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Coloniality/Post-Coloniality

War as Feminized Labour in the Global Political Economy of Neoimperialism

Citation:

Meger, Sara. 2016. “War as Feminized Labour in the Global Political Economy of Neoimperialism.” Postcolonial Studies 19(4): 378–92. 

Author: Sara Meger

Abstract:

This article examines the structures of international relations that facilitate political violence in postcolonial states. It explores the intersections of patriarchy and imperialism in the contemporary political economy to understand how armed conflict and political violence in postcolonial states form an integral element of the global economy of accumulation in deeply gendered ways. By focusing on the structural level of analysis, this article argues that the siting of armed conflict in postcolonial contexts serves to maintain neo-colonial relations of exploitation between the West and non-West, and is made both possible and effective through the gendering of political identities and types of work performed in the global economy. I argue here that armed conflict is a form of feminized labour in the global economy. Despite the fact that performing violence is a physically masculine form of labour, the outsourcing of armed conflict as labour in the political economy is ‘feminized’ in that it represents the flexibilization of labour and informalization of market participation. So while at the same time that this work is fulfilling hegemonic ideals of militarized masculinity within the domestic context, at the international level it actually demonstrates the ‘weakness’ or ‘otherness’ of the ‘failed’/feminized state in which this violence occurs, and legitimizes and hence re-entrenches the hegemonic relations between the core and eriphery on the basis of problematizing the ‘weak’ state’s masculinity. It is through the discursive construction of the non-Western world as the site of contemporary political violence that mainstream international relations reproduces an orientalist approach to both understanding and addressing the ‘war puzzle'.

Keywords: political economy, neo-colonialism, war, gender, feminized labour, feminist international relations, postcolonial theory

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Political Economies, Violence

Year: 2016

Living Archives and Cyprus: Militarized Masculinities and Decolonial Emerging World Horizons

Citation:

Agathangelou, Anna M. 2017. “Living Archives and Cyprus: Militarized Masculinities and Decolonial Emerging World Horizons.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 206–11. 

Author: Anna M. Agathangelou

Abstract:

Huddled within the most influential theorizations and praxes of war and violence are imaginations of collating masculinities, texts and their embodiments. Interpreting and reading my mother as a non-dominant body, and her stories about war, violence, and Cyprus as re-iterative corporeal insights and practices challenging such toxic masculinities, I argue that such performances and embodiments (what I call living archives), albeit with multiple tensions, re-orient us to emerging decolonial horizons. In doing so, I directly challenge and unsuture the complacent IR historiographies of security and war and the ways they insist on composing and writing by bringing together certain archives (i.e., images of violent places and state documents) and silencing those which systematically and consistently point to modernity’s violent frameworks including their production of violent masculinities on which extinguishment and futures lie. Such an insistence colludes with certain toxic regimes of representation expecting certain subjects, sovereigns, and institutions to order and reiterate (produce) colonial and violent racialized masculine (and racialized feminized) practices between ourselves and the world. Living archives are also those invented signs, imaginations, and excesses that press materiality and its impasses (i.e., in the form of capture, blackness, non-genders, etc. and resolution of signs and fictions), exposing the limits of modernity’s fictioning, and gainst any resolution and labor that produces violence all the while sublating it.

Keywords: militarized masculinities, Cyprus, living archives, the colonial, imperial wars, decolonial struggles, international relations grammars

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Race, Security, Violence Regions: Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Cyprus

Year: 2017

Brothers, Fathers, Terrorists: Masculine Assemblages in Glenn Beck’s Rhetoric of US-Israel Unity Post-9/11

Citation:

Chevrette, Roberta, and Lisa C. Braverman. 2013. “Brothers, Fathers, Terrorists: Masculine Assemblages in Glenn Beck’s Rhetoric of US-Israel Unity Post-9/11.” Feminist Formations 25 (2): 81–106.

Authors: Roberta Chevrette, Lisa C. Braverman

Abstract:

Through rhetorical analysis of Glenn Beck's keynote at the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Summit in Washington, D.C., and his subsequent "Restoring Courage" rally in Israel, this article examines the construction of a gendered and militarized "state of emergency" in which Israel and the United States stand together as brothers against their enemies in the modern era. In this discursive and political formation, Israel is constructed as a site of perpetual persecution, while anxieties about US global dominance are (mis)placed within its borders. This constructed emergency generalizes the nuances of Palestinian and Israeli experiences, while homogenizing Palestinians into a gendered and racialized terrorist Other. Offering a theorization of masculine assemblages, the authors analyze how, in the post-9/11 security state, the unification of US-Israeli interests is articulated through multiple interlocking discourses of masculinity. Through careful deconstruction of the masculine assemblages that bind together this epistemological and geo-political formation, this analysis contributes to postcolonial and transnational feminist theorizing by exploring how men embody and construct the nation-state, how discourses of race, religion, and nation assemble together through the concept of masculinity, and how these assemblages provoke states of emergency and impetuses for action.

Keywords: Beck, Glenn, Evangelical Christian Right, foreign policy, Israel, masculine assemblage, terrorist

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Race, Religion, Terrorism Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, United States of America

Year: 2013

Postcolonial Subjectivity: Masculinity, Shame, and Memory

Citation:

Treacher, Amal. 2007. “Postcolonial Subjectivity: Masculinity, Shame, and Memory.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 30 (2): 281–99.

Author: Amal Treacher

Abstract:

Egypt in 1952 was poised to overthrow the past and make a fresh and vigorous future. The revolutionary coup instigated and led by a group of Army Officers succeeded in overthrowing the monarchy and severely undermining British rule and influence. The hopes following this dramatic event were not borne out as the early successes did not lead to a more dynamic future. Instead, corruption continued, the economy declined, industry did not flourish, and an adequate welfare system was not put in place. There are various explanations for this state of affairs, and while these are valid and provide answers, they do not adequately address postcolonial subjectivity. Postcolonial masculine subjectivity is fraught, endures and has to be endured. This article will focus on shame and remembering/forgetting as states of mind, and silence as a response, in order to explore how a colonized past led to the wish for a different future while simultaneously inhibiting a different future to be made.

Keywords: Egypt, memory, postcolonial masculine subjectivity, shame, silence

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Nationalism Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2007

Empire, Desire and Violence: A Queer Transnational Feminist Reading of the Prisoner ‘Abuse’ in Abu Ghraib and the Question of ‘Gender Equality'

Citation:

Richter-Montpetit, Melanie. 2007. “Empire, Desire and Violence: A Queer Transnational Feminist Reading of the Prisoner ‘Abuse’ in Abu Ghraib and the Question of ‘Gender Equality.’” International Feminist Journal of Politics 9 (1): 38-59.

Author: Melanie Richter-Montpetit

Abstract:

Dominant discourses in the United States paint the acts of prisoner 'abuse' committed by US soldiers in Abu Ghraib in 2003 as either the obscene but exceptional example of some low-ranking soldiers gone mad, or as the direct result of the suspension of the rule of law in the global 'war on terror'. Alternatively, feminist theorist Barbara Ehrenreich suggests that the pictures depicting female soldiers torturing prisoners are both horrifying and a sign of 'gender equality'. This article departs from all three of these positions. I argue that the micro-level violences shown in the Abu Ghraib pictures are neither just aberrations nor a sign of gender equality. Rather they follow a pre-constructed heterosexed, racialized and gendered script that is firmly grounded in the colonial desires and practices of the larger social order and that underpins the hegemonic 'save civilization itself'-fantasy of the 'war on terror'. I explore how the participation of some of the US Empire's internal Others, namely White western women, may disrupt some of the social processes of normalization underpinning this colonial fantasy, but nevertheless serves to re/produce the identity and hegemony of the US Empire and its heterosexed, racialized and classed World (Dis)Order.

Keywords: Abu Ghraib, civilization, colonial, desires, Ehrenreich, Empire, fantasy, gender equality, militarized masculinity, orientalism, US, 'Whiteness'

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Race, Sexual Violence, Female Perpetrators, SV against men, Violence

Year: 2007

Power, Borders, Security, Wealth: Lessons of Violence and Desire from September 11

Citation:

Agathangelou, Anna M., and L. H. M. Ling. 2004. “Power, Borders, Security, Wealth: Lessons of Violence and Desire from September 11.” International Studies Quarterly 48 (3): 517–38.

Authors: Anna M. Agathangelou, L. H. M. Ling

Abstract:

America's “war on terror” and Al Qaeda's “jihad” reflect mirror strategies of imperial politics. Each camp transnationalizes violence and insecurity in the name of national or communal security. Neoliberal globalization underpins this militarization of daily life. Its desire industries motivate and legitimate elite arguments (whether from “infidels” or “terrorists”) that society must sacrifice for its hypermasculine leaders. Such violence and desire draw on colonial identities of Self vs. Other, patriotism vs. treason, hunter vs. prey, and masculinity vs. femininity that are played out on the bodies of ordinary men and women. We conclude with suggestions of a human security to displace the elite privilege that currently besets world politics.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security, Human Security, Violence

Year: 2004

The Retelling of Tales: Disentangling the Feminist Evolutionary Analytic Approach, Legal Pluralism, and Gender Justice

Citation:

Solanki, Gopika. 2013. “The Retelling of Tales: Disentangling the Feminist Evolutionary Analytic Approach, Legal Pluralism, and Gender Justice.” Politics & Gender 9 (01): 105–10. doi:10.1017/S1743923X1200075X.

Author: Gopika Solanki

Abstract:

Globally, women's movements share the twin concerns of equality within the family and freedom from domestic violence. The following questions conjoin and animate these debates: Given that violence against women is a global phenomenon, why are some states more effective at controlling domestic violence than others? What is the correlation between inequality encoded in family laws and the rate of violence against women in society? Are legally plural states more likely to demonstrate a higher degree of institutionalized inequality and gender-based violence within the family? The analytical peg for Hudson, Bowen, and Nielsen (2012) is the feminist evolutionary analytic approach (FEAA) that explains the almost universal prevalence of male dominance among humans during the course of formation of societies. It suggests that violence against women is greater in legal systems that design family law to maximize men's rights.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Violence

Year: 2013

(Re)framing the Relationship between Discourse and Materiality in Feminist Security Studies and Feminist IPE

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2015. “(Re)framing the Relationship between Discourse and Materiality in Feminist Security Studies and Feminist IPE.” Politics & Gender 11 (2): 413–19. 

Author: Heidi Hudson

Annotation:

Summary: 
"While feminists usually try to ground the meanings that they study, theorizing the mundane or the everyday may very well represent a detour—or even a dead end—if bread-and-butter issues related to the security and economic well-being of ordinary women and men are ignored. What value does feminist theorizing (even if it draws from women's lived experiences) have in war-affected contexts where meeting immediate needs is paramount? At what point does the theorizing of the body under such circumstances become a means to satisfying intellectual fetishes? Theorizing the everyday is messy because it has to contend with the immediate social setting in which popular culture is inseparable from the economic materiality of the conditions of oppression.
 
"In response to this dilemma, my aim is to argue for a productive rather than a reductive relationship between Feminist Security Studies (FSS) and Feminist (International) Political Economy (FPE), achieved through a reframed relationship between discursive subjectivity and a structure-centred materiality. I argue for a more systematic feminist analysis that reunites FPE and cultural FSS critiques. This analytical synthesis is based on an understanding of the co-constituted agency of discourse and materiality underpinned by a postcolonial-feminist attention to the politics of space" (Hudson 2015, 413-414).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Political Economies, Security

Year: 2015

A Double-edged Sword of Peace? Reflections on the Tension between Representation and Protection in Gendering Liberal Peacebuilding

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2012. “A Double-Edged Sword of Peace? Reflections on the Tension between Representation and Protection in Gendering Liberal Peacebuilding.” International Peacekeeping 19 (4): 443–60.

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

Using a postcolonial-feminist approach, this article argues that the way in which gender is framed in peace interventions is symptomatic of the hegemonic way in which the discourses about the representation and protection of women within the liberal intervention model are constructed and institutionalized. Through an analysis of international discourses on the politics of inclusion/exclusion, protection, as well as sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), it illustrates the disempowering effect of instrumentalist interpretations of women's agency. The article concludes that the embedded violence of liberal peacebuilding becomes even more pronounced when the gendered inner workings of international organizations, among others, are placed under scrutiny. It proposes a critical postcolonial-feminist vision that is resistant to universalist conceptions of women, gender and self to overcome the under-theorized gender dimensions of liberal peacebuilding.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Sexual Violence

Year: 2012

The Precarity of Feminisation: On Domestic Work, Heteronormativity and the Coloniality of Labour

Citation:

Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Encarnación. 2014. “The Precarity of Feminisation: On Domestic Work, Heteronormativity and the Coloniality of Labour.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 27 (2): 191–202. doi:10.1007/s10767-013-9154-7.

Author: Encarnación Gutiérrez-Rodríguez

Abstract:

Despite women’s increasing participation in the labour market and attempts to transform the traditional gendered division of work, domestic and care work is still perceived as women’s terrain. This work continues to be invisible in terms of the organisation of production or productive value and domestic and care work continues to be unpaid or low paid. Taking domestic and care work as an expression of the feminisation of labour, this article will attempt to complicate this analysis by first exploring a queer critique of feminisation, and second, by situating feminisation within the context of the coloniality of power. Drawing on research conducted in Austria, Germany, Spain and the UK on the organisation of domestic work in private households, the article will conclude with some observations on the interconnectedness of feminisation, heteronormativity and the coloniality of power in the analysis of the expansion of precarity in the EU zone.

Keywords: coloniality, feminisation, Europe, heteronormativity, precarity

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Europe, Central Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Austria, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom

Year: 2014

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