Gender, Governance and the Global Political Economy

Citation:

Griffin, Penny. 2010. “Gender, Governance and the Global Political Economy.” Australian Journal of International Affairs 64 (1): 86–104.

Author: Penny Griffin

Abstract:

This article considers a range of governance actors (including also the role of political enquiry into the global political economy in and of itself) to analyze how neo-liberal governance strategies seek to socialize human bodies (female, male or otherwise) into a global system of neo-liberal economic productivity. Contemporary mechanisms of global governance, it is suggested, seek to engineer a capitalist ‘market society’ while claiming to ‘empower’ poor people. In recent years, ‘empowerment’ rhetoric in global governance has increasingly depended on measuring the ‘economic’ role(s) of women in developing countries, judging their contributions productive only where they can be gauged to directly contribute to ‘formal economy’ growth. Reinforcing the assumption that ‘formal’ contributions are the only contributions worth measuring, such rhetoric simultaneously eradicates all other (non-competitive and/or non-entrepreneurial) behavioral possibilities for women, while clearly excluding all those who are not ‘women’. Against the instrumentalization of gender (as a category pertaining only to women and studies of women), this article argues that gender in global governance means much more than simply describing whether people are male or female and quantifying their productive capacities accordingly. As a broad and complex category of analysis, gender enriches the dynamism both of our studies of and practices in the global political economy. To ignore gender's role in the global political economy is to fail to see the power that gender (as a composite part of the relations of power that drive systems of economic development and growth) brings to our everyday understandings, and especially to our understandings of economic ‘common sense.’ (Abstract from original)

Topics: Globalization, International Financial Institutions, Political Economies

Year: 2010

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