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 28: Sex work

Sara Kallock


This chapter provides an overview of the feminist debates on sex work and shows how the concepts and insights formulated therein can be operationalized under the framework of gendered political economy. The chapter covers three feminist models: abolitionism, sex radicalism, and sex labourism. Each of these offers gender International Political Economy (IPE) scholars a distinct perspective on domestic and global sex markets, but also poses significant potential limitations, which are discussed. To demonstrate one sense in which this theoretical analysis can be operationalized in empirical study, the author outlines her research on how these feminist models of sex work are adopted and adapted in the discourses of frontline health and social workers in the UK. The chapter closes by calling the readership to consider the role of “global” frontline workers in future scholarship.

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