ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Nivedita Menon

Is Feminism about 'Women'?

Feminism requires us to recognise that "women" is neither a stable nor a homogeneous category. Does intersectionality as a universal framework help us to capture this complexity? This paper argues that it does not. It addresses this question through the intricacies of the terrain that feminist politics must negotiate, using the Indian experience to set up conversations with feminist debates and experiences globally. Feminism is heterogeneous and internally differentiated. We need to pay attention to challenges to the stability of given identities-- including those of "individual" and "woman." These challenges constitute the radically subversive moments that are likely to be most productive for feminism in the 21st century.

Caste on the International Stage

The official Indian position against including caste as a specific sub-set of racism is based on the assumption that race has a "physical component" which caste lacks. However a look at the history of the idea of race shows it to be a construct of a particular European anthropology and is, like caste, embodied in the very Self of the individual. While caste and race remain different forms of social oppression, viewing them as related is a creative political strategy.

Radical Resistance and Political Violence Today

This article critiques the Maoist strategy of systematic armed struggle against the state with the aim of replacing it with a socialist state. The Maoists do not expand the democratic space available for mass movements but rather mirror the repressive structures of the very state they are fighting. Genuine resistance to exploitation and oppression has come from radical mass movements which have built diverse coalitions on the ground and which have experimented with alternatives to the state. Anarchist is not an abuse which can be hurled at the Maoists, rather it is a resource for people fighting power structures.

Thinking through the Postnation

A well-known opposition in globalisation debates is "the national versus the postnational" in which the static nation, defined forever by symbols of identity produced in the now-irrelevant era of nation states, is counterposed to the dynamic postnational corporation, located everywhere and nowhere, resisting the parochialism of national pride and national symbols. The term "postnational" is developed here in a sense different from that promoted by corporations and the self-defined "global civil society", which conceives of it simply as spaces above and beyond the nation state. Moreover, in a world in which dominant discourses valorise "flows", "fluidity" and "translatability", the term postnational may offer us a vantage point that insists on location in the face of translatability, while simultaneously insisting that "location" is autonomous of the nation state.