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Coloniality/Post-Coloniality

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 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

Hydrocracies, Engineers and Power: Questioning Masculinities in Water

Citation:

Zwarteveen, Margreet. 2017. “Hydrocracies, Engineers and Power: Questioning Masculinities in Water.” Engineering Studies 9 (2): 78–94.

Author: Margreet Zwarteveen

Abstract:

Beginning with colonial times and continuing to the present, irrigation engineering has been and is an important site for the construction of gendered power and hegemonic masculinities. The strong connection between masculinities and professional irrigation cultures provides one possible explanation of why hydraulic bureaucracies are so resistant to change: it makes behaviours and codes of conduct that are learned seem natural. Taking inspiration from masculinity studies and from feminist studies of technology and organizations, this article proposes two possible lines of inquiry for critically disentangling how the irrigation profession becomes or is made masculine. The first is the feminist historical analysis of water bureaucracies, and the second is a critical ethnography of contemporary irrigation organizations. Such studies are needed both to create more space for women engineers in government water agencies and to contribute to unravelling important cultural aspects of water politics.

Keywords: Engineering, workplace culture, gender, masculinities, feminist technology studies

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2017

An Ethos of Responsibility and Indigenous Women Water Protectors in the #NoDAPL Movement

Citation:

Privott, Meredith. 2019. “An Ethos of Responsibility and Indigenous Women Water Protectors in the #NoDAPL Movement.” American Indian Quarterly 43 (1): 74–100.

Author: Meredith Privott

Abstract:

This work builds upon Elizabeth Archuleta's (Yaqui) term “ethos of responsibility” by contextualizing it within the #NoDAPL movement and applies a cultural rhetorics methodology to constellate an understanding of an ethos of responsibility utilized by Indigenous women water protectors in the #NoDAPL movement, as seen in video-recorded interviews selected from the #NoDAPL digital archive. This study attempts to understand the rhetoric of Indigenous women water protectors through the lens of Indigenous feminism(s), Indigenous rhetoric(s), and Dakota/Lakota/Nakota history and worldviews. When speaking from an ethos of responsibility, the water protectors featured in this study locate agency in traditional teachings and in the experience of Indigenous women, including responsive care in/to the interconnectedness of life, the special role of women in the care of water, and the collective survival of Indigenous women in colonial and patriarchal violence.

Keywords: indigenous women, Indigenous feminisms, cultural rhetorics, water protection, Standing Rock, activism, decolonization, ethos, sexual violence, #NoDAPL

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

Coping with History and Hydrology: How Kenya's Settlement and Land Tenure Patterns Shape Contemporary Water Rights and Gender Relations in Water

Citation:

Onyango, Leah, Brent Swallow, Jessica L. Roy, and Ruth Meinzen-Dick. 2007. “Coping with History and Hydrology: How Kenya’s Settlement and Land Tenure Patterns Shape Contemporary Water Rights and Gender Relations in Water.” In Community-Based Water Law and Water Resource Management Reform in Developing Countries, edited by Barbara van Koppen, Mark Giordano, and John Butterworth, 173–95. Oxfordshire: CAB International.

Authors: Leah Onyango, Brent Swallow, Jessica L. Roy, Ruth Meinzen-Dick

Abstract:

Like many other African countries described in this volume, Kenya has recently enacted several new policies and public-sector reforms that affect its water sector. This chapter considers those reforms in the context of the country's particular history of land tenure and settlement, a history that continues to have a profound influence on contemporary patterns of land and water management as well as on gender relations in water. The chapter focuses on the particular case of a river basin in Western Kenya, the Nyando river basin (3517 km 2), that has its outlet in Lake Victoria. Over the last century, the Nyando river basin has experienced a history that has shaped spatial patterns of land tenure, settlement and water management. The plural land management systems that exist in the basin today are the product of three distinct periods of historical change: (i) the pre-colonial era that was dominated by customary landholding and land rights systems; (ii) the colonial era in which large areas of land were alienated for specific users and the majority of the Kenyan population confined to native reserve areas; and (iii) the post-colonial era that has encouraged large-scale private ownership of land by men and a small public-sector ownership of irrigation land, all against the backdrop of customary norms and the colonial pattern of settlement and land use. Both colonial and post-colonial institutions have largely disre-garded women's rights to land and water resources. Although customary norms are consistent in ensuring access to water for all members of particular ethnic groups, in practice access and management of water points vary across the basin depending upon the historically defined pattern of landownership and settlement. Customary norms that secure the rights of women to water resources tend to have most impact in former native reserve areas and least impact in ethnically heterogeneous resettlement areas held under leasehold tenure. Recommendations are made on how new policies, legislation and government institutions could be more effec-tive in promoting the water needs of rural communities in Kenya.

Keywords: legal pluralism, land tenure, water tenure, gender roles, integrated natural resource management, Property Rights, policy framework, community participation

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2007

Larger Than Life? Decolonising Human Security Studies through Feminist Posthumanism

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2018. "Larger than Life? Decolonising Human Security Studies through Feminist Posthumanism." Strategic Review for Southern Africa 40 (1): 46-64. 

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

Binary thinking is one of the features of coloniality, manifesting in a zero-sum game between 'our' and 'their' security. The development of human security as an antidote has, however, been marked by a continuation of such divisions in a much subtler way. This state of affairs is exacerbated by the fact that concepts held up as possible solutions, such as the gendering of human security or the broader tool of decolonisation, are often also trapped in unimaginative oppositional thinking which runs the risk of recolonising knowledge and harming those who are supposed to be secured. The focus in this article is therefore on the coloniality of human security scholarship and practices and how this concept can be reinvigorated through a feminist 'post'-humanist lens. I argue that a feminist posthuman security approach that decentres the human (by going beyond asking for the inclusion of women only) and underscores agentic relations between (all) humans, the natural environment, technology and objects more adequately captures the entangled nature of human security practices, especially in the postcolony. The approach draws on a blend of six conceptual pillars, namely a poststructuralist understanding of agency as the product of intra-action rather than interaction; feminist critiques of equating what is male and what is human; the emphasis on intersections between race and gender in feminist postcolonial theory; the importance of situated knowledge; the agency of matter and objects in the construction of security and/ or insecurity; and an acknowledgement of indigenous Africa-centred knowledge forms. I conclude that this kind of posthuman security frame, which merges feminist posthumanism and new materialist posthumanism, not only allows a more nuanced and inclusive understanding of the human condition but also offers a foundation for developing a decolonised human security research agenda.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Education, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Security, Human Security

Year: 2018

Right-Wing Sisterhood: Everyday Politics of Hindu Nationalist Women in India and Zionist Settler Women in Israel-Palestine

Citation:

Mehta, Akanksha. 2017. "Right-Wing Sisterhood: Everyday Politics of Hindu Nationalist Women in India and Zionist Settler Women in Israel-Palestine." PhD diss., SOAS University of London.

Author: Akanksha Mehta

Annotation:

Summary: 
"Right-Wing movements have gained political momentum in the last few decades, drawing within their ranks women who not only embody their exclusionary and violent politics but who also simultaneously contest everyday patriarchies. This thesis examines the everyday politics of women in two right-wing movements, the cultural nationalist Hindu right-wing project in India and the settler-colonial Zionist project in Israel-Palestine. Based on fourteen months of ethnographic, narrative, and visual ‘fieldwork’ conducted with women in both these movements, I argue that through a politics of the everyday, right-wing women bargain and negotiate with patriarchal communities/homes, male-formulated ideologies and discourses, and maledominated right-wing projects and spaces. These mediations replicate and affirm as well as subvert and challenge patriarchal structures and power hierarchies, troubling the binaries of home/world, private/public, personal/political, and victim/agent. I assert that dominant literature on rightwing women focuses on motherhood and family, ignoring various other crucial subject positions that are constituted and occupied by right-wing women and neglecting the agential and empowering potential of right-wing women’s subjectivities.
 
"I use four themes/lenses to examine the everyday politics of right-wing women. These are: pedagogy and education; charity and humanitarian work; intimacy, friendship, sociability and leisure; and political violence. By interrogating the practices that are contained in and enabled by these four locations of Hindu right-wing and Zionist settler women’s everyday politics, this thesis highlights the multiple narratives, contradictions, pluralities, hierarchies, power structures, languages, and discourses that encompass right-wing women’s projects" (Mehta 2017, 3-4). 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nationalism, Political Participation, Religion, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia Countries: India, Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2017

Implications of Customary Practices on Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership in Cameroon

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart, Irene Fokum Sama-Lang, and Lawrence Fon Fombe. 2012. “Implications of Customary Practices on Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership in Cameroon.” Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (3): 260-74.

Authors: Lotsmart Fonjong, Irene Fokum Sama-Lang, Lawrence Fon Fombe

Abstract:

Africa, before European colonization, knew no other form of legal system outside customary arrangements. Based on secondary sources and a primary survey conducted between 2009 and 2010 on the situation of women and land rights in anglophone Cameroon, this paper examines the grounds for discrimination in customary laws against women's rights to land in the context of legal pluralism, and discusses the implications of this custom of gender discrimination. In drawing from Cameroon as an exemplar, it concludes that the strong influence and impact of customs on current land tenure systems have global implications on women's land rights, food security and sustainable development, and that gender equality in land matters can be possible only where the critical role of ethics is recognized in pursuit of the economic motive of land rights.

Keywords: women's rights, land tenure, customary practices, discrimination, development

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Conflict, Peace and Security, Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2012

Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda

Citation:

Adoko, Judy, and Simon Levine. 2008. "Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda." In Women's Land Rights and Privatization in Eastern Africa, edited by Birgit Englert and Elizabeth Daley, 101-20. Woodbridge, Suffolk; Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, James Currey. 

Authors: Judy Adoko, Simon Levine

Annotation:

Summary: 
"As in other countries in Africa, there are two parallel and competing histories of land tenure in Uganda. The indigenous systems evolved to suit the needs of different local groups, or at least certain elite members in those groups, in a variety of different ecological and economic circumstances. They worked on rules which have never been written down, making it easy for outsiders to consider all these systems as ‘customary tenure’ a single, unchanging system of rules and administration. Another, written, history began with British colonialism. The British introduced a system of freehold title under which client chiefs and kingdoms (as well as missions) were granted formal land rights. All land which was not registered was considered by the British to be ‘crown land’. Although customary tenure continued to operate on this land, the customary owners had little protection from the arbitrary expropriation of their property. The British colonial administrators regarded customary ownership as backward and a constraint to economic development, which by the 1950s they intended to replace with the ‘modern’ system of freehold. However, colonialism ended before this could be implemented" (Adoko and Levine 2008, 101). 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2008

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