New publication: “The Ambivalence of Aryanism: A Genealogical Reading of India-Europe Connection”

by Ida Roland Birkvad

Ida Roland Birkvad is a doctoral candidate at Queen Mary University of London


How do historical ideas of global, supremacist connection exist alongside ideas of civilisational and racial difference? And what enables certain reactionary, political alliances to traverse colonial hierarchies of power? With an onset in contemporary, transnational connections between a Hindu and a Western Right, this article offers a critical genealogical reading of the concept of Aryanism. Understanding it as articulated historically through interactions between British colonialists and upper-caste Hindus in India, this reading focuses on these elites’ intersecting and contradictory ideas of hierarchy, difference, and cross-civilisational connection. Tracing the empirical, theoretical and political implications of these entanglements, the article contributes to on-going discussions on the imperial roots of conceptual formations and knowledge production in postcolonial International Relations.

The article can be found in Millennium: Journal of International Relations at