Abstract: The mass public uprisings in Bahrain on 14 February 2011 was another episode of the long-standing political strife that has been observed in the country since the early 20th century. This study highlights one of the sources of group identity that shapes part of the political dynamics in Bahrain that has so far received little academic attention, namely the one surrounding the competing discourse between ‘conquerors’ and ‘indigenes’. The conquest and settlement of the Al Khalifa have influenced the lives of the existing inhabitants and the country’s social structure under their hegemony. In the meantime, a large element of the Bahraini population, who are commonly called the Baharna (sing. Bahrani), has developed self-awareness as the ‘native people of Bahrain’. This self-perception has formed one of the crucial components of societal identity in Bahrain, and has been occasionally used by different political groups as an effective tool to mobilise the opposition and delegitimise the ruling family. In this regard, this study interprets a series of institutional measures and policies developed under King Hamad bin ʿIsa Al Khalifa in the 2000s as part of settlers’ crucial strategies to consolidate Al Khalifa’s dominance, namely the development of legitimising narratives, the exploitation of land, the formation of hegemonic boundaries, as well as the extraordinary security measures. At the same time, this thesis examines how the indigenous identity was politicised during this period, closely intertwined with their ethnic, sectarian and socio-political identities. This thesis has offered an original investigation on the political cleavage in Bahrain through the lens of settler colonialism. The settler colonial framework presents a useful approach to explain the confrontation between the rulers’ conqueror ideology and the indigenous claim of part of the population, to advance our understanding of the interplay of multiple competing identities in the struggle for power and the control of socio-political resources in Bahrain.

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Abstract: This article explores the ‘myth of friendship’ between the Welsh and indigenous communities of Patagonia in the mid to late nineteenth century. Drawing on extensive archival research, it unpacks the purpose of this myth which is to demonstrate the moral superiority of the Welsh nation. The proof of Welsh righteousness derives not only from their peaceful, loving approach to colonisation in Patagonia but from stories which recount that the ‘Indians’ loved them back. This technique of elevation works because it is framed by the international politics of colonial expansion, thus the Welsh settlers compare themselves favourably to the violent and oppressive actions of the British Empire and Argentine state. This assertion of moral superiority is not only a way to raise the position of the Welsh nation on the global stage, it targets those who enforce Welsh political and linguistic subordination, both in Wales (the English elite) and as settlers (the Argentine government). In this way, their claim to high status and national dignity based on ‘righteousness’ is an act of resistance, as well as elevation. I conclude that this new interpretation of Y Wladfa (the colony) offers fresh insight to understandings of Welsh internationalism. Moreover, its reflections on the use of moral capital as a tool of resistance might find wider parallels. Certainly, I argue, the persistence of the ‘myth of friendship’ continues to conceal the brutal reality of indigenous dispossession.

Abstract: As knowledge about the constellating set of environmental and social crises stemming from the neoliberal global food regime becomes more pressing and popularized among US consumers, it has brought Indigenous actors asserting their political sovereignty and treaty rights with regards to their homelands into new collaborations, contestations, and negotiations with settlers in emerging food politics domains. In this dissertation, I examine solidarities and affinities being forged between Coast Salish and settler food actors in Puget Sound, attending specifically to how contested sovereignties are submerged but at play in these relations and how settler desires for belonging on and to stolen Indigenous lands animate liberal and radical food system politics.

The dissertation presents my ethnographic fieldwork in South Puget Sound over a period of 18 months with two related Coast Salish food sovereignty projects that brought Indigenous and settler food actors into weedy collaborations. One was a curriculum development project for Native and regional youth focused on the revitalization of Coast Salish plant landscapes, knowledge, pedagogies, and systems of reciprocity. The other was a campaign to counter the introduction of genetically engineered salmon into US food markets and coastal production facilities across the Western Hemisphere, which I situate within longstanding salmon-centered social and political struggles in Coast Salish territories in the context of Indigenous/settler-state relations. Throughout these engagements, I identified how multicultural, anti-racist, and anti-capitalist food movement frameworks share in common with neoliberal nature privatization schemes modes of disavowing the geopolitics of Indigenous sovereignty within the US settler state. The research reveals patterns in how Coast Salish food actors push back against the ways settler food actors are plugged into settler colonial governmentality. These insights, in turn, helped to make legible how inherited liberal mythologies of the nation-state and legal orders rooted in the doctrine of terra nulliuslimit the stakes of food system work in terms of inclusion and equality, and miss their collusion with structures that unmake the human-land relationships that Coast Salish people define as existential and (geo)political.

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