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Asian Fury: Gender, Orientalism and the Indo-Pakistani Nuclear ‘Threat’ in US Foreign Policy Discourse, 1998 – 2009

Citation:

Vaughan, Tom. 2013. “Asian Fury: Gender, Orientalism and the Indo-Pakistani Nuclear ‘Threat’ in US Foreign Policy Discourse, 1998 – 2009.” Working Paper No. 09-13, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Author: Tom Vaughan

Abstract:

Since India and Pakistan each carried out their second tests of nuclear weapons in 1998, US foreign policy discourse and Western media has often taken as fact the 'threat' of nuclear conflict in the region. This dissertation argues that a critical constructivist approach is required when studying Indo-Pakistani nuclear relations, given the inadequacies of structural realism and its unhelpful assumptions about the 'nature' of international politics. Since realist accounts make up the majority of recent literature on the subject, this dissertation aims to provide an alternative account, examining how US foreign policy discourse constructs the condition of threat through representations of the US, India and Pakistan. Using a discourse analysis methodology, I investigate the gendered and orientalist constructions of India and Pakistan which contribute to the mainstream perception of nuclear threat on the South Asian subcontinent. In a two-part analysis, I examine the effect that the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks have had on the US discourse around Indo-Pakistani nuclear behaviour. I find that the US discourse changes significantly over time. From the 1998 tests onwards, a direct and imminent nuclear threat to international security is constructed. After 9/11, this threat is increasingly negated. Across both periods, the US discourse constitently feminises and orientalises India and Pakistan in relation to a dominant US masculinity – practices which are instrumental in the representation of threat – although the uses and effects of these representational practices shift over time. The discursive changes observed demonstrate how 'radical breaks' in history can change knowledge about international politics, and illustrate how US foreign policy discourse reconfigures the US's global identity after 9/11.

Keywords: United States, India, Pakistan, nuclear, non-proliferation, Foucault, discourse, gender, orientalism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Nationalism, Security, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan, United States of America

Year: 2013

'The Militarization of All Hindudom’? The Bharatiya Janata Party, the Bomb, and the Political Spaces of Hindu Nationalism

Citation:

Corbridge, Stuart. 1999. “‘The Militarization of All Hindudom’? The Bharatiya Janata Party, the Bomb, and the Political Spaces of Hindu Nationalism.” Economy and Society 28 (2): 222–55.

Author: Stuart Corbridge

Abstract:

This paper examines the means by which the Bharatiya janata Party (BJP) and its allies have sought to reinvent the political spaces of India (Hindudom). It describes the gendered rituals of pilgrimage and spatial representation that allow Hindu nationalists to position Bharat Mata(Mother India) as a geographical entity under threat from Islam and in need of the protective armies of Lord Rama. It also explores the geopolitical claims of the BJP and its attempts to position Greater India as a Great Power. The explosion of three nuclear devices in the Rajasthan desert on 11 May 1998 can be linked to this geopolitical imaginary. The paper argues, however, that the nuclear tests were triggered by the weakness of the BJP in India's centrist Political landscapes. The ‘militarization of all Hindudomis’ is sternly contested.

Keywords: Hindu nationalism, Bharatiya Janata Party, political space, Yatras, militarization, secularism

Topics: Gender, Gendered Discourses, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism, Religion, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 1999

Militarism and Women in South Asia

Citation:

Chenoy, Anuradha M. 2002. Militarism and Women in South Asia. New Delhi: Kali for Women.

Author: Anuradha M. Chenoy

Annotation:

Summary:
This book traces the course of militarism in several South Asian states, with a more detailed account of women's experiences of it in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This closely argued, detailed analysis of the growing militarism in South Asia presents not just the phenomenon, but all its ramifications, examining its manifestations across the region from a feminist perspective for the first time. (Summary from Google Books)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Understanding Militarism
 
2. National Security Doctrines and Feminist Critiques
 
3. Bangladesh: Poverty and Militarism
 
4. Militarism in Pakistan
 
5. Sri Lanka: Militarization of State and Society
 
6. Militarizing India

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Year: 2002

The Search for a Scientific Temper: Nuclear Technology and the Ambivalence of India’s Postcolonial Modernity

Citation:

Chacko, Priya. 2011. “The Search for a Scientific Temper: Nuclear Technology and the Ambivalence of India’s Postcolonial Modernity.” Review of International Studies 37 (1): 185–208.

Author: Priya Chacko

Abstract:

This article examines the relationship between India's nuclear programme and its postcolonial identity. In particular, I argue that making sense of the anomalies and contradictions of India's nuclear behaviour, such as the gap of two decades between its nuclear tests, its promotion of nuclear disarmament and its failure to sign non-proliferation and test-ban treaties requires an understanding of the racially gendered construction of India's postcolonial modernity and the central roles given to science and morality within it. I suggest that India's postcolonial identity is anchored in anticolonial discourses that are deeply ambivalent toward what was viewed as a Western modernity that could provide material betterment but was also potentially destructive. What was desired was a better modernity that took into account what was believed to be Indian civilisation's greater propensity toward ethical and moral conduct. India's nuclear policies, such as its pursuit of nuclear technology and its promotion of disarmament cannot be seen in isolation from the successes and failures of this broader project of fashioning an ethical modernity.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Nationalism, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2011

Engendering Post-Colonial Nuclear Policies Through the Lens of Hindutva: Rethinking the Security Paradigm of India

Citation:

Das, Runa. 2002. “Engendering Post-Colonial Nuclear Policies Through the Lens of Hindutva: Rethinking the Security Paradigm of India.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 22 (1-2): 76-89.

Author: Runa Das

Annotation:

Summary:
"Of particular interest in this article are the roles of the contemporary Hindu right government in India and religious nationalism, expressed here as Hindutva, in shaping the contemporary nuclear security problematic of India. In investigating this link, I raise the following questions: Does the recent rise of Hindu nationalism in India conflate the multicultural and secular nation of India into a monolithic Hindu nationalist identity? Does this conflation signify a conceptual merger of Hindu nationalism with the Indian state, nation, and the secular Indian nationalism? If so, what implications may this conceptual merger have on constructing Pakistan as a security threat, Other, to the supposedly Hindu India? Does it re-enforce a state-centric version of security as opposed to a people-centric view of security? Does it re-enforce Othering along communal and gender lines in terms of India's national and regional security concerns? At a broader level, if theorizing in international relations (IR) and policy implications in international security studies seek to move towards conflict resolution, then should the role of ideology in the form of religious nationalism/ communalism that constructs insecurity "scapes/imaginaries," through a discursive process of Othering, be deconstructed? Finally, is it important to go beyond the observable geostrategic factors (that are so emphasized by conventional IR theorists) and delve into more intrinsic factors, such as the role of ideology, that may shape security discourses in IR?
 
"This article represents an analytical hybrid of the critical constructivist approach as its theoretical framework and the concept of postcolonial insecurity for an interpretation of politics to re-read the role of ideology in defining the interrelations between security, gender, and politics in IR I focus on the tensions between the realist and antinuclear groups in India as a case study to explore how the recent rise of a Hindu nationalist ideology in India, expressed as Hindutva, which primarily hinges on a Hindu-Muslim axis, may be utilized by the contemporary Indian right government to justify India's nuclearization policies" (Das 2002, 76).

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Nationalism, Religion, Security, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2002

Encountering Hindutva, Interrogating Religious Nationalism and (En)gendering a Hindu Patriarchy in India's Nuclear Policies

Citation:

Das, Runa. 2006. “Encountering Hindutva, Interrogating Religious Nationalism and (En)gendering a Hindu Patriarchy in India’s Nuclear Policies.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 8 (3): 370-93.

Author: Runa Das

Abstract:

This article explores the consequences of a gendered nationalism under India's recent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government that has relied on the discourses of Hindu women's violence and protection as elements of its discursive arsenal to pursue nuclearization as an aggressive policy of the Indian state. To this extent, the article interrogates a discursive relationship between a cultural patriarchy, its quest for Hindu nationalism and gender and the ways in which this patriarchy has both used and (ab)used the images of Hindu women to establish Islam/Pakistan as a threat to the supposedly Hindu India, and justify a nuclear policy for India. The article's contribution to international feminist politics lies in its attempts to stitch the localized politics of Hindu nationalism with its broader geo-political aspirations and implications, namely the role of the Indian state, under the BJP, in maintaining a communalized, militarized and a Hindu patriarchal violence at three inter-connected levels – between gender, communities and nations.

Keywords: communalism, gender, India, nationalism, nuclearization, religion

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Nationalism, Religion, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2006

Gender, Water, and Nutrition in India: An Intersectional Perspective

Citation:

Mitra, Amit, and Nitya Rao. 2019. “Gender, Water, and Nutrition in India: An Intersectional Perspective.” Water Alternatives 12 (1): 169–91.

Authors: Amit Mitra, Nitya Rao

Abstract:

Despite the global recognition of women’s central role in the provision, management, and utilisation of water for production and domestic use, and despite the close links between production choices, the security of water for consumption, and gendered social relations, the implications of these interlinkages for health and nutrition are under-explored. This paper seeks to fill this gap. It unpacks the gendered pathways mediating the links between water security in all its dimensions and nutritional outcomes, based on research in 12 villages across two Indian states. The findings point to the importance of the dynamic links between natural (land and water) systems and gendered human activities, across the domains of production and reproduction, and across seasons. These links have implications for women’s work and time burdens. They impact equally on physical and emotional experiences of well-being, especially in contexts constrained by the availability, access, quality, and stability of water.

Keywords: gender, water, agriculture, nutrition, food security, India

Topics: Agriculture, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Masculinities and Hydropower in India: A Feminist Political Ecology Perspective

Citation:

Shrestha, Gitta, Deepa Joshi, and Floriane Clement. 2019. "Masculinities and Hydropower in India: A Feminist Political Ecology Perspective." International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 130-52.

Authors: Gitta Shrestha, Deepa Joshi, Floriane Clement

Abstract:

Mainstreaming gender in water governance through “how to do gender” toolkits has long been a development focus. It has been widely argued that such toolkits simplify the complex, nuanced realities of inequalities by gender in relation to water and fail to pay attention to the fact that the proposed users of such gender-water toolkits, i.e. mostly male water sector professionals, lack the skills, motivation and/or incentives to apply these toolkits in their everyday work. We adopt a feminist political ecology lens to analyse some of the barriers to reduce social inequalities in the management of global commons such as international rivers. Our findings highlight the leap of faith made in the belief that gender toolkits, as they exist, will filter through layers of a predominantly masculine institutional culture to enable change in ground realities of complex inequalities by gender. Analysing the everyday workings of two hydropower development organisations in India, we show how organisational structures demonstrate a blatant culture of masculinity. These two organisations, like many others, are sites where hierarchies and inequalities based on gender are produced, performed and reproduced. This performance of masculinity promotes and rewards a culture of technical pride in re-shaping nature, abiding by and maintaining hierarchy and demonstrating physical strength and emotional hardiness. In such a setting, paying attention to vulnerabilities, inequalities and disparities are incompatible objectives.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, gender, global commons, hydropower, masculinities, India

Topics: Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Gender and Inorganic Nitrogen: What are the Implications of Moving Towards a More Balanced Use of Nitrogen Fertilizer in the Tropics?

Citation:

Farnworth, Cathy Rozel, Clare Stirling, Tek B. Sapkota, M. L. Jat, Michael Misiko, and Simon Attwood. 2017. “Gender and Inorganic Nitrogen: What are the Implications of Moving Towards a More Balanced Use of Nitrogen Fertilizer in the Tropics?” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 15 (2): 136-52.

Authors: Cathy Rozel Farnworth, Clare Stirling, Tek B. Sapkota, M. L. Jat, Michael Misiko, Simon Attwood

Abstract:

For agriculture to play a role in climate change mitigation strategies to reduce emissions from inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilizer through a more balanced and efficient use are necessary. Such strategies should align with the overarching principle of sustainable intensification and will need to consider the economic, environmental and social trade-offs of reduced fertilizer-related emissions. However, the gender equity dimensions of such strategies are rarely considered. The case studies cited in this paper, from India, Lake Victoria in East Africa and more broadly from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), show that the negative externalities of imbalanced inorganic N use in high- and low-use scenarios impact more strongly on women and children. We examine, through a literature review of recent work in SSA, the relative jointness of intra-household bargaining processes in low N use scenarios to assess the degree to which they impact upon N use. We suggest that gender-equitable strategies for achieving more balanced use of N will increase the likelihood of attaining macro-level reductions in GHG emissions provided that they secure equity in intra-household decision-making and address food security. Gender-equitable N use efficiency strategies will help to integrate and assure gender and social equity co-benefits at local scales. 

Keywords: inorganic fertilizer, nitrogen use efficiency, mitigation, gender, low-emissions development, India, Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2017

“Traditional” Women, “Modern” Water: Linking Gender and Commodification in Rajasthan, India

Citation:

O’Reilly, Kathleen. 2006. “‘Traditional’ Women, ‘Modern’ Water: Linking Gender and Commodification in Rajasthan, India.” Geoforum 37 (6): 958–72.

Author: Kathleen O'Reilly

Abstract:

In this paper, I analyze the connections made between women and water in a Rajasthani drinking water supply project as a significant part of drinking water’s commodification. For development policy makers, water progressing from something free to something valued by price is inevitable when moving economies toward modernity and development. My findings indicate that water is not commodified simply by charging money for it, but through a series of discourses and acts that link it to other “modern” objects and give it value. One of these objects is “women”. I argue that through women’s participation activities that link gender and modernity to new responsibilities and increased mobility for village women involving the clean water supply, a “traditional” Rajasthani woman becomes “modern”. Water, in parallel, becomes “new”, “improved” and worth paying for. Women and water resources are further connected through project staff’s efforts to promote latrines by targeting women as their primary users. The research shows that villagers applied their own meanings to latrines, some of which precluded women using them. This paper fills a gap in feminist political ecology, which often overlooks how gender is created through natural resource interventions, by concerning itself with how new meanings of “water” and “women” are mutually constructed through struggles over water use and its commodification. It contributes to critical development geography literatures by demonstrating that women’s participation approaches to natural resource development act as both constraints and opportunities for village constituents. It examines an under-explored area of gender and water research by tracing village-level struggles over meanings of latrines.

Keywords: water, gender, India, NGOs, development, Latrines, commodification

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies, Privatization Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2006

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