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Nationalism

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

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

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

Comparisons as Feminist Method: Denaturalising Gender and Nation

Citation:

Åse, Cecilia, and Maria Wendt. 2019. "Comparisons as Feminist Method: Denaturalising Gender and Nation." In Gendering Military Sacrifice: A Feminist Comparative Analysis, edited by Cecilia Åse and Maria Wendt. Routledge. 

Authors: Cecilia Åse, Maria Wendt

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Discourses, Nationalism

Year: 2019

New Patriotisms: The Beauty Queen and the Bomb

Citation:

Sangari, Kumkum. 2004. “New Patriotisms: The Beauty Queen and the Bomb.” In From Gender to Nation, edited by Rada Ivekovic and Julie Mostov, 153–70. New Delhi: Zubaan.

Author: Kumkum Sangari

Annotation:

Summary:
"The significant literature on gender and nationalism generated in the past decade shows that the emphasis on women as biological reproducers or members of a bounded collectivity, and the centrality of womanhood to the ideological reproduction of the nation are common to a variety of nationalisms. Yet the ideological distinctions between nationalisms remain significant. Given the intertwined legacies of colonialism, the patriarchal assumptions in nationalism, and the particularism of the Hindu right-wing, definitions of Indian culture have always been problematic, especially in the way they cast the "nation" as an entity affected and endangered by the "west". The secular, multireligious or more inclusive nationalisms that emerged in the colonial period were implicated in the specific types of antifeminism and new conservatism that crystallized around anticolonialism; however, they cannot be confused with the obsessive particularisms that attempted to seize nationalism and twist it to their own ends. These particularisms sought the aura of nationalism but pushed for a single majoritarian religious identity, and a tighter patriarchy by polarizing an alien, "selfgenerated" and modem "west". Neither anticolonialism, nor antiwesternism, nor antimodernity could guarantee national authenticity since they were shaped in a two-way cultural traffic marked by recursivity, transformation, resistance and ideological collaboration. They, did however, produce a powerful imaginary India exemplified in its nonmodern or antimodern areas (notably a subsuming religiosity and chaste, self-sacrificing women) to be preserved, an India that was most emphatically (though not exclusively) deployed by the Hindu right" (Sangari 2004, 153).

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Nationalism, Religion, Security, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2004

Djamilah

"Egyptian historical film about one of the most important figures in the history of Algeria, Djamila Bouhired. This film is regarded as not only highlighting the story of an important female revolutionary, but also showing the struggle of the Algerian people against the French occupation."

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051539/

Navigating Consociationalism's Afterlives: Women, Peace and Security in Post-Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina

Citation:

Deiana, Maria-Adriana. 2018. “Navigating Consociationalism’s Afterlives: Women, Peace and Security in Post-Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 24 (1): 33–49.

Author: Maria-Adriana Deiana

Abstract:

This article revisits the gendered implications of the Dayton peace settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina and assesses possibilities for the meaningful integration of the Women, Peace and Security agenda into the consociational structures and post-conflict political agenda. This article outlines how the reification and legitimization of ethno-nationalist power over two decades of Dayton has restricted the terrain for gender activism. A critical assessment of post-Dayton governance reveals an unanticipated stratification of the agreement. International pressure for the stability of the peace settlement further constrains the complex task of addressing the gendered legacies of conflict and conflict transformation. In this context, local and international efforts to navigate Dayton's afterlives through gender activism act as a powerful reminder that Bosnia-Herzegovina's unfulfilled peace must remain a priority in research, activist and policymaking agendas.

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Conflict, Peace and Security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Nationalism, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2018

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