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Gender and Political Economy of Development: From Nationalism to Globalisation

Polity Press, 2002, pp. 264, ISBN 0-7456-1491-4

A study that 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. Aimed at undergraduates and graduates in politics, development studies and gender studies.


Chinese Politics and Society: An Introduction

(co-author Flemming Christiansen), 1996, Harvester-Wheatsheaf, Hemel Hempstead, ISBN 0-13-354656-X

Concentrating on the era since 1949, this book takes a look at Chinese politics in the widest sense, analyzing political institutions within the crucial broader context of Chinese history and the pressures of social, economic, and cultural change. Covers a brief history of the Chinese Revolution, problems of transition, the Chinese state and political institutions, the Chinese economy, civil-military relations, ethnicity, environment, and perspectives for the fut ure. For professionals in the fields of Chinese politics, Chinese studies, and communist politics.


Resistance and Reaction: University Politics in Post-Mao China

1991, Harvester-Wheatsheaf, Hemel Hempstead; pp. 229+xvii, ISBN 0-7450-0903-4



Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state? : institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women

Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003 / ISBN: 071905978X


Published in association with the United Nations, this book builds on the existing body of literature on gender and democratization by looking at the relevance of national machineries for the advancement of women. It considers the appropriate mechanisms through which the mainstreaming of gender can take place, and the levels of governance involved; defines what the "interests of women" are, and how and by what processes these interests are represented to the state policy making structures. Global strategies for the advancement of women are considered, and how far these have penetrated at national level, illuminated by a series of case studies - gender equality in Sweden and other Nordic countries, the Ugandan ministry of Gender, Culture and Social services, gender awareness in Central and Eastern Europe, and further examples from South Korea, the Lebanon, Beijing and Australia.

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Development and the Challenge of Globalization

(co-ed. Peter Newell and Andrew Scott) IT Publishers, London, 2002

Understanding globalization is key for the future of development. Increasingly globalized patterns of economic exchange and political interaction shape the possibility of reforms to benefit the poor. There is an urgent need to assess what challenges this new context poses for development. In particular, what are the challenges to the objective of poverty reduction implied by globalization? The aim of this book is to take a critical look at the trends associated with globalization and assess what they mean for traditional practices of development. Going beyond attempts to quantify the pros and cons of globalization and the ideological tenor of much of the polemical debate, the approach is to focus on the actors, institutions and processes by which the relationship between globalization and poverty is mediated. This is important for understanding who the winners and losers from globalization are likely to be, given the current political and economic constraints under which practitioners operate. Such an approach helps to clarify the sense of the obstacles and opportunities that will shape any attempt to promote poverty elimination in a context of globalization. The book explores how the relationship between globalization and poverty is handled by institutions and actors that govern social and economic interactions at every level of society. The focus is on the consequences of globalization, the actors, institutions and movements that are operating in the new global political space, and on the strategies that are being developed to contest the impact of globalization on people's lives. The chapters examine three broad areas: production and exchange in the context of small scale producers; changing gender relations and feminist movements; and the environmental consequences of globalization and the movements that have emerged to challenge these. This reflects the editors' concern with the consequences of globalization as well as the politics of resistance to its negative outcomes.

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Rethinking Empowerment: Gender and Development in a Global/Local World

(co-ed. with Jane Parpart and Kathleen Staudt) Routledge, 2002, ISBN 0-415-27769-8, 2002

Rethinking Empowerment looks at the changing role of women in developing countries and calls for a new approach to empowerment. An approach that adopts a more nuanced, feminist interpretation of power and em(power)ment, recognises that local empowerment is always embedded in regional, national and global contexts, pays attention to institutional structures and politics and acknowledges that empowerment is both a process and an outcome. Moreover, the book warns that an obsession with measurement rather than process can undermine efforts to foster transformative and empowering outcomes. It concludes that power must be restored as the centrepiece of empowerment. Only then will the term and its advocates provide meaningful ammunition for dealing with the challenges of an increasingly unequal, and often sexist, global/local world.

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Global Social Movements

(co-ed.with Robin Cohen) April 2000, Althone Press (UK) and Transaction Press (USA), ISBN 0 485 00419 4, 0 485 00615 4 (pbk)

International Perspectives on Gender and Democratisation

(ed.) April 2000, Basingstoke, Macmillan, ISBN 0-333-75004-7, 0-333-75005-5 (pbk)

Brings together the experience of women's democratic movements in different countries and regions, north and south, and assesses how different discourses of democracy have been used by women's groups to assert women's rights. Sensitive to particular histories, ideologies and cultural contexts, the contributors assess the strengths and the problems facing women's democratic movements as they consolidate their gains and face new challenges in the context of global economic regimes and emerging political pressures.

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Civil Society: Democratic Perspectives

(co-edited with Robert Fine), 1997, Frank Cass, London, pp. 172; ISBN 0 7146 4313 0 (pbk)

Civil society is one of the most talked about, but difficult concepts to define. Yet it has captured the imagination of intellectuals and political activists alike. In the post-cold war era there has been a tremendous optimism about the re-emergence of civil society in many countries. However, the promises of change have not always borne fruit. This volume examines the idea of civil society in its historical and contemporary dimensions. As a collection, it provides a clear, comprehensive and critical mapping of the idea, the burden of expectation that it has carried, and the intellectual and political dimensions that surround it. The major themes covered include the concept of civil society itself, its relation to the state on the one hand and political economy on the other, and the violence of civil society as well as the possibilities it provides for resistance to injustice.

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Women and the State: International Perspectives

(co-edited with Geraldine Lievesley), 1996, Taylor and Francis, London, ISBN 0 7484 0360 4, 0 7484 0361 2 (pbk)

Women and the State: International Perspectives explores the historical and structural boundaries within which women act, relate to each other and deal with the state in the Third World. It is conscious of the fact that 'much Western feminist state theory has largely ignored the experience of Third World women'. This is true both in terms of knowledge of the diverse forms of activities women undertake and in the application of theoretical constructs about gender relations and the status of women which may be of little relevance to Third World women. This book aims to redress this imbalance through the presentation of a wide-ranging selection of case studies, describing and evaluating women's political, social and economic involvement in Third World countries. It examines how women interact with the state and what problems, obstacles and opportunities these dealings produce. It explores both the specific experiences of women (for example, the legal status of women in South Eastern Africa, the role of women in the informal economy in China, and their influence over legislation in Chile) and also certain common themes such as identity, empowerment and the conflict between tradition and modernity.

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Stirring It: Women's Studies in Transition

(co-edited with Gabrille Griffins, Marianne Hester and Sasha Roseneil), 1994, Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 231+vi. ISBN, 0-7484-0213-6


Women in the Face of Change: Soviet Union Eastern Europe and China

(co-edited with Hilary Pilikington and Annie Phizacklea), 1992, Routledge, London, pp. 227+x, ISBN 0-415-07540-8, 0-415-07541-6 (pbk)

The years 1989 and 1990 will probably be best remembered for the speed and breadth of political and economic change which swept through what used to be referred to as the Communist Bloc. With the disintegration of this bloc, there has been no shortage of western advice on how to "democratize" economy and polity in these societies. However, little thought has been given to what this change means for the millions of women who have toiled for decades alongside men in the factories and fields as well as performing their "womanly mission" in the home. This collection from women in Eastern and Western Europe, and covering both Europe and China, poses many questions about the impact of change. It contributes to the debate that seeks to combat inertia and ethnocentrism within western feminism and also to the separate and the critical "women's voice" which is re-emerging in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China.

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