Gender Knowledge and Knowledge Networks in International Political Economy


Young, Brigitte, and Christoph Scherrer, eds. 2010. Gender Knowledge and Knowledge Networks in International Political Economy. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Authors: Brigitte Young, Christoph Scherrer


This volume explores the apparent gender neutrality of knowledge generation and dissemination through knowledge networks in various subfields of International Political Economy. That knowledge is power and that traditional knowledge has been constructed in the interests of the powerful has been a critique of contemporary feminist scholarship from the start. On the basis of this insight, Anne Tickner eloquently challenged the scientific claim about knowledge being universal and objective in her Presidential address at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association in San Diego 2006. In reality, such knowledge is usually partial, created by men, and based on men’s lives (Tickner 2006). In a similar vein, feminist economists have argued that mainstream theories informing policy making in macroeconomics, trade, finance, migration and the environment are based on a very traditional understanding of gender roles. Most treatments of structural change harbour a ‘conceptual silence’, i.e., the failure to acknowledge explicitly or implicitly that global restructuring is occurring on a gendered terrain (Bakker 1994).


Focusing on gender knowledge as a research agenda is all the more important, since at the Lisbon summit of the EU Council in 2000 it was agreed to make the European Union ‘globally the most competitive knowledge-based economy’ by 2010. According to this scenario, new scientific knowledge and technological innovation will be the driving force to achieve this end (Walby et al., 2007). However, the key question is: What is the epistemic and philosophical foundation of the knowledge economy and through what channels and networks is the scientific knowledge disseminated? Who decides what knowledge is, where the knowledge is produced, and who are the knowledge makers?

(Young & Scherrer, 2010: 9, 11)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, International Organizations, Political Economies

Year: 2010

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