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"Good for one but not the other"; The "Sandeman System" of Pacification as Applied to Baluchistan and the North-West Frontier, 1877-1947

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767 - 802
Number of pages36
Issue number3
PublishedJul 2009

King's Authors


This article examines the long-running debate over the application of the "Sandeman System" of pacification to the North-West Frontier of British India in 1877-1947. Colonel Sir Robert Sandeman's innovative doctrine of tribal administration had enabled the peaceful spread of British influence across Baluchistan during the late nineteenth century, yet the Government of India subsequently declared his methods inapplicable to the neighboring and perennially turbulent North-West Frontier. This essay seeks to provide a fuller understanding of the reasoning behind the policymakers' opposition to Sandeman's techniques and thus provide clarification of a debate that bedeviled British Frontier policy for over six decades.

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