The Asia Foundation funded a study on understanding patterns of political settlements in post and pre conflict regions in Pakistan. The regions chosen for this purpose were Swat (post-conflict) and Rahimyar Khan (pre-conflict). The follow-up study focuses on salient underlying structural causes that have either led to or are likely to lead to conflict in the Swat region. The study is qualitative in nature. The research is based on Key Informant Interviews in Swat across different socio-economic backgrounds, and an extensive literature review. It traces the historical antecedents of the present conflict, underlying socio-economic and institutional features of the Swati society and the role of the state that led to conflict in the region. The paper also identifies directions for future research to arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of structural causes of violence in Swat. This will not only help in a more holistic understanding of causes of violence but can potentially also inform conflict resolution mechanisms in the future.