This article examines citizenship formations and political practices in relation to racialized and gendered postcolonial insecurities for the “Asian community” in contemporary Uganda. After disaggregating the notion of Asian community, it examines (1) how formalistic, liberal, and legal-juridical conceptions of citizenship and political practice are ineffective analytics in the context of Africanization efforts and racialized expulsion in Uganda; and (2) the tendency to erase people of South Asian descent from the study of normative state-society relations and political engagement via civil society in mainstream scholarship. It argues for a productive synthesis of Indian and African postcolonial theories of democratic agency and political practice by analyzing the possibilities and limitations of Partha Chatterjee's notion of “political society” relative to local community governance and the cultural politics of informal citizenship practices in contemporary Uganda. Contemporary citizenship formations are richly textured practices that can be both democratic and antidemocratic in nature, often characterized by disavowal of liberal, legal-juridical forms of citizenship. Finally, by closely examining domains of gender-based activism and coalition building within and across racialized communities, this essay explores the possibilities for popular politics and democratic, inclusionary multiracial and gendered citizenship in the post-Asian-expulsion context of Uganda.

You do not currently have access to this content.