Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Association for Feminist Anthropology
Cosponsored - Oral Presentation Session
Post-independence Uganda was characterized by the mass expulsion of racial minorities and other migrant communities who had no claim to indigeneity or a homeland in the context of heteropatriarchal nativist nation-building. The 1972 Asian expulsion, ordered by decree by former President Idi Amin, was the best known of these series of expulsions. It was linked to a colonial project of gradual reform called “Africanization” which was refashioned into an “Economic War”--meant to eradicate colonial racial capitalism and create economic opportunities for indigenous Ugandans. After a brief period of Asian property repossession and informal guest-host and kin-based forms of inclusion in the 1980s, the neoliberal security state i has now shifted to maintain the exceptional and exclusionary incorporation of people of South Asian descent in the context of plans for national development, “Africa Rising” narratives, “South-South Cooperation”, and novel reactionary anti-Western imperialist nationalisms. Indeed, a new class of African and Asian neoliberal community elites are invested in the twin projects of nation and state-building in relation to the reworking of norms surrounding racialized, gendered, and sexual citizenship in an increasingly oppressive regime (which is also contending with ever increasing numbers of precarious African and South Asian labor migrants). The paper explores the expanding entwinement and enfoldment of state technologies of inclusion and exclusion and neoliberal Afro-Asianism, alongside the ongoing populist appeal of decolonization. What might this analysis of the neoliberal appropriation of revolutionary rhetoric mean for the anthropology of citizenship and the study of decolonization and democratization in the Global South?