Gender and the Political Economy of Development: From Nationalism to Globalization
February 2002, Polity
--Diane Elson, University of Essex
Shirin Rai pushes us to rethink development. She brings us to ear a feminist analysis that grows out of her nuanced understanding of both China’s and India's gendered experience. Readers will find fresh ideas and sharp caveats about how patriarchy is sustained and fought over globally.
--Cynthia Enloe, Clark University
This important book ranges across contemporary debates in the study of gender and political economy. It situates differing gender-based theories in the context of wider political and historical processes such as colonialism, post-colonialism, Cold War politics, the New World Order, globalization and democratization.
Shirin Rai focuses on the gendered nature of the political economy of development, and the shifts that have occurred as economies and states have moved from a development process that is state-focused to one that is clearly framed by globalization. Differences between men and women, and differences between women in contrasting social and geographical positions, are explored in relation to their influence on political practice. Rai considers how the structures of economic and political power frame men and women and examines the consequences of these gendered positionings. She makes important connections between the political narratives of different levels of governance and examines the discourse of empowerment at these different levels.
The book concludes by reflecting on the way men and women are coping with the challenges of globalization and argues that women's movements need to re-establish the link between the recognition of difference and the redistribution of economic and social resources if they are to maintain their radical edge.
This will be essential reading for undergraduates and graduates in politics, development studies and gender studies.
Introduction: Mapping Gender and the Political Economy of Development.
1 Gender, Nationalism, and 'Nation-Building': Discourses of Development.
2 Gender and Development: Theoretical Perspectives in Context.
3 Globalization: New Agendas for Gender and Development?.
4 Global Restructuring and Restructuring Gender Relations: The Politics of Structural Adjustment.
5 Gender and Multi-level Governance: Feasible and Transformative Politics.
6 Critical Engagements: From Nationalism to Globalization.
- A comprehensive introduction to the impact of development on men and women, and of their differing contributions to politics and economics
- Offers a new theoretical account of gender and development
- Sets out new challenges for women's movements in the light of globalization
--Diane Elson, University of Essex
".an informative and accessible introduction to the debates on gender, development and globalization. It is an excellent and very readable text for all students of international relations, development studies and politics." (Political Studies)
"Shirin Rai's complex and comprehensive book threads gender throughout an analysis of nationalism, globalization, global restructuring, and government in the twentieth century. With breathtaking scope, her analysis will appeal to specialists in international political economy, comparative politics and gender studies. Shirin Rai has produced nothing short of the twentieth century, using a theoretical frame with implications for practice: political engagement with a gendered lens." (Political Science Quarterly)
"Its unique approach makes it a valuable book not only for those interested in politics and sociology, but also for newcomers to the field of gender studies." (Development and Change)
"Shirin Rai has produced a book that is essential reading - not just for feminists, but for anyone interested in global development."(International Feminist Journal of Politics)