Handbook on the International Political Economy of Gender
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Handbook on the International Political Economy of Gender

Edited by Juanita Elias and Adrienne Roberts

This Handbook brings together leading interdisciplinary scholarship on the gendered nature of the international political economy. Spanning a wide range of theoretical traditions and empirical foci, it explores the multifaceted ways in which gender relations constitute and are shaped by global politico-economic processes. It further interrogates the gendered ideologies and discourses that underpin everyday practices from the local to the global. The chapters in this collection identify, analyse, critique and challenge gender-based inequalities, whilst also highlighting the intersectional nature of gendered oppressions in the contemporary world order.
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Chapter 4: Liberalism, feminism and the global political economy of liberal feminism

Jane S. Jaquette


Noting that few feminist theorists today define themselves as liberals, the chapter begins by defining liberalism and reviewing the development of Western feminism within a liberal frame. With particular reference to the US experience, it discusses the impact of women’s political mobilization on the content of liberalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It then examines the debates among “second wave” feminists, from divisions between liberal and radical feminists to the rise of “difference” feminism, the challenges from post-colonial and decolonial feminisms, and anti-neoliberal critiques. The chapter looks at the work of feminist critics of liberalism, including Carol Pateman and Jean Elshtain, and the counterarguments of scholars like Martha Nussbaum, Susan Okin and Jean Hampton who write in liberalism’s defense. It concludes by arguing that feminists should recognize the need to defend liberal democratic values in an era of increasing populism and authoritarianism.

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