried to expose education in the Pathan tribal areas but they failed therefore do the Pakistani federal which succeeded in only including Pakistani countrywide anthems in academic institutions. However, the Pathans were keen on not enabling the central government make them reliant on their education and health system. The Pathans revere the Islamic law which is the cornerstone of Pukhtunwali and want to keep their autonomy health by basing it on the prophet`s medicine procedures through natural herb and Koran.


The tribe is a politics system that has survived within the epoch of the nation -talk about. The sociable equality and the political importance that the tribe gives to its person make the tribe a powerful entity that proved to be hard for states to erase. Tribal people are proud of their tribe because of the lineage to the prophet and cherish the qualities of solidarity, reputation, hospitality, and honor in addition to revenge. The failure of understanding the tribal traits makes it hard to suppress them let alone communicate with them. For example, the key reason why the Taliban refused to turn in Osama Bin Laden to the US is rooted in the actual fact that he was a guest, therefore turning him in is a transgression of 1 of the components of their Pukhtunwali: hospitality. And heading further to suppressing them through armed forces actions will just exacerbate issues as the North american do not understand how revenge is handled, which would make anybody with an American armed forces even a revenge concentrate on.


Lancaster, William. The Rwala Bedouin Today(Second Model). Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, 1981.

Summer, Andrew, Director. "The Pathans" Disappearing World. Akbar, Ahmed anthropologist, Finding Channel, 1988.

"tribe. " Encyclopdia Britannica. Encyclopdia Britannica Online. Encyclopdia Britannica, 2010. Web. 7 Apr. 2010 <http://search. eb. com/eb/article-9073335>.

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