PhD Graduate Salina Abji on Anti-Border Movements and Gender Based Violence

February 25, 2019 by Julia Barone

PhD Graduate Salina Abji has recently published an article in the international Feminist Journal of Politics. The article investigates postnational-feminist approaches to gender-based violence in the contemporary immigration context. The article examines how for some advocates, a postnational politics deeply informed their criticisms of state borders and restrictive immigration controls as fundamental sources of gendered and racialized violence.

Salina Abji obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2016. She is currently a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University. Her research interests include social activism and the politics of race, gender and immigration status. She considers herself to be a critical sociologist and educator. She engages in feminist intersectional and community-based approaches to research and pedagogy.

We have published a link to the article here. The abstract can be viewed below.

Salina Abji (2018) Postnational acts of citizenship: how an anti-border politics is shaping feminist spaces of service provision in Toronto, Canada, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 20:4, 501-523.

Postnationalism has seen a modest resurgence in recent years as both a theory of citizenship and as a set of claims frequently articulated by anti-border movements. Yet the implications of postnationalism for feminist politics remain relatively under-theorized. Using interviews with feminist advocates in Toronto, Canada, this research examines how postnational challenges to state power are being mobilized in spaces of service provision addressing gender-based violence. I show how, for some advocates, a postnational politics deeply informed their critiques of state borders and restrictive immigration controls as fundamental sources of gendered and racialized violence. However, postnational approaches were also limited in offering few concrete alternatives to state protection from domestic or interpersonal violence, particularly for women with precarious immigration status. Significantly, it was through advocates’ everyday practices of service provision that they blueprinted an alternative feminist ethics of solidarity. I argue that these practices constitute postnational acts of citizenship, in so far as they attempt – albeit imperfectly – to de-border institutional spaces from within.