In Idi Amin's Shadow: Women, Gender, and Militarism in Uganda by Alicia C. DeckerIn Idi Amin's Shadow: Women, Gender, and Militarism in Uganda by Alicia C. Decker

In Idi Amin's Shadow: Women, Gender, and Militarism in Uganda

byAlicia C. Decker

Paperback | November 15, 2014

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“A subtle, important, theoretically innovative, and elegantly written study that centralizes feminist thinking and shows why it matters.” —Feminist Africa

In Idi Amin’s Shadow is a rich social history examining Ugandan women’s complex and sometimes paradoxical relationship to Amin’s military state. Based on more than one hundred interviews with women who survived the regime, as well as a wide range of primary sources, this book reveals how the violence of Amin’s militarism resulted in both opportunities and challenges for women. Some assumed positions of political power or became successful entrepreneurs, while others endured sexual assault or experienced the trauma of watching their brothers, husbands, or sons “disappeared” by the state’s security forces. In Idi Amin’s Shadow considers the crucial ways that gender informed and was informed by the ideology and practice of militarism in this period. By exploring this relationship, Alicia C. Decker offers a nuanced interpretation of Amin’s Uganda and the lives of the women who experienced and survived its violence.

Each chapter begins with the story of one woman whose experience illuminates some larger theme of the book. In this way, it becomes clear that the politics of military rule were highly relevant to women and gender relations, just as the politics of gender were central to militarism. By drawing upon critical security studies, feminist studies, and violence studies, Decker demonstrates that Amin’s dictatorship was far more complex and his rule much more strategic than most observers have ever imagined.


Alicia C. Decker is an associate professor of women’s studies and African studies at Pennsylvania State University. She is the coauthor, with Andrea Arrington, of Africanizing Democracies: 1980 to the Present. Her scholarly articles have appeared in the International Journal of African Historical Studies, Women’s History Review, and th...
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Title:In Idi Amin's Shadow: Women, Gender, and Militarism in UgandaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:November 15, 2014Publisher:Ohio University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0821421182

ISBN - 13:9780821421185

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“Allen supports his provocative thesis—that the Indian Ocean has not been accorded a proper place in slave studies—with an eloquent and masterful command of both secondary and primary source material. …Allen’s research is an important contribution to the Indian Ocean region…The significance of this book is signaled by its being the first in a series of publications on Indian Ocean history by Ohio University Press.” —Slavery & Abolition