Social Science Research Council Research AMP Mediawell

Security from the South: Postcolonial and Imperial Entanglements

Grewal, Inderpal; Ghosh, Sahana; Al-Bulushi, Samar
Social Text

This introduction offers “security from the South” as a method and an analytic to trace the colonial continuities, the imperial geographies, and the forms of difference through which people become subjects of, resist, and shore up security regimes across the world. Rather than one overarching set of politics, practices, and ideas that constitute “security,” the essay insists on a pluriversal lens onto a world in which security regimes appear beguilingly universal. Using a transnational feminist approach, we contest the boundedness of the category of the “Global South,” instead emphasizing the fluidity between supposedly separate scales (e.g., North/South, intimate/global, etc.). Thinking across time and space allows for consideration of the ways in which the US empire has shaped practices elsewhere, but not in isolation, not without tension, and not without links to other empires. Security from the South thus encompasses imperial “war on terror” projects, but has a before and after to such projects, as security regimes across the Global South are enmeshed in longer histories of colonialism and racisms, religion, and gender/sexuality.