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South Asia

The Social Cost of Environmental Solutions

Citation:

Dauvergne, Peter, and Genevieve LeBaron. 2013. "The Social Cost of Environmental Solutions." New Political Economy 18 (3): 410-430.

 

Authors: Peter Dauvergne, Genevieve LeBaron

Abstract:

This article assesses the social consequences of efforts by multinational corpor- ations to capture business value through recycling, reusing materials and reducing waste. Synthesising evidence from the global environmental justice and feminist and international political economy (IPE) literatures, it analyses the changing social property relations of global recycling chains. The authors argue that, although recycling more would seem to make good ecological sense, corporate programmes can rely on and further ingrain social patterns of harm and exploita- tion, particularly for the burgeoning labour force that depends on recyclables for subsistence living. Turning the waste stream into a profit stream also relies on prison labour in some places, such as in the United States where the federal gov- ernment operates one of the country’s largest electronics recycling programmes. The ongoing corporatisation of recycling, the authors argue further, is devaluing already marginalised populations within the global economy. Highlighting the need to account for the dynamism between social and environmental change within IPE scholarship, the article concludes by underlining the ways in which ‘green commerce’ programmes can shift capital’s contradictions from nature onto labour.

Keywords: multinational corporations, environmental justice, political economy, recycling, labour, e-waste, global recycling chain

Topics: Development, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Land Tenure, Multi-National Corporations, Political Economies Regions: Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013

The United States, India and the Global Nuclear Order: Narrative Identity and Representation

Citation:

Pate, Tanvi. 2020. The United States, India and the Global Nuclear Order: Narrative Identity and Representation. London: Routledge.

Author: Tanvi Pate

Abstract:

In the Post-Cold War era, US nuclear foreign policies towards India witnessed a major turnaround as a demand for ‘cap, reduce, eliminate’ under the Clinton administration was replaced by the implementation of the historic ‘civil nuclear deal’ in 2008 by Bush, a policy which continued under Obama’s administration.

This book addresses the change in US nuclear foreign policy by focusing on three core categories of identity, inequality, and great power narratives. Building upon the theoretical paradigm of critical constructivism, the concept of the ‘state’ is problematised by focusing on identity-related questions arguing that the ‘state’ becomes a constructed entity standing as valid only within relations of identity and difference. Focusing on postcolonial principles, Pate argues that imperialism as an organising principle of identity/difference enables us to understand how difference was maintained in unequal terms through US nuclear foreign policy. This manifested in five great power narratives constructed around peace and justice; India-Pakistan deterrence; democracy; economic progress; and scientific development. Identities of ‘race’, ‘political economy’, and ‘gender’, in terms of ‘radical otherness’ and ‘otherness’ were recurrently utilised through these narratives to maintain a difference enabling the respective administrations to maintain ‘US’ identity as a progressive and developed western nation, intrinsically justifying the US role as an arbiter of the global nuclear order.

A useful work for scholars researching identity construction and US foreign and security policies, US-India bilateral nuclear relations, South Asian nuclear politics, critical security, and postcolonial studies. (Abstract from publisher)

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, United States of America

Year: 2020

A Continuum of Participation: Rethinking Tamil Women’s Political Participation and Agency in Post-War Sri Lanka

Citation:

Koens, Celeste, and Samanthi J. Gunawardana. 2021. “A Continuum of Participation: Rethinking Tamil Women’s Political Participation and Agency in Post-War Sri Lanka.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 23 (3): 463–84.

Authors: Celeste Koens, Samanthi J. Gunawardana

Abstract:

In post-war contexts, attention is given to women’s participation and barriers to their participation in formal processes (for example, peace talks, economic initiatives, and elections). Yet, women have engaged in various activities to exercise collective and individual agency to impact political participation. This article examines how Tamil women’s political participation in post-war Sri Lanka exists along a continuum, from formal participation within state structures and party politics to informal community participation. Scholarship about Tamil women’s political participation is framed within discourses of “militants,” “ex-combatants,” “political mothers,” or “victims.” Using narrative interviews, we argue that – based on their awareness of unequal gendered power relations, structures, and norms impacting their lives in post-war Sri Lanka – Tamil women in Mannar exercise agency to challenge these constraints and promote a broader transformative political arena. Some women attempt to expand the agency of others and to promote a collective voice through which women can be better represented in politics. Drawing on feminist international relations and gender and development knowledge, this study demonstrates how political agency is constituted within informal arenas, disrupting masculinist assumptions about who is considered a political actor and what counts as political agency by examining the spectrum of political participation in post-war contexts.

Keywords: political participation, Sri Lanka, post-war, gender, Tamil women

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2021

Women and Disasters in South Asia: Survival, Security and Development

Citation:

Roy, Sajal. 2018. “Women and Disasters in South Asia: Survival, Security and Development.” Gender, Place & Culture 25 (2): 315–16.

Author: Sajal Roy

Abstract:

Women and Disasters in South Asia: Survival, Security and Development is an edited collection that investigates primarily how gender and politics are shaping post-disaster reconstruction and development processes in South Asian countries. Most of the disasters included in this collection are profiled in Indian case studies, including the Indian Ocean tsunami as witnessed in Tamil Nadu (2004), the earthquake in Gujarat, (2001), the super cyclone in Odisha (1999), the flood in Bihar (2008), the Cloudburst in Ladakh (2010). A few chapters extend beyond India to examine events such as the floods in Pakistan (2010) and post-tsunami reconstruction in Sri Lanka (ongoing since 2004). The book captures both women’s vulnerabilities and resiliencies in post-disaster setting, demonstrating that women and men experience disasters differently due to the social construction of their socioeconomic positions, gender roles and relationships with government and society.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Men, Women, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Year: 2018

Engendering Climate Change: Learnings from South Asia

Citation:

Hans, Asha, Nitya Rao, Anjal Prakash, and Amrita Patel, eds. 2021. Engendering Climate Change: Learnings from South Asia. New York & Oxon: Routledge.

Authors: Asha Hans, Nitya Rao, Anjal Prakash, Amrita Patel

Abstract:

This book focuses on the gendered experiences of environmental change across different geographies and social contexts in South Asia and on diverse strategies of adapting to climate variability. The book analyzes how changes in rainfall patterns, floods, droughts, heatwaves and landslides affect those who are directly dependent on the agrarian economy. It examines the socio-economic pressures, including the increase in women’s work burdens both in production and reproduction on gender relations. It also examines coping mechanisms such as male migration and the formation of women’s collectives which create space for agency and change in rigid social relations. The volume looks at perspectives from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal to present the nuances of gender relations across borders along with similarities and differences across geo-graphical, socio-cultural and policy contexts. This book will be of interest to researchers and students of sociology, development, gender, economics, environmental studies and South Asian studies. It will also be useful for policymakers, NGOs and think tanks working in the areas of gender, climate change and development.

Annotation:

Table of Contents:

1. Gender, Climate Change and the Politics of Vulnerability: An Introduction
Nitya Rao, Anjal Prakash, Asha Hans, and Amrita Patel

PART I: Vulnerabilities

2. Vulnerabilities of Rural Women to Climate Extremes: A Case of Semi-Arid Districts in Pakistan
Ayesha Qaisrani and Samavia Batool 

3. Gendered Vulnerabilities in Diaras: Struggles with Floods in the Gandak River Basin in Bihar, India
Pranita Bhushan Udas, Anjal Prakash, and Chanda Gurung Goodrich

4. Of Borewells and Bicycles: The Gendered Nature of Water Access in Karnataka, South India and Its Implications for Local Vulnerability
Chandni Singh

5. Vulnerabilities and Resilience of Local Women Towards Climate Change in the Indus basin
Saqib Shakell Abbasi, Muhammad Zubair Anwar, Nusrat Habib, and Qaiser Khan

6. Climate Change, Gendered Vulnerabilities and Resilience in High Mountain Communities: The Case of Upper Rasuwa in Gandaki River Basin, Hindu Kush Himalayas
Deepak Dorje Tamang and Pranita Bhushan Udas 

PART II: Adaptation and Wellbeing

7. Wells and Well-being in South India: Gender Dimensions of Groundwater Dependence
Divya Susan Solomon and Nitya Rao

8. Gender, Migration and Environmental Change in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta in Bangladesh
Katharine Vincent, Ricardo Safra de Campos, Attilan N. Lázár, and Anwara Begum

9. Women-Headed Households, Migration and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Mahanadi Delta, India
Sugata Hazra, Amrita Patel, Shouvik Das, Asha Hans, Amit Ghosh, and Jasmine Giri

10. Gender Dynamics and Climate Variability: Mapping the Linkages in the Upper Ganga Basin in Uttarakhand, India
Vani Rijhwani, Divya Sharma, Neha Khandekar, Roshan Rathod, and Mini Govindan 

11. Shaping Gendered Responses to Climate Change in South Asia
Asha Hans, Anjal Prakash, Nitya Rao, and Amrita Patel

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Migration, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan

Year: 2021

Hashtagging Girlhood: #IAmMalala, #BringBackOurGirls and Gendering Representations of Global Politics

Citation:

Berents, Helen. 2016. “Hashtagging Girlhood: #IAmMalala, #BringBackOurGirls and Gendering Representations of Global Politics.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18 (4): 513–27.

Author: Helen Berents

Abstract:

This article explores how gendered, racial and youth-ed concepts of girlhood shape the way conflict, violence and the lived experiences of girls in conflict-affected environments are understood globally. In particular, it examines the broader context and effect of social media campaigns that specifically invoke a concept of “girlhood” in their responses to crisis or tragedy. It focuses on two hashtags and their associated social media campaigns: #IAmMalala, started in response to the attempted killing of Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012 by Taliban gunmen, and #BringBackOurGirls, started by Nigerians and adopted globally in response to the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls by terrorist group Boko Haram. In both instances, understandings of the broader political context are shaped by the focus on girls. Both hashtags also appropriate an experience: claiming to be Malala and claiming the Nigerian girls as ours. Through this exploration, I argue that particular ideals of girlhood are coded within these campaigns, and that these girls’ experiences are appropriated. I critique the limited representations of girlhood that circulate in these discussions, and how these limited representations demonstrate the problematic narrowness of dominant conceptions of girlhood.

Keywords: Girlhood, activism, social media, Malala Yousafzai, Chibok girls

Topics: Age, Youth, Education, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Race, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Nigeria, Pakistan

Year: 2016

Constructing Humanitarian Selves and Refugee Others

Citation:

Olivius, Elisabeth. 2016. “Constructing Humanitarian Selves and Refugee Others.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18 (2): 270–90.

Author: Elisabeth Olivius

Abstract:

Contributing to ongoing debates about what happens when feminism is institutionalized in global governance, this article examines how gender equality is given meaning and applied in humanitarian aid to refugees, and what the implications are with regard to the production of subjectivities and their positioning in relations of power. Drawing on Foucauldian and postcolonial feminist perspectives, the analysis identifies two main representations of what it means to promote gender equality in refugee situations. Gender equality is represented as a means to aid effectiveness through the strategic mobilization of refugee women's participation, and as a project of development, involving the transformation of “traditional” or “backward” refugee cultures into modern societies. The subject positions that are produced categorically cast refugees as either passive or problematic subjects who need to be rescued, protected, assisted, activated, controlled and reformed through humanitarian interventions, while humanitarian workers are positioned as rational administrators and progressive agents of social transformation. In effect, gender equality is used to sustain power asymmetries in refugee situations and to reproduce global hierarchies.

Keywords: global governance, gender equality, refugees, humanitarian aid, governmentality, postcolonial feminism, Thailand, Bangladesh

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Humanitarian Assistance, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Thailand

Year: 2016

Transnational Feminism and Women’s Activism: Building Resilience to Climate Change Impact through Women’s Empowerment in Climate Smart Agriculture

Citation:

Sangita, Khapung. 2016. “Transnational Feminism and Women’s Activism: Building Resilience to Climate Change Impact through Women’s Empowerment in Climate Smart Agriculture.” Asian Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 497–506.

Author: Khapung Sangita

Abstract:

The far western part of Nepal is the most under-developed region of the country. The majority of the population here relies on subsistence agriculture. Floods, landslides, drought and extreme temperatures associated with climate change are impacting the agricultural productivity of the region. Consequently, this area faces ongoing food insecurity, particularly affecting women and children of marginalized groups. Although the aid agencies are trying to mitigate agricultural issues associated with climate change by introducing climate smart technologies, such as Multi Water Use Systems (MUS), Multi Irrigation Technologies (MIT), Conservation Agriculture (CA) etc., the local population has been reluctant to adopt these. Moreover, the low productivity of land forces males to migrate in search of better livelihood options, leaving women to bear the extra burden of domestic and agricultural activities, resulting in adverse effects on their health and nutrition. The Anukulan-Building Resilience to Climate Change and Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) project funded by UKAID aims to create agricultural practices that are resilient in the face of climate change and natural disasters. Its target is 500,000 poor and vulnerable people (especially women and children) through the introduction and awareness generation about climate smart technologies.

Keywords: subsistence agriculture, gender, climate change, climate smart technologies, Agricultural productivity

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Girls, Women Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2016

BRICS Countries and the Construction of Conflict in the Women, Peace and Security Open Debates

Citation:

Hamilton, Caitlin, Pagot Rhaíssa, and Laura J Shepherd. 2021. “BRICS Countries and the Construction of Conflict in the Women, Peace and Security Open Debates.” International Affairs 97 (3): 739–57.

Authors: Caitlin Hamilton, Pagot Rhaíssa, Laura J Shepherd

Abstract:

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda is a diverse field of practice comprised of numerous actors, activities and artefacts. Conventional accounts of WPS development and implementation tend to reproduce a narrative that positions states located in the global North as ‘providers’ of WPS, and those in the South as ‘recipients’. This assumption in turn prescribes, and proscribes, forms of WPS engagement and has a constitutive effect on the agenda itself, as shown by post- and de-colonial analyses of the WPS agenda. This article seeks to explore the WPS practices of a group of states that in many ways challenge these North/South and provider/recipient binaries by explicitly positioning themselves as operating beyond and across them: the BRICS countries, comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. In this article, we explore how constructions of conflict within the WPS practices of BRICS states relate to the acknowledgement of, and commitment to, the agenda more broadly. We ultimately argue that the BRICS' commitment to the WPS agenda is driven more by identity-making geopolitical considerations, including geostrategic interests, than a politics of peace.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Peace and Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, South Asia, Europe Countries: Brazil, China, India, Russian Federation, South Africa

Year: 2021

Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia

Citation:

Khoja-Moolji, Shenila. 2018. Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia. Oakland: University of California Press.

Author: Shenila Khoja-Moolji

Annotation:

Summary:
In Forging the Ideal Educated Girl, Shenila Khoja-Moolji traces the figure of the ‘educated girl’ to examine the evolving politics of educational reform and development campaigns in colonial India and Pakistan. She challenges the prevailing common sense associated with calls for women’s and girls’ education and argues that such advocacy is not simply about access to education but, more crucially, concerned with producing ideal Muslim woman-/girl-subjects with specific relationships to the patriarchal family, paid work, Islam, and the nation-state. Thus, discourses on girls’/ women’s education are sites for the construction of not only gender but also class relations, religion, and the nation. (Summary from UC Press)

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Education, Gender, Girls, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan

Year: 2018

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