Everyday Occupations: Experiencing Militarism in South Asia and the Middle East

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Kamala Visweswaran
University of Pennsylvania Press, Mar 16, 2013 - Political Science - 312 pages

In the twenty-first century, political conflict and militarization have come to constitute a global social condition rather than a political exception. Military occupation increasingly informs the politics of both democracies and dictatorships, capitalist and formerly socialist regimes, raising questions about its relationship to sovereignty and the nation-state form. Israel and India are two of the world's most powerful postwar democracies yet have long-standing military occupations. Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Turkey have passed through periods of military dictatorship, but democracy has yielded little for their ethnic minorities who have been incorporated into the electoral process. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (like India, Pakistan, and Turkey) have felt the imprint of socialism; declarations of peace after long periods of conflict in these countries have not improved the conditions of their minority or indigenous peoples but rather have resulted in "violent peace" and remilitarization. Indeed, the existence of standing troops and ongoing state violence against peoples struggling for self-determination in these regions suggests the expanding and everyday nature of military occupation. Such everydayness raises larger issues about the dominant place of the military in society and the social values surrounding militarism.

Everyday Occupations examines militarization from the standpoints of both occupier and occupied. With attention to gender, poetics, satire, and popular culture, contributors who have lived and worked in occupied areas in the Middle East and South Asia explore what kinds of society are foreclosed or made possible by militarism. The outcome is a powerful contribution to the ethnography of political violence.

Contributors: Nosheen Ali, Kabita Chakma, Richard Falk, Sandya Hewamanne, Mohamad Junaid, Rhoda Kanaaneh, Hisyar Ozsoy, Cheran Rudhramoorthy, Serap Ruken Sengul, Kamala Visweswaran.


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Geographies of Everyday Occupation
An Inverted Rhapsody on Kurdish National Struggle Gender and Everyday Life in Diyarbakir
The Occupation of Southern Sri Lanka
Structures of Feeling and Force in GilgitBaltistan
Notes on the Occupation of Palestinians Inside Israel
Chapter 5 Indigenous Women and Culture in the Colonized Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh
Space Violence and Memory in Kashmir
Kurdish Formations of Memory Place and Sovereignty in Turkey
Refining the Optic of Occupation
Some Day
List of Contributors

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About the author (2013)

Kamala Visweswaran is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas-Austin, and author most recently of Un/common Cultures: Racism and the Rearticulation of Cultural Difference and Perspectives on Modern South Asia.

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