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Life under military occupation: an anticolonial feminist analysis of everyday politics of living in Kashmir

Pandit, Niharika (2022) Life under military occupation: an anticolonial feminist analysis of everyday politics of living in Kashmir. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004555


This thesis is an anticolonial feminist analysis of everyday politics of living in Kashmir under Indian military occupation. Feminist and critical militarisation scholarship largely from the Global North has shown that race and gender are co-constitutive of militaristic projects. While building on this work, this thesis shifts the site of analysis to a Global South geography (Kashmir) as not simply an empirical elsewhere. But to show how occupation of Kashmir complicates our theoretical understanding of this state-enforced militarised project that relies on gendering and racialisation of Kashmir Muslims and emerges as a condition of India’s (post)coloniality. To theorise the processes, functions and effects of occupation in their intersectional gendered complexities, this thesis deploys ‘everyday politics of living’ as an analytic orientation to examine how Kashmiri Muslim subjects survive, navigate and contest occupation and its violent effects in everyday life. Grounded in ethnographic and archival sensibility, this thesis offers a theoretical account of how occupation relies on gendered and racialised discourses about Kashmir and Kashmiri Muslims, their material consequences and the emergent forms of everyday politics that Kashmiri subjects practice to counter these effects. In conceptualising occupation as an ongoing process, this thesis shows how this military project takes hold in social, spatial, embodied, affective, temporal and discursive ways. These complexities are regulated through the hierarchies of gender and racialisation that come to have distinct effects and modulate how differently placed Kashmiri Muslim subjects survive and contest occupation. In conversation with transnational anti/decolonial feminist theory, Black, postcolonial and queer feminisms, Critical Kashmir studies and critical and feminist thinking on militarisms, this thesis makes the following conclusions: occupation of Kashmir emerges as a constitutive logic of (post)coloniality. While deploying existing gendered and social hierarchies, occupation widens these constraints in contingent ways, creating a germane ground for wilful anti-occupation politics to flourish.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2022 Niharika Pandit
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Gender Institute
Supervisor: Henry, Marsha

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