For a Revolutionary Feminist World-Systems Analysis

The Case of Ghadar

  • Umaima Miraj University of Toronto
Keywords: World-Systems Analysis, Feminist Theory, Anti-colonial Movements, Ghadar Party, South Asia, Historical Sociology

Abstract

In revolutionary anti-colonial movements, women's involvement has been limited, and their contributions often marginalized or forgotten. This is not only an empirical puzzle in that anti-colonial movements have historically recruited women and furthered feminist discourse while also marginalizing female members, but also a political problem for movements that the lived reality for female participants diverges from the egalitarian philosophies of the movements themselves. In this article, I build on and further develop theories of feminist world-systems analysis, contending that feminist world-systems needs to rethink theories of anti-systemic movements to better include women’s revolutionary roles as active agents in the historical process of colonial independence and decolonization. In so doing, I contend that a revolutionary feminist world-systems analysis is increasingly important to analyze that women’s active roles as revolutionary agents have been sidelined because the movements that they have been a part of have also found themselves co-opted by dominant liberal ideology. This theoretical position is illustrated through an analysis of the published periodicals of the anti-colonial Ghadar Party. Through this empirical case study, I show that Ghadar’s revolutionary potential receded to the background because of its failures to fully include its female members. This case study is then levied to demonstrate how reviving a feminist world-systems analysis can help us better theorize women’s important but under-analyzed role in revolutionary anti-colonial movements.

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Published
2022-03-26
How to Cite
Miraj, U. (2022). For a Revolutionary Feminist World-Systems Analysis: The Case of Ghadar. Journal of World-Systems Research, 28(1), 53–76. https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2022.1065
Section
Research Articles