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  • 1.
    Eklöf Amirell, Stefan
    School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, France.
    Progressive Nationalism and Female Rule in Post-colonial South and Southeast Asia2012In: Asian Journal of Women's Studies, ISSN 1225-9276, E-ISSN 2377-004X, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 35-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several South and Southeast Asian countries have elected popular female political leaders since independence. Most of the women are either daughters or widows of popular male nationalist politicians and the key to understanding the phenomenon is the special character of nationalism as it emerged in the regions in the late colonial period. At a theoretical level, the rise of female leaders in Bangladesh, Burma, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand can best be understood as a consequence of the maternalist qualities of nationalism, including visions of peaceful national integration, social and economic justice and gender equality in the political and civic sphere. The dichotomy, which has obvious gender connotations, between this popular, progressive nationalism and the official, conservative nationalism propagated by later authoritarian regimes provided favorable conditions for the rise of female political leaders who claimed to represent the maternalism associated with their dead fathers or husbands and with the original nationalist projects.

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