Gender and Global Restructuring: Sightings, Sites and Resistances (RIPE Series in Global Political Economy)

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Gender and Global Restructuring: Sightings, Sites and Resistances (RIPE Series in Global Political Economy)

“A new edition from Marchand and Runyan is cause for celebration. They and their smart contributors show us here so grap

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“A new edition from Marchand and Runyan is cause for celebration. They and their smart contributors show us here so graphically that the surprising twists and turns of today’s globalizing trends cannot be realistically tracked without taking women’s working lives and political resistances seriously.” Cynthia Enloe, author of Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War. “Bringing together leading scholars in international political economy, Gender and Global Restructuring illuminates the changing effects of neoliberal economic policies on the governance of intimacy, family formation, and the production of raced, gendered, sexualized identities. Sweeping in scope, the volume provides new insights into the complex dynamics of nationstates, international institutions, and transnational social movements as they grapple with increasing inequalities in the twenty-first century.” Mary Hawkesworth, Rutgers University, Editor, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. “An important and timely reconsideration of the ways in which global restructuring includes the restructuring of the ‘intimate’. As the cases in this volume remind us, reconfigurations of neoliberalism involve not only structural-level phenomena, but processes that both impact and depend upon subjects and subjectivities, race, gender and sexuality. This is particularly important not only in thinking through global restructuring in the post-9/11 era of economic dislocation and collapse, but as is demonstrated throughout this collection, it is central as well in locating sites of resistance.” Sandra Whitworth, Editor, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Professor of Political Science, York University, Canada. “The second edition of Gender and Global Restructuring offers a sharp, updated, and compelling case for the centrality of transnational feminist frameworks in understanding and confronting the capitalist, heteronormative, racist patriarchies that constitute neoliberal, imperial cultures at the current time. Contributors map the complex relationalities of the “intimate,” the “local” and the “global,” utilizing new feminist ethnographies and theoretical paradigms to foreground questions of women’s agency and the political economy of militarized, imperial, capitalist global processes. An illuminating, indispensable book for anyone interested in making feminist sense of global power relations and the complex and varied genealogies of women’s resistance to it.” Chandra Talpade Mohanty, author of Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity (2003).

Gender and Global Restructuring

In this new edition of this best selling text, interdisciplinary feminist experts from around the world provide new analyses of the ongoing relationship between gender and neoliberal globalization under the new imperialism in the post-9/11 context. Divided into sightings, sites, and resistances, this book examines:   

The disciplining politics of race, sexuality, and modernity under securitized globalization, including case studies, on domestic workers in Hong Kong. Heteronormative development policies and responses to the crisis of social reproduction and colonizing responses to AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Migration, human rights, and citizenship, including studies on remittances, the emergence of neoliberal subjectivities among rural Mexican women, Filipina migrant workers, and women’s labor organizing in the Middle East and North Africa. Feminist resistance, incorporating the latest scholarship on transnational feminism and feminist critical globalization movement activism, including case studies on men’s violence on the Mexico/US border, panindigenous women’s movements, and cyberfeminism.

Providing a coherent and challenging approach to the issues of gender and the processes of globalization in the new millennium, this important text will be of interest to students and scholars of IPE, international relations, economics, development, and gender studies. Marianne H. Marchand is Professor of International Relations and the Coordinator of the Canadian Studies Program in the Department of International Relations and Political Science at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Mexico. Anne Sisson Runyan is Professor of Women’s Studies and former Head of the Department of Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati, USA.

RIPE series in global political economy

Series Editors: Louise Amoore (University of Durham, UK), Jacqueline Best (University of Ottawa, Canada), Paul Langley (Northumbria University, UK), and Leonard Seabrooke (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark). Formerly edited by Randall Germain (Carleton University, Canada), Rorden Wilkinson (University of Manchester, UK), Otto Holman (University of Amsterdam), Marianne Marchand (Universidad de las Américas-Puebla), Henk Overbeek (Free University, Amsterdam), and Marianne Franklin (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK). The RIPE series editorial board are: Mathias Albert (Bielefeld University, Germany), Mark Beeson (University of Birmingham, UK), A. Claire Cutler (University of Victoria, Canada), Marianne Franklin (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK), Randall Germain (Carleton University, Canada) Stephen Gill (York University, Canada), Jeffrey Hart (Indiana University, USA), Eric Helleiner (Trent University, Canada), Otto Holman (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Marianne H. Marchand (Universidad de las Américas-Puebla, Mexico), Craig N. Murphy (Wellesley College, USA), Robert O’Brien (McMaster University, Canada), Henk Overbeek (Vrije Universiteit, the Netherlands), Anthony Payne (University of Sheffield, UK), V. Spike Peterson (University of Arizona, USA), and Rorden Wilkinson (University of Manchester, UK). This series, published in association with the Review of International Political Economy, provides a forum for current and interdisciplinary debates in international political economy. The series aims to advance understanding of the key issues in the global political economy, and to present innovative analyses of emerging topics. The titles in the series focus on three broad themes:   

the structures, processes, and actors of contemporary global transformations the changing forms taken by governance, at scales from the local and everyday to the global and systemic the inseparability of economic from political, social, and cultural questions, including resistance, dissent, and social movements.

The series comprises two strands: The RIPE Series in Global Political Economy aims to address the needs of students and teachers, and the titles will be published in hardback and paperback. Titles include: Transnational Classes and International Relations Kees van der Pijl Gender and Global Restructuring Sightings, sites and resistances Edited by Marianne H. Marchand and Anne Sisson Runyan Global Political Economy Contemporary theories Edited by Ronen Palan Ideologies of Globalization Contending visions of a new world order Mark Rupert The Clash within Civilisations Coming to terms with cultural conflicts Dieter Senghaas Global Unions? Theory and strategies of organized labour in the global political economy Edited by Jeffrey Harrod and Robert O’Brien

Contesting Globalization Space and place in the world economy André C. Drainville Global Institutions and Development Framing the world? Edited by Morten Bøås and Desmond McNeill Global Institutions, Marginalization, and Development Craig N. Murphy Critical Theories, International Relations and ‘the Anti-Globalisation Movement’ The politics of global resistance Edited by Catherine Eschle and Bice Maiguashca Globalization, Governmentality, and Global Politics Regulation for the rest of us? Ronnie D. Lipschutz, with James K. Rowe

Political Economy of a Plural World Critical reflections on power, morals and civilizations Robert Cox with Michael Schechter

Critical Perspectives on Global Governance Rights and regulation in governing regimes Jean Grugel and Nicola Piper

A Critical Rewriting of Global Political Economy Integrating reproductive, productive and virtual economies V. Spike Peterson

Beyond States and Markets The challenges of social reproduction Edited by Isabella Bakker and Rachel Silvey

The Industrial Vagina The political economy of the global sex trade Sheila Jeffreys

Savage Economics Wealth, poverty and the temporal walls of capitalism David L. Blaney and Naeem Inayatullah

Capital as Power A study of order and creorder Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler

Cultural Political Economy Edited by Jacqueline Best and Matthew Paterson

The Global Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights, Second Edition The new enclosures Christopher May

Gender and Global Restructuring, Second Edition Sightings, sites and resistances Edited by Marianne H. Marchand and Anne Sisson Runyan

Corporate Power and Ownership in Contemporary Capitalism The politics of resistance and domination Susanne Soederberg Routledge/RIPE Studies in Global Political Economy is a forum for innovative new research intended for a high-level specialist readership, and the titles will be available in hardback only. Titles include: 1. Globalization and Governance* Edited by Aseem Prakash and Jeffrey A. Hart

5. Capitalist Restructuring, Globalisation and the Third Way Lessons from the Swedish model J. Magnus Ryner

2. Nation-States and Money The past, present and future of national currencies Edited by Emily Gilbert and Eric Helleiner

6. Transnational Capitalism and the Struggle over European Integration Bastiaan van Apeldoorn

3. The Global Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights The new enclosures? Christopher May

7. World Financial Orders An historical international political economy Paul Langley

4. Integrating Central Europe EU expansion and Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic Otto Holman

8. The Changing Politics of Finance in Korea and Thailand From deregulation to debacle Xiaoke Zhang

9. Anti-Immigrantism in Western Democracies Statecraft, desire and the politics of exclusion Roxanne Lynn Doty 10. The Political Economy of European Employment European integration and the transnationalization of the (un)employment question Edited by Henk Overbeek 11. Rethinking Global Political Economy Emerging issues,unfolding odysseys Edited by Mary Ann Tétreault, Robert A. Denemark, Kenneth P. Thomas and Kurt Burch 12. Rediscovering International Relations Theory Matthew Davies and Michael Niemann

16. Governing Financial Globalization International political economy and multi-level governance Edited by Andrew Baker, David Hudson and Richard Woodward 17. Resisting Intellectual Property Debora J. Halbert 18. Neoliberal Hegemony A global critique Edited by Dieter Plehwe, Bernhard Walpen and Gisela Neunhöffer 19. Global Standards of Market Civilization Edited by Brett Bowden and Leonard Seabrooke 20. Beyond Globalization Capitalism, territoriality and the international relations of modernity Hannes Lacher

13. International Trade and Developing Countries* Bargaining coalitions in the GATT & WTO Amrita Narlikar

21. Images of Gramsci Connections and contentions in political theory and international relations Edited by Andreas Bieler and Adam David Morton

14. The Southern Cone Model The political economy of regional capitalist development in Latin America Nicola Phillips

22. Global Public Policy Business and the countervailing powers of civil society Edited by Karsten Ronit

15. The Idea of Global Civil Society Politics and ethics of a globalizing era Edited by Randall D. Germain and Michael Kenny

23. The Transnational Politics of Corporate Governance Regulation Edited by Henk Overbeek, Bastiaan van Apeldoorn and Andreas Nölke

24. National Currencies and Globalization Endangered species? Paul Bowles

27. The Child in International Political Economy A place at the table Alison M. S. Watson

25. Conflicts in Environmental Regulation and the Internationalization of the State Contested terrains Ulrich Brand, Christoph Görg, Joachim Hirsch and Markus Wissen

28. Global Citizenship and the Legacy of Empire Marketing development April Biccum

26. Governing International Labour Migration Current issues, challenges and dilemmas Edited by Christina Gabriel and Hélène Pellerin

29. Development, Sexual Rights and Global Governance Resisting global power Amy Lind 30. Cosmopolitanism and Global Financial Reform A pragmatic approach to the tobin tax James Brassett * Also available in paperback

Gender and Global Restructuring Sightings, sites, and resistances Second Edition

Edited by Marianne H. Marchand and Anne Sisson Runyan

First edition published 2000 by Routledge Second edition published 2011 by Routledge 2 Park Square Milton Park Abingdon Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business. This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2010. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to

© 2000, 2011 Marianne H. Marchand and Anne Sisson Runyan selection and editorial matter; individual chapters, the contributors. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Gender and global restructuring : sightings, sites, and resistances / edited by Marianne H. Marchand and Anne Sisson Runyan. – 2nd ed. p. cm. – (RIPE series in global political economy) 1. Women–Social conditions–Case studies. 2. International economic relations. I. Marchand, Marianne H., 1958– II. Runyan, Anne Sisson. HQ1161.G46 2010 305.42–dc22 2010004240 ISBN 0-203-89497-9 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN: 978-0-415-77679-0 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-415-77680-6 (pbk) ISBN: 978-0-203-89497-2 (ebk)

For all those who resist inequality and social injustice


List of contributors Preface by Jane L. Parpart Acknowledgements for the second edition Acknowledgements for the first edition List of abbreviations

Introduction: feminist sightings of global restructuring: old and new conceptualizations

xv xx xxiii xxv xxvii




Sightings 1

Globalization and its intimate other: Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong





Querying globalization: sexual subjectivities, development, and the governance of intimacy




Governing gender in neoliberal restructuring: economics, performativity, and social reproduction




“Where the streets have no name”: getting development out of the (RED)TM? MICHELLE V. ROWLEY


xiv Contents PART II

Sites 5 Global restructuring and women’s economic citizenship in North Africa




6 Remittances, gender, and development



7 Women’s work unbound: Philippine development and global restructuring



8 The “making women productive” strategy: uncovering gendered sightings, sites, and resistances to global restructuring in rural Mexico




Resistances 9 Globalization and gender at border sites: femicide and domestic violence in Ciudad Juárez




10 Reclaiming spaces of resistance: women’s human rights and global restructuring



11 Globalization, feminism, and information society



Conclusion: Restructuring the intimate and the global: towards “post”-neoliberal imperialism?



Postscript: Gender and (post?) financial crisis



Bibliography Index

250 284


Jonathan Bach (Ph.D., Political Science, Syracuse University) is Associate Professor at the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School in New York. His work explores the intersection of sovereignty, identity, and memory. Current projects include ethnographic and cultural approaches to socialist legacies in Germany and China. He has written on German politics and culture, information technology and organizational change, the politics of security, and labor migration, with articles appearing in, among others, Public Culture, Studies in Comparative and International Development, New Global Studies, and Theory, Culture and Society. He is the author of Between Sovereignty and Integration: German Foreign Policy and National Identity after 1989 (1999). Pauline Gardiner Barber (Ph.D., Social Anthropology, University of Toronto) is an Associate Professor in Sociology and Social Anthropology, International Development Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies at Dalhousie University. Her research considers the effects of globalization and economic restructuring on communities and livelihoods as neoliberalism produces new market arrangements and economic pressures. Recent publications focusing upon Philippine migration, citizenship, and gender and development include a co-edited volume, Class and Contention in a World of Motion (in press), and articles in journals such as the Third World Quarterly, Focaal, and Anthropologica. She is also a co-editor of the Ashgate Press series “Gender in a Global/Local World. Suzanne Bergeron Suzanne Bergeron (Ph.D., Economics, University of Notre Dame) is the director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She is the author of Fragments of Development: Nation, Gender and the Space of Modernity (2004) and has also published on gender and global neoliberalism in Signs, Review of Radical Political Economics, Gender and Development, International Feminist Journal of Politics, and in edited collections such as Feminist Economics and the World Bank, World Bank Literatures, and Development, Sexual Rights and Global Governance.



Kimberly A. Chang (Ph.D., Social and Political Psychology, Syracuse University) is Associate Professor of Social Psychology at Hamphire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her teaching and research interests focus on the psychology of globalization and the dilemmas of identity, belonging, and citizenship for those whose lives span national borders and cultural worlds. She lived and worked in Hong Kong and China for two decades. Rahel Kunz (Ph.D., Political Science, University of Lucerne) is lecturer at the Institute for Political and International Studies at the University of Lausanne. Recent publications include: ‘ “Remittances are Beautiful”? Gender Implications of the New Global Remittances Trend’, Third World Quarterly 29:7, 1391–1411 (2008); “The Crisis of Social Reproduction in Rural Mexico: Challenging the ‘Reprivatisation of Social Reproduction Thesis’ ” Review of International Political Economy, Special Issue on Social Reproduction (2010); and The Political Economy of Global Remittances: Gender and Governmentality, Routledge (forthcoming). Amy Lind (Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, Cornell University) is Mary Ellen Heintz Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati. She is the author of Gendered Paradoxes: Women’s Movements, State Restructuring, and Global Development in Ecuador (2005) and editor of Development, Sexual Rights, and Global Governance (2010). Currently she is working on a book-length manuscript on sexual politics and the “new Left” in Latin America, based on research conducted in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Lily Ling (Ph.D., Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is an Associate Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School in New York, New York. Ling’s research interests include critical security studies, transcultural politics, and postcolonial discourses (race/gender/class/culture), modalities of transnationalism, ethnographies of knowledge production and international development practice, and emerging regional economies. Her geocultural area of interest centers on East, Southeast, and South Asia and its relations with the global West. Her books include Postcolonial International Relations: Conquest and Desire between Asia and the West (2002) and Transforming World Politics: From Empire to Multiple Worlds (2009), co-authored with Anna M. Agathangelou. Ling’s publications have appeared in International Feminist Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, International Studies Review, Journal of Peace Research, Millennium, Positions: East Asia cultures critique, Review of International Political Economy, and Review of Politics, among others, as well as various anthologies.



Marianne H. Marchand (Ph.D., Political Science, Arizona State University) is Professor of International Relations in the Department of International Relations and Political Science at the Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico. Previously at the University of Amsterdam, her research has spanned gender and development, globalization, and regionalization in Latin American, North American, and European contexts, and is now focused on the migration-development nexus. Her publications include “The Future of Gender and Development after 9/11: insights from postcolonial feminism and transnationalism” (Third World Quarterly 2009) and Feminism/Postmodernism/Development (1995, with Jane Parpart). She has been the project director of numerous grants, including the European Union funded Regionalism, Social Development and Borders (REDESFRO)-Network. In 2008 she served as Vice-President of the International Studies Association. Valentine M. Moghadam (Ph.D., Sociology, American University) is Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies and Director of Women’s Studies for Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Formerly chief of the gender equality and development section in the Social and Human Sciences Sector, UNESCO, Paris, she is the author of Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East (2nd edn, 2003), Women, Work, and Economic Reform in the Middle East and North Africa (1998), and Globalizing Women: Transnational Feminist Networks (2005). Laura Parisi (Ph.D., Political Science, University of Arizona) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia. She has published in the areas of gender and human rights, development, globalization, transnational feminism, and methodology. Her recent publications include “A ‘Revolution within a Revolution’: Indigenous Women’s Diplomacies,” with Jeff Corntassel, in Indigenous Diplomacies (2009); “The Numbers Do(n’t) Always Add Up: Dilemmas in Using Quantitative Research Methods in Feminist International Relations Scholarship” in Politics & Gender (2009); and “Feminist Perspectives on Human Rights” in the International Studies Association Compendium Project (2009). Jane L. Parpart (Ph.D., History, Boston University) is Visiting Professor, Institute for Gender and Development Studies, University of West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, and Tobago; Professor Emeritus, Dalhousie University; and Visiting Professor at Stellenbosch University (South Africa), London School of Economics, and Aalborg University (Denmark). She has written extensively on gender and development, feminist theory and development, and African history with a focus on Southern Africa. She is



a co-editor of Rethinking Empowerment (2002), Gender, Conflict, and Peacekeeping (2005), The Practical Imperialist (2006), and Rethinking the Man Question in International Relations (2008). She is currently working on silence and agency as well as empowerment and gender in an increasingly insecure world; the legacies of violence; gender, caregiving, and HIV/ AIDS; and a study of the urban elite in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (the latter two with Miriam Grant). Michelle V. Rowley (Ph.D., Women’s Studies, Clark University) is Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies in the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland. Formerly in the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Cincinnati and the Gender and Development Program at the University of the West Indies in Barbados, her research focuses on gender and development and her publications have appeared in Signs and several edited volumes. She has also engaged in a number of gender and public policy research studies for government agencies in the Caribbean. Anne Sisson Runyan (Ph.D., International Relations, American University) is Professor and former Head of the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her most recent publications include Global Gender Issues in the New Millennium (2010, with V. Spike Peterson) and she is currently developing books on transnational and North American feminisms. A recipient of the Eminent Scholar Award from the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section of the International Studies Association for her pioneering and long-time contributions to the field of feminist world politics, she also serves on several journal and book series editorial boards and has performed leadership roles in the National Women’s Studies Association. Kathleen Staudt (Ph.D., Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement at the University of Texas-El Paso. Her research interests include border politics and public policy; women and gender in international development and bureaucracy; domestic violence; and civic engagement and education. Gillian Youngs (Ph.D., International Relations, Nottingham Trent University) has a background in academia, business, and journalism. She has been developing critical perspectives on technology throughout her professional life, and has published widely on information society and digital economy issues, as well as feminist theory and practice in these contexts. Her recent books include Global Political Economy in the Information Age: Power and



Inequality (2007), and her research has appeared in numerous journals, edited collections, and policy documents. She has taught in related areas at UK and US universities, including in Hong Kong, and is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester in the UK. As well as practice- and policy-related work in UNESCO and NGO projects, her academic activities have included being a founding co-editor of International Feminist Journal of Politics from 1999 to 2005, and serving on the boards of several international journals.


Engendering global restructuring in a post-9/11 world The first edition of Gender and Global Restructuring provided landmark studies of the gendered character of economic restructuring in a globalizing world. The second edition brings a host of new feminist lenses to bear on our post-9/11 world, taking up processes of neoliberal restructuring in the context of the “war on terror” and its militarized security complex designed to foster and protect the American empire and its allies. As the editors point out, this new, highly masculinist and often racialized security machine is less forgiving/meaner and more contradictory than earlier forms of global restructuring, providing both more discipline/control and greater impetus for resistances. Indeed, tensions between these elements lie at the heart of the second edition. Capturing intersectional advances in feminist theorizing on globalization from postcolonial, poststructural, and queer perspectives, the book’s case studies reflect contemporary foci in scholarship on gender and globalization, ranging from migration and remittances to borders, governance, and our increasingly wired world. Although organized like the first edition, according to sightings, sites, and resistances, each contributor takes on all three facets, incorporating analyses of restructuring phenomena in varying geographical, institutional, and cultural spaces as well as personal, local, national, and transnational struggles to work with, arrest, subvert, and/or redirect these phenomena. A number of contributors focus on the performative and biopolitical power of restructuring agents, whether mainstream economists, the World Bank, market-driven philanthropic campaigns, or the policies of postcolonial states, with their efforts to produce more compliant and dependent workers, consumers, and household members. Yet what all contributors have in common is the finding that such “re-engineering” efforts are always incomplete, fragile, and can even backfire. New female wage-earners can become empowered enough to collectively organize to make claims on the state. Female remittance-senders and receivers can resist both family and market discipline. Sexual minorities ignored by mainstream development can challenge the heteronormativity embedded in development policies

Preface xxi and practices. Aboriginal women can protest (neo)liberal women’s rights’ norms that do not foreground economic and cultural rights. Cultural workers can provide alternative narratives that both challenge global processes and explore the resilience of everyday life in the face of such forces. The internet can be a site of connectivity that both reinforces and challenges this quintessentially masculine face of global modernity. Thus the contradictory nature of global restructuring emerges even more in this volume. It is a story of life on an uneven playing field, fraught with obstacles, but providing unexpected openings for creative resistance to the globalization-security complex. This volume amply demonstrates the increasing centrality of gender to global restructuring strategies, even though this centrality is rarely acknowledged in the non-feminist accounts of globalization or empire. Partially in response to feminist demands that gender be taken into account, the intimate space of the household and gender relations as well as gendered economic decisions, gendered identities (both feminine and masculine) and even feminist movements have become key concerns for the neoliberal policies of development agencies and international financial institutions. At the same time, gender has figured heavily in security narratives in the post-9/11 world, with, as the editors point out, its emphasis on Security Man rather than Globalization Man, rationalized by calls to protect a range of “worthy” femininities (“security moms,” “oppressed” Afghan women, “the homeland” and so on). Thus the forces of neoliberal globalization and neoconservative empire in this (passing?) era or phase of restructuring have become increasingly gendered. At the same time, these gendered processes have not been uncontested. The twin notions of hegemony and resistance that thread through all the chapters are a welcome antidote to the literature that either glorifies the construction of a global empire fostering peace and democracy to the world or laments the overwhelming power of those same forces. Even more so than the first, the second edition of Gender and Global Restructuring reminds us just how gendered (and raced, classed, and sexualized) global processes are, and particularly how innovative and persistent feminist opposition has been (and continues to be). At the same time, more attention to the masculinist nature of the securitized forces serving neoliberal empires/imperialism and their “war on terror” reminds us of the forces facing those who dare to resist. Feminist writings on hegemonic masculinity and international relations have highlighted both the resilience of masculinist power and its persistent fragility. It is this fragility and the need to protect masculinist power that fuels disciplinary forces in a still militarized, securitized world. Yet this fragility also produces spaces and discourses that encourage resistance. Completed during the onset of Wall Street and Fleet Street-sponsored financial near collapse and the ensuing and ongoing economic crisis, this volume cannot fully capture what the potential aftermath of this might be, although its postscript provides evidence of its impact and the further effects it might have. The contributors do point to the beginnings of the pre-crisis



unraveling of the Washington Consensus even as they note the ongoing power of these ideas and policies. Certainly there is a widening and deepening of economic immiseration, especially for the impoverished, but whether this will lead to disciplining the market or the populace remains to be seen. Nevertheless, one has only to look at debates about the rise in global poverty and the dangers of impoverished, angry masses, including women, to realize that even in a highly militarized world, (Bush II-era) empire is not as securely in control as often imagined. Moreover, the increasingly multi-polar world emerging in the wake of the global economic meltdown is revealing the limits of the American empire and its allies. Indeed they are looking like a rather tired and dispirited group. Future feminist work on global restructuring will hopefully track a more promising trajectory if the allure of both Globalization and Security Man continues to decline. The current edition, with its message of warning and hope, offers important insights into gender and global restructuring in the more immediate post-9-11 neoliberal imperial world. I would also suggest that it provides an important analytical platform for interrogating the increasingly complicated, diverse, multi-polar, and still very gendered world we are entering. Jane L. Parpart University of the West Indies Institute of Gender and Development Studies

Acknowledgments for the second edition

In the decade between the first and second editions of this volume, much has changed as global restructuring has worn on. This is why we agreed to produce an almost completely new snapshot of the phenomenon that attempts to capture the latest shifts in the sites of, and resistances to it through fresh feminist sightings that come from contemporary postcolonial, postmodern, and queer scholarship. To accomplish this, we especially thank our many contributors to this volume, which contains one reprised piece, three new pieces by contributors to the first volume, and eight pieces by new contributors, including the preface. As before, these contributors come from a variety of disciplinary, interdisciplinary, institutional, and geographical locations and offer glimpses into restructuring processes on four continents (Africa, Asia, South America, and North America) and through analyses of a host of intergovernmental and nongovernmental policies and actions with implications from the most global to the most intimate relations. While the disciplinary backgrounds of our contributors are largely the social sciences, we note with particular pleasure that many of them hold positions in women’s and gender studies departments, speaking to the growth and sophistication of globalization studies within feminist studies, which also accounts for even greater conceptual and methodological pluralism, including insights and analytical subjects, objects, and methods associated with the humanities. We also thank many of these contributors for participating in several panels we organized at successive International Studies Association meetings through the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section in preparation for this volume. On the manuscript production end, we are deeply indebted to Holly McEntyre, a graduate of the MA/JD joint degree program in Women’s Studies and Law at the University of Cincinnati and Anne’s research and graduate assistant for several years while completing her studies. Thanks to a fellowship and student assistance funds Anne received from the Taft Center at the University of Cincinnati to work on this volume, she had Holly’s services. Holly admirably performed a phenomenal amount of tasks associated with completing the manuscript, ranging from administrative and clerical support to research and editing assistance. Anne is particularly grateful for not only

xxiv Acknowledgments for the second edition her many competencies, but also her emotional support during the preparation of this volume. We also thank Routledge staff, particularly Heidi Bagtazo, Editor of the Politics and International Studies division, who commissioned this second volume based on the strong reception to, and impact of the first, as well as those who brought this volume to fruition from manuscript form. Finally, we thank our respective departments and institutions for the sabbatical leave we both enjoyed while working on this volume. As a positive consequence of this, Marianne had the opportunity to spend time in Cincinnati and meet some new, wonderful colleagues and friends in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies. She wishes to thank Anne for this opportunity and for her relentless support and patience. We also thank our partners, Hector and Al, and other family members for their support during its production, and each other for yet another collaboration among many that we hope will contribute to the ongoing struggle for social justice.

Acknowledgements for the first edition

This volume arose out of an international and interdisciplinary conference on “Gender and global restructuring: shifting sites and sightings,” which we co-organized at the University of Amsterdam in May 1995 under the auspices of the Belle van Zuylen Institute for comparative and multicultural gender studies and the Research Center for International Political Economy (RECIPE). We are grateful to the generous funders of that conference, in particular the Belle van Zuylen Institute, the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam, and the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO – The Dutch Organization for Scientific Research), for making the beginnings of this volume possible. In addition, we wish to thank Barbara van Balen, Sarah Richardson, and all the Dutch and international students (in particular, the members of the FAIR group) who helped us to organize the conference. Since that conference, we have had the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas from the evolving manuscript with colleagues in academic and NGO settings (in Bad Böl, New York, San Diego, Vienna, Kansas, and back in Amsterdam) and with our students, who have over the years participated in our research seminars. The critical and constructive input of all these friends, colleagues, and students has sharpened our analysis and enabled us to develop our ideas more fully. For this support and input, we are very grateful. Several of the contributors participated in the May 1995 Conference and the rest joined in the project as the volume took shape. Our greatest thanks go to the contributors for their insights, patience, and ongoing support for the project. We also wish to thank V. Spike Peterson, Christine Chin, Henk Overbeek, and Otto Holman for their very thoughtful and helpful reviews of the manuscript as well as Vicki Smith, Craig Fowlie, Fintan Power, Eve Daintith, and other Routledge staff in London for their assistance in bringing this volume to fruition. We are particularly indebted to people who were vital to the production of the manuscript at our respective institutions: Marianne Franklin, editorial assistant for the RIPE Series in Global Political Economy, kept the project on track with Routledge, and at Wright State University, Connie Jacobs, administrative assistant to the Women’s Studies Program, and work-study student


Acknowledgments for the first edition

Heidi Gerstenberger deserve tremendous credit for their extraordinary clerical support, without which we would have been hard-pressed to compile the manuscript. A faculty development grant from the College of Liberal Arts at Wright State also helped to defray manuscript production costs. On more personal notes, we owe our deepest gratitude to our partners, Steven Stusek and Albert Adrian Kanters, and our families for all their emotional support. We also thank and celebrate each other for so joyfully engaging in this transcontinental collaboration, building a friendship in the process, and so diligently bringing the work to its conclusion. We can only hope that it will do justice to the many women and men who are progressively resisting and redirecting global restructuring, for whom it was written.



11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the US twenty-four hours a day/seven days a week Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc Tunisian Association of Democratic Women a.k.a Femmes Démocrates Association of Tunisian Women for Research and Development Amnesty International acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (see also HIV/AIDS) Association Marocaine des Droits des Femmes Association Marocaine des Droits Humains Association for Progressive Communications Association for Women’s Rights in Development Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women Battering Intervention and Prevention Program Beijing Platform for Action Center for Arab Women Training and Research Confédération Démocratique du Travail United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women critical globalization movement Citizenship and Immigration Canada le Centre d’Information et de Documentation sur les Droits de l’Enfant et de la Femme Centre Marocain d’Information, de Documentation et d’Études sur la Femme Center for Information, Documentation, Studies, and Research on Women corporate social responsibility Department for International Development (UK) domestic helpers Department of Labor and Employment (Philippines) Department of Trade and Industry (UK)



United Nations Economic and Social Council Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights Estados Unidos (United States) Export Processing Zones European Union frequently asked questions foreign direct investment Forward Looking Strategies (resulting from End of the UN Decade for Women Conference in Nairobi) FTNs feminist transnational networks GAD Gender and Development GDI Gender Development Index GDP gross domestic product GNP gross national product GPE Global Political Economy HIV/AIDS human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome HRAD human rights approach to development ICESCR International Covenant on Economic, and Social Cultural, Rights ICFTU International Confederation of Free Trade Unions ICPD International Conference on Population and Development ICTs information and communication technologies IDS Institute for Development Studies IFIs international financial institutions IGLHRC International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission IGOs intergovernmental organizations IGTN International Gender and Trade Network IIWF International Indigenous Women’s Forum ILO International Labor Organization IMF International Monetary Fund InMUJERES Instituto de las Mujeres IOM International Organization for Migration IPE International Political Economy IR International Relations ISA International Studies Association ISI Import Substitution Industrialization ITUC International Trade Union Confederation LGBs lesbian, gay, and/or bisexual persons LGBT lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender LGBTQ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer MAI Multilateral Agreement on Investment MDs medical doctors MDGs United Nations Millennium Development Goals MENA Middle East and North Africa ECOSOC ECWR EEUU EPZs EU FAQs FDI FLS



men who have sex with men multinational telecommunications enterprises Music Television North American Free Trade Agreement New Economics of Labor Migration (theory) nongovernmental organizations Nepal Institute for Development Studies New International Economic Order Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Office of the Special Adviser to the SecretaryGeneral on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women Provincial Nominee Programs (Canada) Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Public Services International regime of labor intimacy reproductive-productive-virtual economies structural adjustment policies/programs Secretariat of State for the Family, Child Welfare, and Disabled Persons (Morocco) Secretariat of State for Family Affairs (Morocco) science, engineering, and technology small and medium-sized enterprises Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) transgender and intersex persons transnational advocacy networks transnational feminist networks “technomuscular” capitalism transnational corporations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Union Générale des Travailleurs Algériens Union Générale des Travailleurs du Maroc Union Générale des Travailleurs Tunisiens United Kingdom Union Marocaine du Travail United Nations Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS United Nations Development Program United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization United Nations Fund for Population Activities, a.k.a United Nations Population Fund United Nations Children’s Fund



UNIFEM United Nations Development Fund for Women UN-INSTRAW United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women UNPFII United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues UNRISD United Nations Research Institute for Social Development US United States USAID United States Agency for International Development WCD Women, Culture, and Development WCED World Commission on Environment and Development WEDO Women’s Environment and Development Organization WHO World Health Organization WICEJ Women’s International Coalition for Economic Justice WID Women in Development WIDE Women in Development Europe WSFs World Social Forums WSIS World Summit on Information Society WSWs women who have sex with women

Introduction: Feminist sightings of global restructuring Old and new conceptualizations Marianne H. Marchand and Anne Sisson Runyan Introduction ‘Young ladies don’t understand political economy, you know,’ said Mr Brooke, smiling towards Mr Casaubon. ‘I remember when we were all reading Adam Smith. There is a book now.’ – George Eliot, Middlemarch1

In George Eliot’s day, the underlying assumption was that “young ladies” did not understand political economy because they did not have anything to do with it: the workings of an international capitalist political economy as codified and reified by classical political economists like Adam Smith were considered far removed from the experiential world and daily lives of young, middle class women in nineteenth-century Britain. They were supposedly too delicate and emotional to engage with or even discuss the harsh and rational world of political economy. Yet, as contemporary feminist scholars of, and commentators on international or global political economy (IPE or GPE) have increasingly revealed, the lives of nineteenth-century “young ladies” in colonizing countries and those of countless women across the colonized world were intricately and inextricably bound up in the creation of what was to become a global capitalist political economy. Now most often referred to as globalization, it has everything to do with the lives of women and men across the world in the twenty-first century. In the first edition of this collection, we made the case for the centrality of gender, as a relation of inequality based on social constructions of masculinity and femininity, to the process of globalization that we preferred to call global restructuring to better capture the multi-dimensional, multi-speed, and disjuncted nature of this economic, political, social, and cultural phenomenon.2 We review some of these arguments in this second edition introduction because there is still resistance, particularly in conventional IPE literature but also in the popular imagination, to seeing this powerful relationship in all its complexity and acknowledging that globalization is not an overarching, unitary force majeure out of nowhere. Rather it is an open-ended, historically



produced, social and political construction with uneven and contradictory dimensions and effects that are subject to change. Beyond reviewing the substance of these arguments, however, we also bring to bear more recent feminist scholarship on gender and globalization that further elucidates our understanding of varying intersectionalities of gender, race, nation, and sexual identities, ideologies, and practices produced through and productive of global restructuring. We argue that these offer richer “sightings” of the connections between gender, in all its complexities, and global restructuring. In addition; we follow through the direction taken in our first volume by complicating and expanding “sites” of global restructuring, taking them beyond geographical spaces to other analytic categories, such as sites of cultural, symbolic, and sexuality production and reproduction. Some of the latest scholarship on transnational feminism also raises new questions about and approaches to the issue of “resistances” to global restructuring through an intersectional gender lens.

Gendered restructuring dynamics: Pre- and post-9/11 When we initiated the process of rethinking our first volume, our reflections centered on the notion of whether we could continue to use the central concept of global restructuring in all its dimensions. Such reflection was necessary because of more recent concerns by the international relations community about the events of 9/11, 2001 and ensuing geopolitical struggles which seemed to push concerns about neoliberal globalization to the background in the face of a tidal wave of re-militarization. However, feminist explorations of these events have started to draw connections between (neoliberal) globalization and militarism, calling them the fraternal “twin towers” of empire (Petchesky 2002). It is these insights which support or vindicate our initial conceptualization of global restructuring as opposed to using the simultaneously totalizing and contested notion of globalization. As the concept of global restructuring takes us beyond a narrow economistic view of (neoliberal) globalization and instead emphasizes a multidimensional, interconnected and profound set of transformations, it is much better suited to analyze and understand the new security dimensions of the “war on terror” and place it in a global context. Our suggestion is that a feminist analysis, which clearly incorporates intersectionalities such as race, ethnicity, age, nation, sexuality, and religion, can meet the challenges posed by contemporary discussions and concerns about empire based on the twinning of globalization and re-militarization. Whether post-9/11 militaristic empire building is seen as a part of global restructuring; as a separate process that nevertheless assists it, or the next or culminating phase of globalization (competing arguments we will examine below), gendered intersectionalities have figured prominently in the imperial designs and actions of the neo-conservative US administration under George W. Bush (or Bush II). Gender identities and relations as well as gendered



symbols, institutions, and practices associated with the multilateralist, economistic globalization of the 1990s underwent some swift changes in the post-9/11 climate of unilateralist, military-centered “new imperialism,” in David Harvey’s (2003) words. One of the main arguments in our first edition was that such transformations are embedded in, but also generative of, a rearticulation of identities and subjectivities. In the case of the post-9/11 period under Bush II, and the re-militarization that ensued, hegemonic masculinities hitherto associated with the Cold War seemed to have resurfaced. It remains to be analyzed whether this constituted the re-emergence of an old-style Anglo-American hegemonic masculinity that privileges brawn over brain and is based on extreme homophobia or whether it has involved the articulation of a new type of hegemonic masculinity, combining such characteristics as muscle-power, preoccupation with high-tech warfare, and xenophobia, especially toward the non-Western, non-Christian “other.” It also remains to be seen if this ascendant form of masculinity during the Bush II Administration has waned somewhat in the Obama era. What appears more certain is that women, as well as femininity, have become more militarized as well as securitized. The “war on terror” became more reliant on women in militaries – including such excesses as the occurrences at the Abu Ghraib prison-while at the same time re-imposing “traditional” gender roles for women through relentless attacks on reproductive rights and social welfare programs. As many feminist commentators on post-9/11 Bush era observed (see, for example, Faludi 2007), women and so-called “women’s issues” virtually disappeared from the public stage amidst the manly world of the “war on terror” under which any assault on human rights and civil liberties was justified. Despite the many critiques of globalization launched by feminists (see our first edition), in retrospect, some feminists have lamented the rolling back of some modest gains in gender justice made during the 1990s under more multilateralist conditions and in the wake of the Beijing Platform for Action arising out of the Fourth World Conference on Women. In the words of Gita Sen: In particular, the strong support of the economic North during the Clinton era for women’s reproductive and sexual rights stood in uncomfortable juxtaposition to its intransigence in global economic negotiations on world trade, financing for development and debt repayment. This created major problems for those concerned to promote women’s human rights in all dimensions. [ … ] [I]t made it particularly difficult in global negotiations to have an integrated and clear stance against cultural relativism wearing the guise of religion and tradition, and to build stable political alliances for women’s human rights (2005: 1). It was under this state of affairs that gender mainstreaming also emerged on the dockets of states and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) (see Parisi, this volume). While, on the one hand, celebrated as an advance in



gender policymaking that would make gender impacts central to the evaluation and implementation of many IGO and some state policies, on the other hand, it also laid the foundation for women and feminist issues disappearing from center stage (see, for example, Squires 2007; Parpart 2010), except when they were convenient as goads for war in Afghanistan that for a brief time was waged under the pretext of “liberating” Afghan women. Amidst the “war on terror,” neoliberal globalization was also widening and deepening, while continuing to subject countries and peoples to the “discipline” of the market. In this scenario, the welfare as well as the development state are being reconfigured, with “neocolonial and postcolonial state managers” (see Alexander 2005) operating to conform their economies, polities, and cultures to neoliberal dictates by international financial institutions (IFIs) that promise modernity and counsel good governance through exercising conditionalities on aid and trade. Social welfare is reduced to “boot-strapping” (see Lind, this volume) and development is oriented away from international and national redistributions of wealth and towards inputs (such as those outlined in the UN Millennium Development Goals or MDGs) designed to re-engineer social behaviors and relations in order to optimize market behavior and efficiencies. This redesigning, touted by the UN as “globalization with a human face,” is the answer to increasing criticisms of globalization’s neoliberal underpinnings (United Nations Development Programme 1999). However, fundamental issues underlying the creation of neoliberal subjectivities are not addressed. Under neoliberal governmentality, the state is reduced to a promote of the “free market” leading to the privatization of social welfare and the “marketization” of political and social life whereby populations are to be “free, self-managing, and self-enterprising individuals in different spheres of life – health, education, bureaucracy, the professions, and so on. The neoliberal subject is therefore not a citizen with claims on the state but a selfenterprising citizen-subject who is obligated to become an ‘entrepreneur of himself or herself ’” (Ong 2006: 14; see also Peterson and Runyan 2010). It was in this climate that the growing feminist analyses of the twinning of neoconservative militarization and neoliberal globalization were marginalized for, much like the quote from Eliot’s Middlemarch, in a world awash with militarist capitalism and the terrorism it breeds, women had little place. Ironically, however, especially in the face of the recent financial crisis and deep global recession that still continues as of this writing, women are increasingly being seen as a panacea. Soon after the onset of the US- and Wall Streetprecipitated worldwide financial and economic crises in the Fall 2008, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof reported on socio-biological studies conducted in Britain that claimed to find that high levels of testosterone in male traders, which increased even more on the trading floor, made them take the kinds of financial risks that led to the near collapse of global capitalism. These studies suggest that were women to be in charge of financial markets and constitute the majority of traders, such large-scale crises could be



averted – prompting even the “dead white men” at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos to debate the need for gender balance in global finance and to recruit more “mistresses of the universe” (Kristof 2009: 12). There are many problems with the use of deterministic and reductionist socio-biological perspectives and evidence to inadvertently advance feminist arguments for women’s representation in economic decision-making. Moreover, little has been reported since on this research as financial institutions have been bailed out and seemingly gone back to business-as-usual in the absence so far of any profound changes in US or global regulations of capital. However, the most recent phase(s) of restructuring have prompted more feminist and other critical scholarship on the biopolitics of globalization. Exemplary of contemporary feminist critiques with respect to the biopolitics of current restructuring are studies of the World Bank’s new-found policy of inclusion and gender-sensitivity, revealing this as the latest weapon it has used to advocate further neoliberal restructuring. In her reading of former World Bank President James Wolfensohn’s “Challenge of Inclusion” initiative, Suzanne Bergeron argues that the Bank’s new targeting of rural women in the Global South for credit to liberate them from backward “tradition” by “integrating them into development” is actually based on “the old [imperial] trope of (white) (wo)men rescuing brown women from brown men” (Bergeron 2003a: 162). More recently, the World Bank has targeted men in the Global South to “make them love better” (see Bedford 2008; Lind and Bergeron, this volume) in order to assist women with reproductive labor so women can be more “free” to pursue productive labor. This neoliberal biopolitical strategy, pursued “on the cheap” to avoid state responsibility for social welfare and reproduction, has not worked well and has left intact multiple burdens on women while attempting to further discipline already subordinated men (as well as women) in the global political economy (see Kunz, this volume). Indeed, in the current deep recession, not only working poor and workingclass men have been laid off in large numbers, but older, more class privileged white men in the US are losing their jobs. Moreover the “masters of the universe” have lost their popular luster, as they have been held responsible, at least rhetorically, for the near financial collapse. Thus, Anglo-American hegemonic masculinity is in somewhat of a disarray, while subordinated masculinities proliferate around the globe. Thus, we are seeing increasing numbers of men, including privileged ones, joining women in subordinated positions in shadow economies (licit and illicit) as part of what Saskia Sassen (2006) refers to as the “feminization of survival.” In the rest of this introduction, we will first briefly review globalization debates prior to 9/11 and contemporary perspectives on the relationship between globalization and empire. In this discussion we will argue why we preferred the term global restructuring over the notion of globalization and how it continues to be an important concept to understand ongoing



transformations since 9/11 as well as why feminist perspectives help us to unpack these new realities. We then turn to a review of recent feminist “sightings” or conceptual renderings of restructuring, particularly over the last decade, that emphasize relational analysis to capture simultaneous restructuring of material, ideological, and subjective worlds. This thinking informs new studies of a host of restructuring “sites,” which we take up next. In that section, we highlight postcolonial, poststructural, and queer lenses that draw our attention to gendered, racialized, and heteronormative identities, ideologies, and practices as well as the resistances against them. Finally, we briefly address the advances in and new challenges for “resistance” of neoliberal globalization-cum-new imperialism. We argue that ongoing economic and political transformations associated with global restructuring have evoked a wide range of reactions – from nationalist responses to feminist transnational networks. Since our first edition, the so-called anti-globalization or, preferably, critical globalization movement has gained considerable momentum and produced a number of accounts of the international protests, forums, and networks associated with it. However 9/11 seemed to initially rupture this movement as critical globalization activists (and scholars) struggled to analyze and respond to the “fraternal twins” of neoliberal globalization and neo-imperialism. What is heartening is that this movement of many (trans) local movements has developed a more visible transnational feminist approach, which, starts not necessarily from the lives of women, but most importantly from an anti-imperial political position through which gender, race, class, and sexual identities and relations, as well as their complicity with or resistance to imperial relations and projects, are being analyzed (see Rowley, this volume). Overall we argue that transnational feminist inquiry is best positioned to study both the macro- and bio-politics of restructuring as they are played out on and in the bodies and psyches of gendered, racialized, and sexualized subjects because of the deep recognition in transnational feminist thinking of the close and complex relations between “the intimate” and “the global” and the ways they constitute each other. Although an emphasis on women’s agency is a hallmark of all feminist inquiry, transnational feminist scholarship and praxis focus on the agency of all those subordinated (or “othered”) and their agency “for what?”.

Pre-9/11 globalization analysis Globalization was the buzzword of the 1990s, garnering the attention of scholars of all stripes, policy-makers at all levels, and media worldwide. Here we briefly outline the major globalization debates during the 1990s followed by some emergent analyses of the relationship between globalization and empire in the post-9/11 context. These will provide stepping-stones for examining feminist perspectives on these debates and analyses. In the 1990s, we could roughly distinguish two broad approaches to globalization. One tended to focus on the economic (and secondarily, political)



aspects of globalization, while the other dealt with globalization’s cultural and sociological aspects, such as the purported emergence of a “global village,” the “McDonaldization” of society, or the hybridization of culture marked by cosmopolitanism. In turn, each of these broad political economy and cultural approaches encompassed different positions toward and understandings of globalization. Together these approaches toward globalization formed part of a second or critical wave of literature on globalization (Kofman and Youngs 1996:1). The second wave of critical approaches toward globalization made an important contribution to our understanding of globalization by first challenging some of the prevalent myths3 about it and, second, in emphasizing the role of human agency in producing and resisting it. This critical scrutiny moreover revealed that globalization is a problematic term which has become very fashionable, but which obfuscates more than it illuminates and has become associated with a certain (neoliberal) ideology. As one of us has argued elsewhere, it is therefore preferable to use the term global restructuring over globalization since the former term “explicitly refers to a process of (partially) breaking down an old order and attempting to construct a new one” (Marchand 1996: 577). This construction is not necessarily based on some teleological notion of what this new order may entail – the direction and form of the new order under construction are open. However, the term global restructuring reflects the notion that we are dealing with a set of multidimensional, multi-speed, and disjuncted processes. Because of this, we continue to use the term global restructuring in this edition as it allows us to analyze how the market, state, civil society and militarism are embedded in and (re)constructed through these processes.

Post 9/11 globalization analyses Writing prior to 9/11, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (2000) theorized Empire as “the new imperial form of sovereignty,” which has no “outside” but rather “incorporates the entire globe within its open and expanding frontiers” (2000: xii). Although the US holds a privileged place within it, it is not just the extension of US power, but rather is a form of rule that is able to present itself as the only “right” order. Other authors have referred to this new situation as a “nébuleuse” (Cox 2006) or “neoliberal disciplining” (Gill 1995). According to Hardt and Negri, the “object of its rule is social life in its entirety, and thus Empire presents the paradigmatic form of biopower” and “although the practice of Empire is bathed in blood, the concept of Empire is always dedicated to peace … a perpetual and universal peace outside history” (2000: xv). Instrumentalizing Foucault’s ideas on governmentality and disciplining, Hardt and Negri suggest that imperial command and control are accomplished through three moves: inclusion, differentiation, and management of (hierarchical) differences (2000: 198). The making of “imperial society” also requires “fracturing” the public/private divide to make



intimate space more subject to “circuits of control” that increasingly follow “incarceral logics” regardless of the context. Hardt and Negri argue that under empire, institutions like the patriarchal family, the school, the prison, and the state “work all the better when they break down” (2000: 197) because their controlling logics and technologies of subjectivity “that once functioned primarily within institutional walls now spread[s] across the entire social terrain” (2000: 196), constituting subjects that engage in their own “self-discipline.” In the wake of 9/11 and militarized response to it, other writers have revived the use of the term imperialism as synonymous with globalization in combination with militarism, as a feature of it, or as a disruption of it. Pre-eminent among them is David Harvey in his The New Imperialism (2003). He argues that the “new imperialism” (or neoliberal imperialism) is distinguished by the re-resort to more primitive forms of capitalist extraction, which he dubs “accumulation by dispossession.” Departing from Hardt and Negri, he argues that the US is the primary source of this new imperialism, or “neoliberal empire” as Jan Nederveen Pierterse (2004) names it, and its recent assertion of this, far from peaceful, new imperialism lies in the overaccumulation (or surplus) of capital bred by neoliberal capitalism. This overaccumulation both created contenders to US economic hegemony (principally China) that have to be suppressed by shows of US military power and required “the visitation of crises of devaluation upon vulnerable territories” (through the imposition, for example, of International Monetary Fund structural adjustment programs or IMF SAPs) in the Global South “to rid the system of overaccumulation” on the pretext that it is “corrective medicine to what is generally depicted as the fiscal profligacy of those who borrow” (Harvey 2003: 134–5). At the same time, those who were the irresponsible lenders are held relatively harmless, for “it is far easier politically to pillage and debase far-away populations (particularly those who are racially, ethnically, or culturally different), than to confront overwhelming capitalist class power at home” (Harvey 2003: 134) to engage in distributive justice. Thus, in such a rendering we see a return to the old colonial mechanisms of mission civilisatrice in which colonized peoples were held culturally accountable for their economic failures and required the civilizing hand of colonizers to advance. Other post-9/11 commentators have argued that the current US will to empire-building is entirely economically motivated, driven by the struggle to control the “old (industrial) economy” based on fossil fuels. Such empirebuilding efforts appear to go against the grain of the “new (post-industrial) economy” based on information and communication technologies (ICTs) and associated with a different type of social organization, often referred to as the network society (Castells 2000). It seems that the current economic crisis and the Obama administration’s plans to transform the fossil fuel-based US economy into a post-industrial economy address contradictions and inconsistencies the US empire-building efforts. Most recently, as many economies in the South and North have experienced serious economic downturns (including the Asian financial crisis



of 1997), even before the current, more worldwide economic and financial crises, scholars have pointed to the weakening of the Washington Consensus that upheld the blind faith in neoliberalism (see Bergeron, this volume). The financial boondoggles and the costs of the “war on terror,” that have together left the US and many other economies in relative ruin have further disarrayed the Washington Consensus. It reminds us of the argument of “Imperial Overstretch” made by Paul Kennedy (1989) more than two decades ago. Moreover, the rise of New Left governments primarily in Latin America and even the election of Obama, who promised more state intervention to redistribute wealth, has some talking about a nascent “post-neoliberalism” (Macdonald and Rückert 2009a). We will discuss this further in the conclusion, but it constitutes a new wrinkle in the debates over neoliberal globalizationcum-imperialism. While the relationship between globalization and empire will continue to be debated as part of what might be called a third wave of globalization critique, our preference for the term global restructuring that encompasses evershifting changes in social, cultural, political, and economic processes at material and discursive levels enables a non-reductionist reading of the current situation. By not reducing globalization to a solely economic or economistic process as was the predominant fashion in the 1990s by commentators on the right and left, the door is open to seeing more complex forces at work that continuously remake the market, the state, and civil society in disjuncted and contradictory ways. Moreover, as we suggested before, these processes of transformation also include the articulation of neoliberal subjectivity. Likewise, the new militarized realities of global restructuring have engendered the articulation of “securitized” subjectivity, by which we understand the construction of citizens and non-citizens, such as migrants and travelers, as potential security threats to the state. In this new discursive space, the distinction between “secure citizens” and “insecure” non-citizens is vague (Munck 2008: 1231–2). Moreover, citizens and non-citizens have accepted and to some extent internalized this securitization, thus transforming their behavior when they, for example, travel. Importantly, the idea of global restructuring does not leave us with the sense of further hopelessness that empire, even more than globalization, evokes because it reminds us that even as we may name globalization as imperialism, it is subject to change. Hence, the use of the term global restructuring provides the starting point for developing a critical analysis and discourse that counters yet another triumphalist narrative, of empire this time, and for using some of the critiques developed in the first edition as focal points for the elaboration of a critical feminist analysis.

Feminist analyses of global restructuring By dispensing with dominant globalization myths and raising the issue of human agency, critical approaches did provide an opening for developing



feminist or gender analyses of globalization in the 1990s (Whitworth 1994; Steans 1998). However, the problem Sandra Whitworth and Jill Steans identified at that time was that most critical IPE authors tended to ignore these openings and thereby forego the opportunity to enrich and improve their analyses by engaging in a serious dialogue with critical feminist and gender analyses of international political economy. While this is still largely the case in conventional and critical IPE literature, there has been a burgeoning of feminist work on globalization across the disciplines since the 1990s and feminist public intellectuals have actually taken the lead in critiquing globalization as empire since 9/11. Here we will review some of this work to show why foregrounding feminist analyses is particularly needed now to better understand and resist the current formations of global restructuring. In the decade since our first edition, feminist scholarship from across the social sciences and humanities on globalization has flourished.4 Saskia Sassen (2007b: 25) identifies literature on gender and globalization in the new millennium as a “third phase” of this inquiry, with the first phase focused on women in development, particularly in their roles as marginalized subsistence producers upon which modernization processes depended, and the second phase concerned with the globalization of manufacturing and the feminization of the proletariat. She argues that the third phase is marked by attention to new subjectivities (“including feminist ones”), household arrangements, migrations, and cross-border solidarities. While we agree with these broad outlines, we go further to argue that what much of this “third phase” literature has in common is a host of ethnographic studies that contest the following: hegemonic globalization scripts that construct the global as masculine (active) and the local as feminine (inert); women constructed as only victims of globalization and not agents of it or in resistance to it; pre-given and abstract notions of gender that do not recognize that it is made and constantly remade through global/local and translocal encounters and as a result of complex interplays of racial, sexual, class, and national identities with gender identities; assumptions that gender is synonymous with women, disregarding the negative impacts on subordinated (working class, racialized, and sexual minority) men; and presentations of globalization as a unidirectional (from the West to the rest), homogenizing, and inescapable force from above. These trends indicate that feminist scholarship on globalization has generally become much more “intersectional,” not only complicating the category of gender through the intersections of race, class, nation, and sexuality and the development of masculinity studies, but also more grounded in postcolonial, anti-racist, and anti-heteronormative thought. This third phase literature5 also offers a range of case studies attesting to women’s collective action against globalizing forces at community, national, and transnational levels, whether it be at the World Social Forums (WSFs), through regional and transnational feminist networks and women human rights non governmental organizations, within development agencies



and unions, as a result of cross-border organizing, or as part of pan- and intrastate indigenous movements. These movements have contested a wide variety of neoliberal globalizing ideologies and practices and their gendered dimensions. These include the increased reliance on cheapened women’s labor through offshore production and subcontracting of home- and piece-work under un- or de-regulated and benefit-less conditions as well as the problematic use of micro-credit as a minimalist, yet highly touted, poverty reduction strategy that chronically underfunds women, grooms them to become “efficient” market actors (Lairap 2004), and is sometimes associated with violence against women by their non-recipient partners who seek control over that micro-credit. They also include the erosion of local economies, jobs, goods, and land in the face of global corporate penetration, global competition, and ensuing price reductions, leading to local unemployment and, thus, internal and external migrations that split households, as well as to the decline or privatization of public, social welfare systems required by imposed or selfimposed SAPs, which, along with the foregoing, undermine social reproduction by making women still and even more responsible for reproductive work, but also now productive work in the cash economy. Moreover, such collective action, otherwise hidden or minimized by attention focused only on seemingly male-dominated “Battle for Seattle”-style street demonstrations outside IFI meeting places most associated with the critical globalization movement since 2000, has also restructured women’s identities and senses of solidarity and political efficacy, even though their ability to remake their material lives is always circumscribed to greater and lesser degrees by patriarchal capitalist conditions. This resistance literature also shows that individual women are not simply pawns of neoliberalism, uncritically accepting negative effects of restructuring or unwittingly absorbing neoliberal subjectivities. Instead, they “talk back” to and/or negotiate these changes in myriad ways in efforts to protect themselves, their families, their communities, and beyond from market imperatives. What is important to highlight is that a gender analysis of resistance reveals that women employ a wide range of resistance strategies, which go beyond large scale demonstrations (Marchand 2003). Feminist scholars have repeatedly shown that gender not only operates at various levels but also intersects with class, ethnicity, race, nationality, age, and sexuality to produce and reproduce an intricate web of inequalities between and among men and women. Gender, in particular, operates in at least three distinct, yet interconnected, ways: 1) ideologically, especially in terms of gendered representations and valorizations of social processes and practices; 2) at the level of social relations; and 3) physically through the social construction of male and female bodies. In other words, developing a feminist analysis of global restructuring requires more than inserting “women” into already existing IPE analyses. It involves going beyond a narrow materialist understanding of global restructuring. In our first edition, we used Spike Peterson’s concept of relational thinking for understanding and interpreting global restructuring and indeed social



reality more generally (Peterson 1997: 185; Marchand and Runyan 2000). Recently Peterson has applied relational thinking to the project of “rewriting” global political economy (GPE) by reframing the market or the economy as “reproductive-productive-virtual or RPV economies.” This RPV framing reveals globalization as a hybrid, produced by the mutual constitution of “socio-cultural processes of identity formation,” “cultural socialization,” and “material effects, social practices, and institutional structures” (Peterson 2003: 1). It also reveals that gender, race, nation, class, and sexuality, as interrelated identity formations and power relations, are at the heart of this triadthat is, structural features of it, not incidental byproducts. In other words, relational thinking allows us to introduce subjects and subjectivity into an otherwise abstract discussion about processes, structures, markets, and states. Second, it sensitizes us to specifically gendered representations and valorizations at work in global restructuring. Third, relational thinking reveals the gendered power dimensions of global restructuring. How and to what extent is global restructuring embedded in and exacerbating unequal power relations? How are processes of inclusion and exclusion being mediated through gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nation? Fourth, relational thinking enables apprehension of hybridity created out of re-constructions and re-negotiations of all manner of boundaries. In the following subsections, we first review the changes in what Peterson calls the productive, reproductive, and virtual economies that are intricately connected to transformations in the role (and policies) of the state and the re-articulation of society. Her work builds upon the clear signs of multiple forms of restructuring and reformulations of gender identities and relations (or “gender unsettlings”) we identified in our first edition. It also connects materialist and culturalist accounts of restructuring through a gender, race, and class lens that we identified as the particular strengths of feminist IPE analysis. In the second subsection, we examine new work from feminist postcolonial, poststructural, and queer perspectives on globalization in the post-9/11 era that foreground symbolic or discursive processes at work that can deepen feminist IPE analyses, particularly as it takes on the question of empire as part of the third wave of globalization critique. The final section of this introduction focuses on the emergence of new forms of organizing to counteract the negative impact of political/economic/cultural restructuring worldwide in the immediate pre-9/11 and post-9/11 environment. This will highlight the emergence of third phase feminist voices and the further development of transnational feminist thought on resistance to neoliberal imperialism.

Feminist re-sightings of global restructuring In the quest to better integrate socio-cultural processes and effects with material ones in critiques of restructuring, there has been significant growth in connecting feminist International or Global Political Economy (IPE or GPE)



with critical GPE studies over the past decade to study the insecurities that neoliberal globalization-cum-imperialism have wrought. Through the inter-structuring of the materialist and symbolic or culturalist dimensions of global restructuring through a gender lens, Peterson’s central project is to denaturalize and, thus, politicize globalization. Although she uses the language of restructuring to get at the complexity of the interrelations among the RPV economies, she also argues that Zillah Eisenstein’s politicizing characterization of globalization as “capitalist racialized patriarchy” best captures what is really going on under the banner of globalization. To make this case, Peterson documents first how neoliberalist practices and ideology feed upon and magnify gender, race, and nation-state hierarchies most significantly produced during colonial conquests. She then argues that in the more recent period, neoliberalism is restructuring or “reconfiguring” these power relations through the mechanism of feminization (of both men and women and a host of institutions and practices) as devalorization. For instance, flexibilization and informalization are brought about by the feminization of “productive” labor, which in itself is dependent on, modeled after, and constituted by feminized “reproductive” labor, to which no material value is accorded. While the interrelationship between productive and reproductive labor has long been recognized by feminists, neoliberalism acts to further cheapen women’s labor in the workplace, while squeezing out even more “free” reproductive labor in the home through the dismantlement of the welfare state. It also feminizes many non-elite men’s labor, creating ruptures in traditional gender relations and identities in differing race, class, and national contexts. Peterson also interconnects the virtual with the productive and reproductive economies to show the interdependence of these circuits of power. As Peterson puts it, the virtual economy or the symbolic realm of neoliberalism “structurally shapes the work undertaken—and the value it is accorded—in the reproductive and productive economies” (2003: 112). Central to her argument is that the ideology on which neoliberal globalization rests suggests that consumption is king. A feminized reproductive and productive economy is necessary to coronate consumption “as natural, desirable, and key to the meaning of individual and collective life” (Peterson 2003: 144–5). Isabella Bakker and Stephen Gill’s volume on Power, Production, and Social Reproduction (2003) undertakes a similar project from a feminist historical materialist perspective that recognizes how economic transformations are productive of social reproduction crises and human insecurities, particularly for gendered and racialized subjects. Neoliberal globalization, with its hyper-commodification of care, labor, migration, development, and even food, is embedded in a “new constitutionalism” or new set of rules, laws, and standards that “precommit” states to enable neoliberal economic reforms. At the same time, they suggest that “disciplinary neoliberalism,” both in terms of social/subjective disciplining and (US) militarized threats



(and actions) of regime change for recalcitrant actors, has led to the reprivatization of household labor, state and social institution provisioning, and “the basic mechanisms of livelihood, particularly in poorer countries” (Bakker and Gill 2003: 30–31, 36). However, as Janine Brodie (2003) argues, these trends have produced various paradoxes. For instance, the “paradox of scale” relates to the rise of human rights and human security discourses at the global level that, however problematically, challenge neoliberal assumptions (Brodie 2003: 58–59); the “paradox of necessity” refers to the neoliberal undermining of “the very things that enable markets to work in the first place such as a healthy and educated workforce, political stability, civility, and trust” (Brodie 2003: 61); and the “paradox of sustainability” is about the simultaneous demands for women to be in and empowered by the workforce, but also to work overtime in the home as care work is increasingly privatized and overburdened by social pathologies (unemployment, domestic violence, crime, and so on) and human and environmental pathogens (AIDS, pollution, and so on) that have increased under neoliberalism (Brodie 2003: 61–64). Such paradoxes underscore the dialectical processes of globalization in which efforts to control always produce resistance to their (un)intended consequences. The crisis of social reproduction, and particularly the crisis of care work, that has been the subject of much feminist scholarship in the new millennium (see, for example, Zimmerman, Litt, and Bose 2006 and Bergeron, this volume), is also heavily linked with recent migration studies (see, for example, Tastsoglou and Dobrowolsky 2006; Hondagneu-Sotelo 2001; Chang and Ling, Bach, Barber, and Kunz, this volume). As women in the North and more privileged women in the South are increasingly entering professions, and less privileged women (and men) in the South become more desperate for paid work as local economies are restructured and are exhorted to find it abroad by their governments, migration is fashioned as the solution to childcare, eldercare, and healthcare crises in the North and un- and underemployment in the South. The “global care chains” which have thus been created foster in turn a crisis of social reproduction in the Global South (Ramírez et al. 2005; Ehrenreich and Hochschild 2003). For some countries highly dependent on remittances from migrants, it is also the main approach to “development.” But this exposes migrants in “survival circuits” (see Sassen 2006) and without citizenship rights to a host of dangers, ratcheted up in the post-9/11 era of militarized borders and migrant backlash. As argued in several contributions to this volume, migrants do, individually and collectively, navigate these waters, sometimes very effectively (in terms of increased social and economic empowerment) and sometimes very politically (through diasporic networks online and offline and social movement organizing), but the larger, systemic problem of the crisis of social reproduction writ-large has not been stemmed, and is widening as a result of the current deep recession. Neoliberal globalization has also increasingly come under the scrutiny of the growing scholarship on sexuality, often referred to as queer scholarship



that has been infused by feminist, postcolonial, and postmodern debates on globalization (see, for example, Lind 2010a; Binnie 2004; Cruz-Malavé and Manlansan 2002a; Luibhéid 2002). It has contributed to feminist sightings of the co-constitution of productive and reproductive economies and the crisis in social reproduction. As Jon Binnie (2009) notes, neoliberal globalization has been linked with the increased visibility of and tolerance for sexual minorities, at least in some parts of the world, as long as they conform to “respectable and responsible” behavior as “family of choice” members and consumers, “as opposed to the dangerous queer whose desires cannot be as easily commodified” (2009: 17). It has also been linked with the production of the universal (read Western) gay (read wealthy, white male) consumer, particularly of the sexual services of men and boys in the Global South. He challenges these narratives by pointing out that they disregard the places of sexual minorities in production, thereby misrepresenting “the pink economy” that is highly class stratified and has many poor within it in the North and South as a result of homophobia, AIDS, and neoliberal restructuring. They also neglect the real barriers to most queer mobility at all kinds of borders due to the globalization of legalized and informal homophobia. The image of the cosmopolitan “global gay” is also highly contested within national and local spaces and in transnational movement contexts by sexual dissidents in the Global South and in other non-privileged social locations. We would also add, following some of our contributors (see Lind and Bergeron, this volume), that the hegemonic construct of the global gay under neoliberalism is one that makes invisible lesbian and other female or transgendered sexual dissidents, their sexuality and gender-based poverty, their comparatively even less mobility, and their anti-racist work in feminist movements, anti-sexist work in gay movements, and anti-heterosexist work in critical globalization movements. Joining forces with postcolonial studies in general, recent postcolonial and anti-racist feminist scholarship has focused in particular on the “war on terror” and sees the emergent US empire or imperialism as a current phase of globalization or global restructuring (see, for example, Eisenstein 2004; Roy 2004; Alexander 2005; Grewal 2005; Stewart-Harawira 2005; Riley and Inayatullah 2006). As Malini Johar Schueller (2009) argues, anti-colonial, anti-imperialist, and anti-racist thought has a long pedigree, but the significant growth of critical race and postcolonial theorizing has accompanied the rise of globalization studies. Schueller critiques the erasure of racial oppression in much of the globalization thinking during the 1990s and up to the turn of the millennium through stories of cultural globalization that privilege the global (cosmopolitan) over the local (reactionary), fluidity and mobility over the politics of place, and hybridity over the politics of identity (2009: 6–10). She also argues that the Eurocentric lens of poststructuralinflected cultural globalization analysis disregards the very real persistence and deepening of center-periphery political economy relations that continue to sentence so many racialized “others” to neocolonial and imperial (re)conquest and insists that “resistance postcolonialism” must return to a political



economy-informed, anti-racist, and anti-colonial stance in this time of new/ old imperialism (Schueller 2009: 14). Thus, with the re-focusing of attention on imperialism or empire in the post-9/11 context, feminist postcolonial analysis has come more to the fore, enabling deeper critiques and richer interconnections between feminist materialist and cultural studies. One area where such bridging has been relatively successful is contributions by postcolonial feminists to the study of “development” and its (re)colonizing assumptions and practices (Marchand 2009). It is through the lens of feminist re-sitings that political economy-informed cultural critiques of global restructuring further reveal the symbolic economy and move to more complicated stories about the interstructuring of race, gender, class, sexuality, and nation, particularly in the post-9/11 context.

Feminist re-sitings of global restructuring Turning more directly to the symbolic dimension of global restructuring that co-constitutes the reproductive and productive dimensions, many contemporary scholars argue that the interstructured gendered, classed, racialized, and heterosexist impacts of global restructuring could not be produced and sustained without symbols of racialized, classed femininities and masculinities that are deployed performatively to construct and naturalize dominant discourses of globalization-cum-imperialism. Such metaphors both propel its power and seeming inevitability and obscure debate about the characterizations and effects of global capital and alternative social, political, and economic arrangements. As Julie Graham and Katherine Gibson6 keenly observed, 1990s globalization narratives of both neoliberals and neo-Marxists read like “rape scripts” which are based on the assumption that men and women play out fixed gender roles of aggressors whose behavior cannot be controlled and victims who are too weak to actually stop the violence. The constant invocation of “capitalist penetration” into presumably weaker non-capitalist economic systems, whether celebrated or bemoaned, evokes the standard rape scenario in which the male rapist (read as global capital), whose body is “hard, full, and projectile,” overwhelms his female victim (read as workers, Third World countries, the poor, and so on), whose body is “soft, empty, vulnerable, and open” (Gibson-Graham 1996: 124). Charlotte Hooper’s contribution to our first edition reaffirmed the persistent use of such terminology when analyzing globalization narratives in The Economist. Thus, gender operates to naturalize, justify, and perpetuate global restructuring as relations of domination. But what Gibson-Graham neglect to also point out is that rape scripts are also highly racially charged. White capitalist penetration into “dark” bodies has been naturalized as a civilizing mission since the rise of colonization. Indeed, the act of white men “taking” women of color has historically not even been considered rape; thus, capitalist penetration as an act of violence is totally erased. And such violence is taken one



step further in the case of the Abu Ghraib prison from which photographs were “leaked” in which female marines were depicted as straddling Muslim males, thus “inverting” gender and racial hierarchies in order to dominate and demean Third World/Muslim/Iraqi men and masculinities. Meanwhile, feminists in the Muslim world, whether secular, Muslim, or Islamist, struggle for socio-economic citizenship in the face of the enclosures of both globalization and oppressive, elite interpretations of Islamic law (see Moghadam, this volume). Their struggle is all the more complicated as they are also resisting the “war on terror” that is pursued in many of their countries. Other, and sometimes very different and seemingly contradictory, racialized and classed masculinity and femininity narratives also infuse globalization scripts, structuring both the process of global restructuring and perspectives on it. For example, in our first edition, Hooper examined how globalization narratives in the pages and advertisements of The Economist were producing a new “hegemonic masculinity” – Globalization Man. His dualistic image consisted of a penchant for hard-edged penetration and domination of new markets accompanied by softer skills of non-hierarchical management associated with networking, teamwork, and flexibility. This multi-tasked feminized management style, according to Hooper, was juxtaposed in the globalization scripts of The Economist with labor (particularly in the form of working class men) portrayed as anachronistically needful of hierarchical rules and structures, and, thus, poorly suited for the new global economy of the 1990s. Now, in the post-9/11 context we see a revalorization of (white) workingclass man, not as a worker per se, but as a brawny protector – the new Security Man. Beginning with the images of the New York City firemen and police on the frontlines at the twin towers and extending to “our brave (working class) men (and women)” on the frontlines in Afghanistan and Iraq, working-class masculinity enjoyed quite an upsurge symbolically (see Faludi 2007). Of course, materially, working-class men’s conditions continue to plummet as workers and soldiers, but the revalorization of their manhood by the Bush II Adminstration operated to encourage them to forget their class interests in return for the promise to restore old-fashioned family values where threats to traditional masculine privilege, including feminism, gay liberation, abortion, and so on, would be eliminated. Indeed, it was the mantra of US pundits during the 2004 Presidential election that “cultural” or “religious values” (of, in actuality, sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia) operated to trump material (class) interests. However, as we noted earlier, with the financial and economic crises of 2008 and beyond, greedy Globalization Man has lost his popular appeal, men across social classes have lost their jobs, or, in the case of lower-class racialized men, have been denied places in the formal economy for some time and this is only worsening. The corollary to the new Security Man is the new Security Mom (primarily associated with the white American suburban women) whose protection rests on her conforming to heteronormative family values. It also rests on her



acceptance of and support for imperial values (see Grewal 2005). Postcolonial feminist work has especially focused on the complicity of white women in nineteenth century projects of colonization and empire. As Pierson observes in Nation, Empire, Colony (1998: 5), … the mutuality between the racism and sexism resounding with Europe’s capitalist and epistemological expansionism was material as well as metaphoric. The success and prosperity of the European bourgeoisie with its gender ideology of separate spheres depended on colonialism and imperialism, just at the imperialist and colonialist enterprises took shape around the bourgeois Victorian cult of domesticity. Or as McClintock has succinctly put it in her discussion of the relationship between the imperial home country and the colonies, ‘as domestic space became racialized, colonial space became domesticated.’ This “old” imperialism approach has again been put to work in the post-9/11 context of US empire building whereby modern (American) white womanhood is held out as one of the symbols of democracy that dark, barbaric forces are seeking to destroy. At the same time, the “freeing” of Afghan women fit seamlessly into this civilizing narrative and re-raised the specter of what feminist postcolonial historians and theorists refer to as “imperial feminism.” As noted by Midgley, imperial feminism has its roots in the nineteenth century when “Darwinian evolutionary theory and eugenics, while often deployed to buttress anti-feminist arguments, were also taken up by British [and other Western] feminists, who argued that the further development of civilization and regeneration of the race and nation was dependent on middleclass Anglo-Saxon women’s moral leadership” (1998, 162). This too often unacknowledged platform for and legacy of first wave Western feminism continues in the use and abuse of feminism in service to neoliberal imperialism. Not only Western feminism, but also Western gay liberation has also been brought into the service of neoliberalism, as recent queer critics of globalization have observed. As the editors of Queer Globalizations (Cruz-Malavé and Manlansan 2002a) note, A recurrent trope in discourses of globalization is that of teleological development. While globalization is seen to liberate and promote local sexual differences, the emergence, visibility, and legibility of these differences are often predicated in globalizing discourses on a developmental narrative in which premodern, pre-political, non-Euro-American queerness must consciously assume the burdens of representing itself to itself and others as “gay” in order to attain political consciousness, subjectivity, and global modernity (Cruz-Malavé and Manlansan 2002b: 6).



The naming and tracing of how Western gender and sexuality-based movements are implicated in imperializing (racializing and domesticating) “others” is central to contemporary third wave critiques of globalization as empire. This kind of self-reflexivity and critique is necessary for what Chandra Talpade Mohanty (2003) refers to as “decolonizing” knowledges to resist the imperializing project of neoliberalism. It also creates sites of not just “dispossession” but also “agency” by, for example, connecting “sexuality and gender activists at ‘home’” with those elsewhere “in order to interrogate the limits of both nationalist discourses and of Euro-American lesbian and gay [and feminist] narratives of identity” (Cruz-Malavé and Manalansan 2002b: 2). Such agency can also exploit the tensions between neoliberal and neoconservative empire-building, with the former holding out feminism and sexual liberation as markers of modernity to be consumed and emulated, and the latter marking them as signs of moral decay to be put down, while still extolling the superiority of (American) modernity by resurrecting the white “angel in the house” and her (white) protector. Tensions can also be seen in the neoliberal penchant for import and export of feminized and racialized labor and the neoconservative desire to shut down borders to keep out feminized and racialized others, constituted as security threats. Thus, while both economistic neoliberalism and militarized neoconservativism can be seen as “fraternal twins” of empire, this stage of restructuring (or capitalist racialized patriarchy) is not without contradictions and thus new openings for resistance.

Feminist resistances to global restructuring In 2000, when we first reviewed the IPE and feminist literatures on resistances to globalization, theorizing on how to capture the new modes, practices and articulations of resistances in the context of global restructuring had just started. Such theorizing more fully emerged in an attempt to explain and understand the explosion of the so-called “Battle of Seattle” that officially launched what is now most often called the “anti-globalization movement” (Eschle 2005) or critical globalization movement (CGM). Although the “Battle of Seattle” is often marked as the beginning of a new phase of organizing transnationally and against neoliberal globalization, it actually has some important precedents in the form of the mobilizing against the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), the North American Trade Agreement, and the European Summit in Amsterdam (Poldervaart 2006; Gabriel and Macdonald 1994; George n.d.). Since the “Battle of Seattle,” the CGM is most often characterized by successive large-scale protests at IGO and IFI meetings from Seattle to Davos and large-scale alternative World Social Forums initially organized at Porto Alegre, Brazil. While the organizing of these events has typically been done through a feature of globalization, the Internet (see Youngs, this volume), the multiple experiences, perspectives, analyses, platforms, and other ephemera of this sprawling movement have



been increasingly documented in collections like Another World is Possible (2003), the veritable slogan of the CGM. As Catherine Eschle (2005) has argued, this movement has been charged from within for marginalizing women, youth, and people of color in leadership and other visible roles (with such notable exceptions as Vandana Shiva, Naomi Klein, and Arundhati Roy), even though they constitute the majority of actors within it. However, she sees emerging an “intersectional” approach to critical globalization thinking and activism, present in WSF manifestos and in anti-racist feminist organizing within these forums. While anticapitalism and labor movements still constitute privileged elements in WSFs, Eschle notes “acknowledgment of patriarchy and sexual violence and their interconnections with neoliberalism” (2005: 30), and monikers for the critical globalization movement are shifting to such labels as “the global justice movement” or “the global democracy movement” to challenge all power hierarchies (including those within the movement) and recuperate the meanings of justice and democracy so co-opted since 9/11. First phase feminist work on resistances to globalization primarily focused on the activities by women’s and feminist movements around the world, cataloguing their activities and claims. However, it took a while before a more fundamental reflection on what feminist resistance to global restructuring implied was developed. Such reflection involved a critical look at what resistance entails and how it can be re-conceptualized to consider a range of activities beyond large-scale mobilizations (Marchand 2003). Feminist responses to 9/11 and its aftermath seem to have helped along this second phase of feminist theorizing on resistance to restructuring. While the CGM sputtered for a time in the face of 9/11 and as people re-mobilized for anti-war demonstrations, feminists across the world swiftly responded with an avalanche of essays brought together in a series of collections such as September 11, 2001: Feminist Perspectives (2002) and Terror, Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out (2003): Feminists were particularly mobilized to respond immediately because one of the dominant pretexts for the war on Afghanistan was to liberate Afghan women. In response, many feminists, whose voices were silenced on the public airways by the drone of Security Men, were demanding that this imperial act of aggression not be done in their name. Various of these political essays, statements, and manifestos not only exposed militarized racial and gender violence across the global landscape but also made explicit links between this kind of violence and globalization (see Enloe 2007). Thus, in many ways, the post-9/11 environment crystallized the relationships between gender/race/class/nation and global restructuring as empire. It has also brought to the forefront transnational feminist analyses and opposition to global restructuring as empire, constituting a third phase of feminist resistance inquiry. However, in a sobering piece by Breny Mendoza on Transnational Feminisms in Question (2003), she argues that feminist postcolonial theorizing of transnational feminism falls short in practice and, therefore, should not



be romanticized. She is particularly critical of the still too culturalist basis of feminist postcolonial thought that does not deal sufficiently with political economic issues (Mendoza 2003: 310). In her view, the latter accounts for the widening inequities among women along class, race, ethnic, sexual, and national lines, making transnational feminist commitments to “intersectional analysis and transversal politics” and “subversion of multiple oppressions” as well as critiques of “racism, ethnocentrism, sexism, and heteronormativity” still insufficient to produce transnational feminist “solidarity” (Mendoza 2003: 310). She does not close the door on this possibility but argues that there is much more work to do. This is certainly the case in the recent virulent phase of global restructuring. However, the direction of it need not be a foregone conclusion for, as we have argued global, restructuring is an open-ended process that creates myriad (re) interpretations and contradictions and counter-discourses and practices as activists and scholars continuously expose the politics of globalizationcum-imperialism and propose alternatives to it. As we already suggested in our first volume, such counter-discourses and resistances are situated at the interstices of the local/global, market/state/civil society, the political/social/ economic/military and so on and involve the renegotiation of such boundaries. In our conclusion we further discuss resistances to neoliberal globalization and empire. One of the clearest expressions is the current wave of “postneoliberal” regimes in Latin America as a result of electoral victories that have brought new Left parties and leaders into power (Macdonald and Ruckert 2009a). Even the election of Obama in the US marks an important change and has set the stage for the return of neo-Keynesian inspired economic policies to counter the financial crisis and economic recession. These events suggest a decline of or end to the Washington Consensus. However, it is still too early to know if a politics of redistribution is more widely, steadily, or meaningfully on the way, but it will surely require collective anti-capitalist, anti-racist, and anti-heterosexist struggles to push this further and to pursue global, national, local, and intimate social justice and democracy.

Conclusion Apropos of the Middlemarch quote with which we began our introduction, feminist postcolonial theorist and essayist Arundhati Roy entitled her lead essay in Power Politics (2001) “The Ladies Have Feelings So … Shall We Leave it to the Experts?” Her answer to this is a resounding, NO! In her more recent An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire (2004) she delineates what the “experts” brought us: So here we are, the people of the world, confronted with an Empire armed with a mandate from heaven (and, as added insurance, the most formidable arsenal of weapons of destruction in history). Here we are, confronted with an Empire that has conferred on itself the right to go to


Introduction war at will and the right to deliver people from corrupting ideologies, from religious fundamentalists, dictators, sexism, and poverty, by the ageold, tried and tested practice of extermination. Empire is on the move, and Democracy is its sly new war cry. Democracy, home-delivered to your doorstep by daisy-cutters. Death is the small price for people to pay for the privilege of sampling this new product: Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (bring to a boil, add oil, then bomb) (Roy 2004, 47).

Recognizing that it is “naïve to imagine that we can directly confront Empire,” she nevertheless argues we can still identify its “working parts and dismantle them one by one. No target is too small. No victory is too insignificant” (Roy 2004, 66). This brings us back to the everyday resistances at the most intimate levels that haunt forms of restructuring associated with neoliberal globalization cum imperialism and seek, no matter how inchoately, more just, post-neoliberal or post-capitalist futures. One example of such everyday resistances occurred around the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. During her confirmation hearing she was repeatedly asked about an earlier speech in which she said, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life” (New York Times 9 August, 2009). Her invocation of a “wise Latina woman” was received with skepticism and ridicule by her neo-conservative detractors, but was almost immediately turned into a rallying cry as well as slogan of pride, identification, and empowerment for many Latinas in the US (New York Times 2009). Printing, selling, and wearing T-shirts with the slogan became instant forms of resistance. Such everyday resistances are the foci of many of the contributions that follow, all of which combine facets of sightings, sites, and resistances even though they are arranged separately under these categories. As Jane Parpart notes in the Preface to this volume, restructuring processes are moving so swiftly and unexpectedly that even the contemporary examinations found in the following contributions can be overtaken by events, but they constitute significant signposts for tracking, resisting, and redirecting gendered global restructuring.

Notes 1 G. Eliot, Middlemarch, London,Wordsworth Classics,1994 edition, p. 14 (emphasis in the original). 2 See our introduction to the first volume of Gender and Global Restructuring. 3 An elaboration of these myths can be found in Marchand (1997). 4 See, for example, Kelly et al. (2001); Rowbotham and Linkogle (2001); Cleaver (2002a); Naples and Desai (2002); Rai (2002); Bakker and Gill (2003); Benería (2003); Ehrenreich and Hochschild (2003); Mohanty (2003); Peterson (2003); Appelbaum and Robinson (2005); Davids and van Driel (2005); Eschle and Maiguashca (2005); Moghadam (2005a); Waller and Marcos (2005); Gibson-Graham (2006); Hawkesworth (2006); Jaquette and Summerfield (2006);



Ong (2006); Sassen (2006); Enloe (2007); Gunewardena and Kingsolver (2007); Lucas (2007); Kofman and Youngs (2008); Rai and Waylen (2008). 5 See for example the work published in the Ashgate series Gender in a Global/ Local World (Series edited by Jane L. Parpart, Pauline Gardiner Barber, and Marianne H. Marchand). 6 Julie Graham and Katherine Gibson wrote under the nom de plume of J.K. Gibson-Graham.

Part I


How do feminist postcolonial, poststructural, critical, and queer lenses alter our vision of conventional accounts and permutations of “globalization” (or “empire”) and move us to more complex understandings of global restructuring? How are gender, race, class, nationality, and sexuality shaped by ever-shifting global restructuring, and how is global restructuring shaped by these ever-shifting constructs? These are some of the questions that are addressed in this first set of contributions by Kimberly Chang and L.H.M. Ling (Chapter 1), Amy Lind (Chapter 2), Suzanne Bergeron (Chapter 3), and Michelle Rowley (Chapter 4). They take on differing but connected aspects of the restructuring of identities, agencies, structures, and policies. These “sightings” speak especially to the politics of race and sexuality and the latest manipulations of tradition and modernity at this juncture in the global restructuring process. It is no accident that postcolonial (or antiracist) and sexuality analyses are taking center stage in contemporary feminist readings of globalization and empire. On the one hand, new, potentially more liberating gender and sexuality subjectivities have been made possible by the destabilizations of traditional family forms by capital and labor migrations, but these also are either bound up in the production of neoliberal subjectivities that serve capital or disciplined by the state through appeals to tradition. On the other hand, the erosion of the neoliberal Washington Consensus forged during the late 1980s in the face of failing economies and the crisis of social reproduction was shored up by the introduction of the “new imperialism” (Harvey 2003) in the new millennium, which has heavily relied on the coercive force of the (US) state to exact the more “primitive” form of “accumulation through dispossession.” This has played and preyed much more on fear of the racialized “other,” requiring more overt, but nevertheless normalizing, racist and colonial discourses and practices to sustain capital accumulation. In Chapter 1, the only reprinted piece from the first volume, Chang and Ling contest, through a gender lens, the universality of features usually ascribed to globalization in neoliberal and some structuralist accounts, particularly during the 1990s but enduring into the new millennium. These include the total integration of high technology, finance, and production;


Part I

the complete “hollowing out” of states; the full embrace of liberal capitalism; and the omnipresence of postmodern individualism. They argue that these features are representative only of certain male-dominated sectors of the global political economy and the Western masculinist ideologies and identities that both arise from and reproduce them. They go on to reveal that this dominant, masculinist construction of globalization, depicted as a thorough-going process that is variously cosmopolitan, postmodern, or “freeing” in nature (and which they label “Global restructuring I” or “technomuscular capitalism” (TMC)), not only hides, but also rests upon another kind of globalization. What they label “Global restructuring II” or “regimes of labor intimacy” (RLI) is the low-wage and highly sexualized and racialized labor done largely by women workers in the Global South, which serves the cosmopolitanites of TMC and is enforced by still quite potent modernist and traditional forces of the state, culture, religion, and family. They refer to this underside of global restructuring as its “intimate other.” In Chang and Ling’s analysis, it is the lives of Filipina maids in Hong Kong that inform this very different picture of global restructuring. Although these women have crossed borders to work, they are still entrapped in old and new webs of oppression and exploitation which demand that they conform to traditional gender roles and identities that limit their agency. Nonetheless, Chang and Ling do provide some examples of their resistance, including developing same-sex relationships with each other while abroad to form relationships and express sexuality in comparatively safer spaces. However, most of these women’s strategies, including transgressive ones, still largely constitute coping strategies that offer only momentary escapes from, on the one hand, the relentless gendered and heteronormative messages from their home country for them to chastely serve God, country, and family, and, on the other hand, the racist and heterosexist expectations of wealthy employers in the host country for them to be subservient, but also heterosexually available. Thus, viewed from and through RLI, global restructuring is far from “freeing” for most (especially women in the Global South). Nor does it represent a significant dissolution of modern hierarchies and boundaries or traditional structures and ideologies. Rather, it often exacerbates them. The analysis of globalization’s “intimate other” shifts to neoliberal globalization’s “governance of intimacy” in Chapter 2 by Amy Lind. According to Lind, the paucity of queer perspectives on globalization contributes to the general non-recognition of sexual minorities in the Global South in most globalization and development literature. This is a result of the heteronormativity built into globalization and development thinking and discourses, including some feminist approaches-a heteronormativity which also rests on racist and classist assumptions that sexual minority practices and identities are only possible in modern, Northern/Western, and relatively privileged contexts. The results of this (racist and classist) heteronormativity include the enactment of neoliberal development policies that either ignore



(and, therefore, withhold support for) same-sex households and women in lesbian relationships, who are seen as non-reproductive (even when they are mothers), or target gay men (often through coercive development interventions) for the threat of HIV/AIDS they are perceived to represent. At the same time, such policies seek to reinforce “good” heterosexual relationships as the development solution, urging women to “work harder” in the “productive” economy and men to “love” their women “better” by shouldering more reproductive tasks and ceasing domestic violence in order to release women to enter the labor market. While Lind identifies a range of queer movements at local and global levels that are resisting these heteronormative sins of omission and commission, she acknowledges that globalization is also implicated in enabling their new visibility and transnational activism. She also points to the overhang of Orientalism present in some (white) gay male tourism practices that exoticize sexual minorities in the Global South for Northern sexual consumption. Such practices make it more difficult to forge North/South Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer (LGBTQ) alliances, but there are many avenues open for research and activism to connect the production of queer sexual subjectivities and sexual minority resistances to global restructuring. The shift to the “governance of intimacy” by the World Bank through its new-found recognition of the crisis of social reproduction is the subject of Chapter 3 by Suzanne Bergeron. While this shift, and the concomitant shift in mainstream economic theories that take the gender question seriously in household bargaining models, is, in some sense, laudable and partly the result of feminist agitation, Bergeron argues that these new hegemonic economic theories nevertheless are “performative” of neoliberal “imperatives.” These imperatives entail the (intensification of the) privatization of social reproduction through re-engineering (assumed heterosexual) households and the subjectivities of individuals within them in such a way that men will take on more “caring” tasks within the household to release women for market production, which, in turn, will give them more leverage in the household to insist on more private realm labor from men. Like Lind, Bergeron points to the problematics of heteronormative assumptions about poor households upon which this privatized solution rests, especially in light of the vast numbers of female-headed households. But even more problematic is the insidious assumption that “the problem of care can be resolved through selfmanagement in the private realm of the household” at no public cost and with no public responsibility, thereby enabling even more primitive accumulation by dispossession. The silver lining is that, despite the normative power of this neoliberal economic thought, the contradictions to it “on the ground” reveal its weaknesses both as a method of social re-engineering and as a purported solution to gender inequity, impoverishment, and the crisis of social reproduction it produces. Michelle Rowley, in Chapter 4, questions what she sees as the ersatz intimacy set up between “African” AIDS sufferers and “hip” and supposedly


Part I

socially-conscious, young Western consumers by corporatized celebrity philanthropy campaigns orchestrated particularly by pop-star Bono. She sees a fundamental contradiction in the ways such campaigns, which raise money for HIV/AIDS drugs through selling logoed paraphernalia, especially on US college campuses, displace any knowledge of the “laboring bodies in pain” in the Global South who produce these paraphernalia for the corporations involved with these campaigns. These invisible subjects are put at risk of HIV/ AIDS and other diseases as a result of an impoverishing global production regime, in favor of creating fanciful spectacles of the power of private philanthropy to save “Africans” through Western consumption. In the process, consumers are led to believe that they have a direct and socially conscious relationship to those who live under the sign of “Africa,” which is rendered homogeneous, relatively faceless and bodiless, and, thus, sanitized for Western and corporatized philanthropic consumption. Rowley contrasts this image production and the fallacious intimacy (and false sense of “development”) it generates with the work of Malian film director Abderrahmane Sissako in his film, Bamako. Here, the reader (or viewer) is transported into a much more complicated and critical reading of the relationship between the local and global, one which shows how intimate lives and locales are bound up with and resist the neoliberal imperatives of IFIs. As the film chronicles a trial against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) set in a domestic compound in a Malian village, “we” see and hear “laboring bodies in pain” (no longer faceless or mute) who bear witness to the crimes of globalization in the midst of everyday life made much harder by those crimes. These characters, thereby, defy abstract and instrumentalist representations and appropriations of their lives, and reveal how familial and community intimacies and empathies are actually attenuated by global restructuring. This exposes both the mythology and the actual destructiveness of Western “intimacy” with the “other” through corporatized and celebrity-driven philanthropy. Thus, taken as a whole, the contributions in Part I cause us to rethink the relationship between the “intimate” and the “global” in recent phases of global restructuring, revealing how essential biopolitics is to the restructuring process. As Pratt and Rosner argue, feminist inquiry is uniquely oriented to reveal the false dichotomy between the “intimate” and the “global” in that “global forces penetrate and haunt the intimate spaces of our psyches and bodies in ways that we can only intimate, and there is no territorial defense of privacy or domesticity that protects the intimate from the global” (2006: 18). When feminists lose sight of this, they can become unwitting partners in the destructive aspects of neoliberal restructuring. By the same token, the “intimate,” particularly in its heteronormative form, is deployed globally as a “‘sentimental politics’ … a fantasy that displaces notions of justice and prepares the way for a geopolitics of love and hate, home and danger” (Pratt and Rosner 2006: 19), and a global economy based on primitive capital accumulation through privatization done in the name



of “care” and affectivity. This is why it is so important for feminists to continue to critique and to “queer” dominant constructions of the intimate to make it less available for global (and national) deployments. Recognizing the intimacy between the global and the intimate offers continued openings for resistance.


Globalization and its intimate other Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong Kimberly A. Chang and L.H.M. Ling

Introduction At least two processes of globalization or global restructuring operate in the world political economy today. One reflects a glitzy, internet-surfing, structurally integrated world of global finance, production, trade, and telecommunications. Populated primarily by men at its top rungs of decisionmaking, this global restructuring valorizes all those norms and practices usually associated with Western capitalist masculinity – “deregulation,” “privatization,” “strategic alliances,” “core regions,” “deadlands” – but masked as global or universal. Like the colonial rhetoric of old, it claims to subsume all local cultures under a global umbrella of aggressive market competition – only now with technology driving the latest stage of capitalism. We refer to this global restructuring as “technomuscular” capitalism (TMC).1 There is a second process of global restructuring. It is more explicitly sexualized, racialized, and class-based than TMC and concentrates on low-wage, low-skilled menial service provided by mostly female migrant workers. They perform intimate, household services: e.g. caring for the young and elderly, cleaning house, washing clothes, preparing food, and generally providing domestic comfort and care. This service economy involves other intimacies as well: leaving home, living among strangers, facing sexual harassment and abuse, making moral choices. We refer to this second global restructuring as a “regime of labor intimacy” (RLI). It is, in every sense, an intimate other to TMC. Filipina migrant workers in Hong Kong stand at the nexus of these two globalization processes.2 They inhabit the RLI needed and created by TMC. These women work at low-wage, low- to semi-skilled jobs as nannies, nurses, maids, entertainers, and/or hostesses to the upwardly mobile, technically linked, high-salaried cosmopolitans of TMC. While they can earn up to six times what they would make at home, Filipina domestic workers often find themselves incarcerated within this regime of “labor intimacy.” Sending and receiving states promise them wealth and mobility through domestic work, but deliver instead a sentence of sexualized, racialized service. In this way, the twin processes of globalization exacerbate a growing gap between cosmopolitans and those who toil in the intimacy of their homes. In this chapter, we ask: Why are certain segments of the world population geared towards the high-tech, high-wage world of TMC, while others are

Globalization and its intimate other


assigned to a low-tech, low-wage RLI? How do these different positionings within a globalized political economy affect subjectivity in general, and that of the subaltern woman, in particular? And what implications can we draw about the nature of global restructuring as it polarizes TMC from labor intimacy even while sustaining both? We rely on ethnographic fieldwork conducted by Kimberly Chang and Julian Groves (2000) on Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong from 1992 to 1997. Their research includes various media sources on the Filipina migrant community from both the Hong Kong press and Filipino publications. One such source, Tinig Filipino, is published by and for the Filipino migrant community overseas. We conclude with the implications of both global restructuring processes for understanding our contemporary world order.

Global restructuring I: technomuscular capitalism (TMC) Studies of global restructuring typically reflect two normative stances: a liberal internationalism that accepts “globalization” as a contemporary, market response to “internationalized” consumer and producer demands, and a critical reassessment of global restructuring as historically continuous, ideologically hegemonic, and materially impoverishing for the majority of the world. Liberals cite the canons of laissez-faire neoclassical economics to promote global restructuring and generally focus on policy prescriptions to adjust to new found opportunities (e.g. capital gains) as well as challenges (e.g. unemployment). Critics of global restructuring reflect a more varied theoretical background, e.g. Gramscian international political economy, world-system theory, classical Marxism, regulation theory. They focus primarily on the structural inequities and/or inherent instabilities that arise from global restructuring, such as the emergence of global elites, a capitalist “world hegemony,” and regressive structural adjustment policies (SAPs). Instead of public policy, critics assess the nature of our global political economy and its future scenarios. For example, they speculate on the outbreak of counter-hegemonic movements at various localities (Gramscian globalists), systemic consequences to deepening inequalities in center – periphery relations (world-system theorists), capitalism’s “internal contradictions” (classical Marxists), or alternative “regimes of accumulation” to late-modern capitalism (regulation theorists). Despite these differences, both liberals and critics agree on the subject matter itself, e.g. “globalization’s” characteristics, impact, ideology, and culture. Identifying features of global restructuring “Globalization” studies conventionally refer to unprecedented levels of integration in finance, production, trade, telecommunications, and the



media on a worldwide scale.3 As such, “globalization” differs from “internationalization,” which suggests only “the geographic spread of economic activities across national boundaries” (Dicken 1992: 1). Some authors date the rise of global restructuring to the heyday of “casino capitalism” (Strange 1986) or “hyperliberalism” (Cox 1987) in the 1980s, when the ReaganThatcher-Kohl triad of industrialized economies deregulated capital and taxation. Others trace it to the 1970s, when world capital markets broke from the nation-based Bretton Woods system (Kapstein 1996). Whatever the periodization, global restructuring signals an era of extraordinary collaboration across states, between firms, and also between states and firms (Dicken 1994). Integrated media and marketing networks also globalize the production of images, ideas, and consumption patterns (Leslie 1995). Some find a structural convergence across multinational (or better, transnational) corporations that transcend traditional boundaries in production, finance, and distribution (Reich 1992; Berger 1996). These circuits of capital and institutions contribute to the rise of “core regions” in a new, post-Cold War geopolitical order (Agnew and Corbridge 1995). “Global cities” (Sassen 1991) like New York, London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, among others, now have more in common with one another than with their respective local municipalities. Similarly, “deadlands” of economic development afflict regions located in the First World as much as they do in the former Second or Third Worlds. This new, transnationalized geopolitical order supersedes and obsolesces the state-led, territory-bound one of Cold War politics and super power rivalry (Agnew and Corbridge 1995). The role of the state Liberals and critics alike view global restructuring as a fundamental challenge to the traditional functions, if not the viability, of the state.4 Some liberals argue that states must accept their reduced role under the new reality of global competition. The state’s sole responsibility is to educate the consuming public with better information. Even the liberal capitalist state in the West, caution democratic theorists, needs to revise its understanding of sovereignty, democracy, and political community to survive under global restructuring (Barber 1996; Held and McGrew 1993). Otherwise, a crisis of politics and economics may emerge, stoked by post-Cold War nationalism in the face of the new “world empires” – multinational corporations (Barnet and Cavanagh 1994) – and their dire consequences for unemployment/underemployment (Kapstein 1996). Critics of global restructuring admit that the state is “hollowing-out” in a distinctive way, e.g. it is becoming increasingly obsolete as “more and more economic, social, and cultural activity is going to take place across (rather than within) national frontiers” (Thrift 1992: 6). Gramscian globalists label this process an “internationalizing of the state.” That is, states turn inside-out to accommodate the external exigencies of globalized production (Cox 1987).

Globalization and its intimate other


According to some, this will lead to greater instability between a territorially based interstate system and a global economy that daily undermines it (Gill 1992). A transnationalized ideology of liberal capitalism Liberal capitalism, almost all agree, is spreading to both the “heartland” and “outposts” of the world economy. Liberal internationalists laud globalization as a triumph of self-interest matched with rationality. Francis Fukuyama (1989) remains the most blatant advocate of this perspective. Critics, especially Gramscian globalists, castigate Western liberal capitalism as oppressive, invidious, and hegemonic. Not only does it ensure the dominance of certain capitalist production processes and relations, it also perpetuates a world-order ideology that validates the supremacy of leading states and their dominant social classes (Gill 1995; Cox 1987). With its seductive profits and privileges, the world hegemony of liberal capitalism sets up specific relations of production. Many fear that this increasing interconnectedness among global elites may widen gaps between the rich and the poor, thereby further destabilizing global political economy (Marshall 1996; Agnew and Corbridge 1995; Dicken 1992). For this reason, Gramscian globalists forecast the possibility of multiple counter-hegemonic movements. These will lay the foundation, they believe, for a new, emancipatory transnational historic bloc that will transform the capitalist world hegemony. Global society/culture/persons All also agree that globalization transforms familiar forms of social organization and cultural meaning. Liberals emphasize the “bridging mechanisms” of a new revolutionary class emerging under globalization – culturestraddling, globe-spanning cosmopolitans. Ulf Hannerz (1990: 239) defines cosmopolitanism as “an orientation, a willingness to engage with the Other. It is an intellectual and aesthetic stance of openness toward divergent cultural experiences, a search for contrasts rather than uniformity.” For this reason, Hannerz disqualifies expatriates and migrants as cosmopolitan for, he explains, they retain an indigenous cultural identity even while living/working overseas. Critics, in contrast, view these late/postmodern cosmopolitans as another in a long line of capitalist elites. Gramscian globalists theorize that cosmopolitans operate as a “global historic bloc.” They form cross-national, crosscultural “global classes” which uphold “mutual interests and ideological perspectives” that institutionalize a “common criteria of interpretation … and common goals anchored in the idea of an open world economy” (Cox 1993: 254). This global historic bloc includes the “affluent minorities in the OECD and … the urban elites and new middle classes in the Third World” (Gill 1995: 405).



Subjectivity under late modernity Given their concern with elites, both liberals and critics view global restructuring in terms of the cosmopolitan and his subjectivity. Scott Lash and John Urry (1994) extend liberal optimism to the latemodern subject by characterizing it as “reflexive individualism.” The latemodern subject, they write, “deepens” by “open(ing) up many positive possibilities for social relations – for intimate relations, for friendship, for work relations, for leisure and for consumption” (Lash and Urry 1994: 31). Global restructuring, they claim, produces not only objects, but also signs that traverse rapidly and easily across communication networks (Lash and Urry 1994: 5). David Harvey (1989) voices concern rather than celebration for the latemodern subject. He identifies a latemodern “fragmentation” due to time – space compression under globalized, flexible production methods. This modern treatment of time and space as coherent and linear – e.g. “annihilation of space by time (Becoming)” – now faces obsolescence from a postmodern sensibility where time and space are simultaneous, disjointed, and multiple, e.g. “spatialization of time (Being)” (Harvey 1989: 261). This induces a postmodern response, according to Harvey (1989: 350), of withdrawal “into a kind of shell-shocked, blasé, or exhausted silence” that convinces the latemodern subject “to bow down before the overwhelming sense of how vast, intractable, and outside any individual or even collective control everything is.”

Globalization as colonial rhetoric These renditions of global restructuring, while informative and important, exhibit what David Spurr (1993) calls the “rhetoric of empire.” By this, he means a discursive pattern of image-making, referencing, cataloguing, and general reality-framing that stems from the Western colonial enterprise originating from the sixteenth century and lasting to the present. Both liberals and critics of global restructuring partake in this colonizing rhetoric. To begin with, they survey the world with a god’s-eye-view. Buttressed with scientific objectivity and rational argumentation, they ascertain for the rest of us what global restructuring is, who it affects, where it is going, and why. This perspective, more likely than not, reflects a common configuration of race/gender/class/age/location, e.g. older white masculinized cosmopolitans working in or near global cities. One may protest: the nature of the subject – global restructuring – requires a god’s-eye-view! But, what Spurr critiques – and what ails “globalization” studies – is that the colonial gaze unreflexively focuses on only a small segment of the world at the expense of its vast majority. Take, for example, how “globalization” studies cast the relationship between global and local forces. Liberals outrightly embrace one-way penetration of the local by the global. Not only does the global provide greater

Globalization and its intimate other


“modernity,” “progress,” “democracy” (even “history”!), they assert, but that is what the global should do to the local. Critics disagree, at least theoretically. Gramscian globalists, for example, may recognize that “different master (global) narratives” may fuse with “local vernaculars (e.g. separatism, folklorism, local sacred beliefs)” to produce a heterogeneous “global culture” (Editors, Review of International Political Economy, 1994: 4.) In the end, we learn little of how a transnationalized ideology like liberal capitalism interacts with and subsequently constructs a local ideological context and its subject. What Gramscian globalists tell us instead is how liberal capitalism triumphs over and annihilates the local (Ling 1996b). This one-sided rendition of global restructuring reflects an underlying classification scheme: e.g. history-making capitalist economies vs. historylagging non-capitalist ones; wealthy centers vs. exploited peripheries; transnational firms vs. territorially bound states; globe-straddling cosmopolitans vs. locally bound parochials. Thus, the world divides into dichotomous categories that reproduce the West/rest, self/other rationales of an older colonial tradition. Additionally, the global and the local are placed in irreconcilable oppositions, thereby compelling a (false) choice between one or the other. This distracts attention from those processes of interaction, appropriation, synthesis, hybridity, and transformation that course through global and local forces. Some coin a trendy phrase, “glocalization” (see Karam 2000), to refer to this phenomenon, but it remains (as yet) under-theorized and under-specified. “Globalization” studies also train our intellectual sights onto macrocorporate entities such as finance, production, trade, telecommunications, media, drug cartels, and the Mafia. Liberals and critics alike fixate on their “structural integration,” “corporate strategies,” “logic of collective action,” and “economic vs. state power.” Those who populate this global economy become abstracted into consumers, producers, citizens, elites, or cosmopolitans. These same liberals and critics presume that “categories of capitalism” and their laissez-faire principles apply universally across culture, race, or gender. In so doing, they mask normative and ideological presuppositions regarding “who is ‘wealthy’ and who is ‘poor’, who is ‘advanced’ and who is ‘behind,’ who is ‘rational’ and who is ‘irrational,’ who is ‘peaceful’ and who is ‘violent’” (Murphy and Rojas de Ferro 1995: 63). What results is an unreflexive reproduction of the values, norms, institutions, and practices of those who have always been on top. Not surprisingly, the few probes that we have on subjectivity under latemodern capitalism also are idealized. As we have already mentioned, the “globalization” literature privileges one type of subjectivity – Westernized, masculinized, and industrialized – over other possible configurations. In both liberal and critical scenarios, the latemodern subject confronts a high-tech, post-modern world in which traditional forms of social organization (e.g. the nation-state) no longer hold. This presumption stems from the literature’s constant affirmation of liberal capitalism as globalization’s defining ideology. Whether celebrating or



castigating it, the literature sets liberal capitalism – which essentially upholds Western-style capitalism – as the organizing rationale behind the world political economy. In so doing, “globalization” studies implicitly place the industrialized West at the geopolitical – economic center of the world, with “the rest” as its reactionary appendage.5 Such discursive moves eradicate the subaltern.6 Though subalterns may constitute the majority of the world’s population, its labor force, and consumption market, they are omitted from consideration when surveyed from a god’s-eye-view. It discounts, in short, all those who are not Westernized, capitalized, and masculinized living in global cities as consumers, producers, citizens, elites, or cosmopolitans. At the same time, we lose sight of what it means to live, work, play, and die in a globalized but varied economy – and how all these may differ for different groups. Here, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (1988) rightly charges, the subaltern woman suffers especially. She is “invisibilized” and silenced by two crushing discourses: a masculinist discourse of imperialism and an equally masculinist reactionary antiimperialism. Consequently, the subaltern woman and other feminized subjects have no language, rhetoric, discourse, or even voice to express their subjectivities. As we will demonstrate in the remainder of this chapter, they are perhaps the most globalized subjects of all. A growing body of feminist scholarship aims to “re-visibilize” and rearticulate women under various processes of global change (Safa 1981; Nash and Fernandez-Kelly 1983; Sen and Grown 1987; Ward 1990; Marchand 1996). Though primarily concerned with global restructuring rather than “globalization,” this literature explicitly recognizes gender as a fundamental dimension along which all social processes and practices are organized, experienced, and rendered meaningful. Thus, the subjects of these studies are not disembodied persons who transverse across time and space, but corporeal women and men whose choices and movements reflect their gendered, racialized, and class-based identities in the worlds they inhabit. Throughout, feminist analyses of “everyday resistance” recurs, returning both the subject and agency to our understanding of global restructuring. In underscoring women’s responses, though, many such studies underestimate the impact of macro-structures in limiting women’s choices. This tendency to “romanticise resistance” (Abu-Lughod 1990: 42) ignores the complex structures of power in which acts of resistance are embedded. Not only is this historically inaccurate but it obscures the very problem that initially motivated these studies.

Global restructuring II: a regime of labor intimacy (RLI) In this chapter, we seek to learn from these insights while redressing their weaknesses. To de-colonize global restructuring, we retain the focus on corporeal agency found in feminist literature. This requires viewing global restructuring from below, in person, and located at a specific geopolitical – cultural site.

Globalization and its intimate other


We also look at non-corporate, though no less organized, forms of working and living in the global political economy. This “re-sighting” helps us examine the full complement of global life from its macro-structural aspects (like the gendered, racialized state) to its micro-subjective impact (such as on the subaltern woman). At the same time, we aim to avoid romanticizing or individualizing subjectivity by placing it within larger structures that operate in the global political economy. Through ethnographic research, we decipher what Murphy and Rojas de Ferro (1995) refer to as the “circulation of meanings” or “regimes of representation” that shape history and embed structures of power. This means redefining what constitutes global culture/ society/persons. It also requires taking seriously how corporeal subjects themselves make sense of their globalizing world. From this basis, we may trace how contending ideologies may intertwine or coexist in a latemodern subjectivity, thereby extending a different definition to cosmopolitanism and cosmopolitans. More specifically, we examine global restructuring from a gendered and racialized perspective. By this, we refer to the recognition that all social processes, practices, meaning-structures, and institutions (like the state) assign and reflect historically constructed notions of “masculinity” and “femininity” that are also class-based, racially specific, and culturally defined. Typically, this gendering process reflects a patriarchal power structure that glorifies men, masculinity, and manhood and denigrates women, femininity, and womanhood. These constructions of gender differences entail more than biological differences. They may apply to whole groups of people regardless of sex. Both male and female cosmopolitans of TMC, for example, take on “masculinized” traits of high-tech mobility, autonomy, and challenging opportunities in comparison to their “feminized” counterparts in the RLI, who must contend with low-wage menial labor, enforced intimacy, and incarcerating daily routines. As a case in point, we focus on Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong. A globalized service economy TMC’s “structural adjustment” policies of the 1970s-1980s account for today’s “global feminization” of labor intimacy.7 These policies forced governmental retrenchments into anti-unionism, subcontracting, and resort to temporary or contract workers. This led to the development of three major categories of workers in the Philippines: women, overseas contract workers, and child workers.8 Women were more cost-effective to hire, but they also became the first ones fired. A worldwide “skill polarization” emerged with some workers representing “an elite of technically skilled, high-status specialist workers possessing higher-level institutional qualifications” (such as financial analysts), while others constituted “a larger mass of technically semi-skilled production and subsidiary workers requiring minor training” such as assembly line workers (Standing 1989: 1079). As states further



deregulated labor to enhance flexible accumulation under global restructuring,9 many workers saw overseas employment as their only hope. In 1992, 2.5 million people, or 8 percent of the Filipino workforce, sought contract work overseas (FEER 2 April 1992: 22). These economic forces, combined with a historical racialization and sexualization of work, channeled massive numbers of Filipinos to venture overseas for income in the RLI. In the mid-1980s, nearly half of Filipino contract workers overseas were women (Eviota 1992). First, they worked as “medical workers, secretaries, clerks, and teachers, then eventually as domestic help and sex workers” (Rosca 1995: 526). In 1984, 84 percent of Filipina migrants went to the Middle East; by 1987, they started to shift to the capital-surplus countries of East Asia, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan (Heyzer 1989: 1116).10 Filipina migrants are usually the sole supporters of landless parents and/ or unemployed husbands, as well as children. A large proportion are collegeeducated but were unable to find work at home in the fields for which they were trained. Migrant workers from the Philippines average 6.9 years of work abroad; 18 percent have had some college education; and 36.8 percent have earned a college degree (FEER 8 March 1990: 32–33). Domestic work overseas can bring Filipinas six times what they earned in the Philippines (Eviota 1992). While overseas pay may be high, Filipina migrants often find themselves incarcerated within a RLI. They discover that the larger community often links their domestic work with sexualized service (Chang and Groves 2000). Pseudo-employment agencies and other illegal underground networks recruit an undetermined number of Filipinas under the guise of domestic service or “entertainment jobs” only to put them to work as prostitutes in bars or brothels (FEER 14 October 1993: 38–39; Eviota 1992). Still other women turn to prostitution when domestic contracts are prematurely terminated and/ or crippling debts are owed to recruitment agencies in the Philippines. Indeed, the governments of both the Philippines and receiving countries – particularly in Asia where the sex trade is most rampant – are complicit in promoting such forms of sexual exploitation, particularly with their failure to regulate recruitment agencies or enact legislation to protect (rather than limit) the rights of domestic workers. The complicit, patriarchal state The state may be “hollowing-out” under TMC, but it enjoys a renewed vigor in the RLI. The state actively structures, facilitates, and sustains a globalized service economy. The Philippines government, for example, supervises, regulates, transports, and taxes its overseas contract workers with various state agencies organized under the Department of Labor. In the 1970s, the Marcos government initiated overseas contract work as a developmental strategy to enhance economic competitiveness. A decade later, it utilized overseas

Globalization and its intimate other


employment to manage a spiraling external debt (Jose 1991; Standing 1989).11 The state initially decreed that all migrant workers must remit at least half of their monthly salary through authorized government channels. But, a grass roots organization of migrant workers, United Filipinos Against Forced Remittance, defeated this legislation in 1984.12 Now, the government seeks to charge migrant workers for “health care” (Rosca 1995). Despite recent protests over the treatment of Filipina domestic workers overseas, the state continues to market overseas contract work as part of a national development policy. President Fidel Ramos refers to Filipina migrant workers as “a vital export commodity (for) the Philippines’ own economic strategy” (Rosca 1995: 524). In 1991, remittances to the Philippines from overseas contract workers amounted to approximately 12 percent of its gross national product (GNP) (FEER 22 August 1991: 56). In 1992, overseas remittances accounted for 25 percent of the country’s foreign-exchange earnings (FEER 2 April 1992: 22). Reliance on overseas remittances is complemented by the Philippine government’s development policy at home. This development policy for the new century, Philippines 2000, centers on efforts to woo foreign investors with attractive deals – which often include women – at the expense of social, economic, and environmental deterioration within the country (Eviota 1992). Increasingly, “development” and “sex tourism” have become mutually reinforcing sources of hard currency. Even with the closure of US military bases, “bikini bars” remain a lucrative feature of the tourism and business landscape in the Philippines. In addition, with the growth of the bride trade and the exportation of female “entertainers” to Japan and other Asian countries, the “services” of Filipinas are increasingly available abroad.13 Receiving states are equally complicit. In Hong Kong, immigration policies subject Filipina domestic workers to effective indentured servitude by legally binding them to full-time, live-in work for one employer without specifying the conditions of their service. Authorities in both Singapore and Hong Kong restrict Filipinas from changing employers, type of employment, and even having the right to terminate their jobs for two years (Heyzer 1989: 1116). In Singapore, maids must undergo a mandatory six-month pregnancy check to determine their “employability” (Heyzer 1989: 1116). State authorities in Japan often turn a blind eye to the illegal but lucrative recruitment of Filipinas to serve as its “hostesses” and “entertainers” (FEER 14 October 1993: 39). The state’s complicity in this RLI is not a recent adaptation to globalizing trends. It reflects a long-standing ideology of sexualized, racialized service for certain sectors and members of the world political economy. Transnational ideology of racialized, sexualized service As TMC spouts the transnational ideology of universalism and liberalism to promote capital mobility, technological development, and flexible production,



the RLI operates on a symbiotic ideology of racism/sexism to institutionalize its globalized service economy. The deterritorialization of capital under TMC helps to mystify both transnational ideologies of liberalism and sexualized, racialized service. The former becomes a shining standard bearer to all that is possible, while the latter remains hidden and illegitimate despite the virtual incarceration of, in particular, female migrants into sexualized service with all its abuses, exploitation, and possibility of life-threatening disease.14 Indeed, the global economy casts Filipinas and other Asian women as the very embodiment of “service” (Ling 1996a and 1997). The stereotype of the Filipina as sexually subservient is rooted in a history of colonialism, sexism, and poverty. As already mentioned, “sex tourism” has underwritten the Philippines’ debt-ridden economy for decades. Exceptionally, the Aquino government sought to clean up this “service economy” – especially its offshoot into sex tourism – as part of a larger campaign to restore national dignity. But, such efforts failed because it ignored the entrenchment of this service economy in an international political economy that limits options for Filipinas and which provides wealthy Western, and increasingly Asian, businessmen with the economic power to purchase and trade women as sexual commodities (Enloe 1989). Commodification of Filipinas now takes on the form of a “maid trade” (Chang and Groves 2000). In Hong Kong, as the Filipina community has grown and become more visible, their presence has created a public debate about domestic workers that has been framed largely in terms of the women’s sexuality (Chang and Groves 2000). Complaints about their occupation of public space, neglect of duties, or illegal activities condemn this all-female community in moral terms. The Filipinas, many imply, offer more than domestic services in exchange for money. Filipinas are held as “morally suspect” (Constable 1996) by many local residents and employers, who presume that the women have an ulterior motive in going abroad: “to find a man and obtain financial security” (Constable 1996: 466). Such debates often take place in newspaper editorials where Filipina domestic workers are accused of neglecting children, seducing husbands, and moonlighting as prostitutes. Indeed, the media are full of such allusions to the women’s sexuality and its economic significance, from suggestive newspaper headlines such as “Maids too much of a distraction for employers” (Hong Kong Standard 12 May 1997) to more sensationalist captions such as “Maid turned to prostitution” (South China Morning Post 12 May 1983). This sexualized image of the Filipina pervades public discourse in Hong Kong, casting domestic workers into the morally dubious category of laborers associated with the sex industry. Filipina domestics are thus judged and held accountable, not for the “intimate labor” that they provide for the families of Hong Kong, but as women who leave their own families to sell their services abroad for economic gain. The image of the Filipina woman as “prostitute” is also highly racialized in Hong Kong. One local writer, for example, devoted a whole chapter in his book, The Great Hong Kong Sex Novel, to the sexual escapades of Filipina

Globalization and its intimate other


domestic workers as seen through the eyes of two Western businessmen. Entitled “Filipina Mon Amour,” this chapter depicts Filipina women as “little brown Eskimos” who perform sex with great “tropical ardor” (Adams 1993: 73, 83). Such images hark back to the days of sex tourism in the Philippines, yet are revived in Hong Kong, which is still marketed as one of Asia’s ports of “entertainment” for foreign-enlisted – and increasingly business – men. In one newspaper editorial, an employer complained that his maid entertained foreign men in his house while he was away and frequented bars in the red-light district of Hong Kong: The main reason why Chinese employers do not like their maid staying away overnight is because they know all too well how it is being spent! Just drop by any Wanchai bar and you will see Filipinas walking off arm in arm with sailors. Many of them don’t even bother to get into the bars but wait outside to be picked up. (W.C. Lau, “Sensible to pay return air fare to Philippines,” letter to the editor, South China Morning Post 24 June 1985: 22) As this quotation suggests, the mere association with a foreign man is enough to impose upon a Filipina woman the label of “prostitute.” At the same time, migrant workers themselves succumb to the honeyed rhetoric of transnational liberalism. Many see overseas employment as a means of bootstrapping from intimate labor to TMC: “A lowly job overseas with good pay is better than working as a professional with a low salary in the Philippines” (FEER 8 March 1990: 32). Once abroad, however, they find a very different outcome: In the Philippines, it’s really difficult for even university graduates to get work, and even then the pay is bad. I thought that if I worked here for one or two years, I could save enough to go home and start business. But by the time I pay my debts here (in Japan), I will have saved almost nothing. (FEER 14 October 1993: 9) In response to liberalism’s empty promises, Filipina domestic workers often retrench into a romanticized conservatism of God, family, and country. Cultural reification: God, family, and country15 In Hong Kong, many Filipina domestic workers resist their racialization and sexualization by redefining service in terms of devotion to God, family, and country. They regularly center social activities around religious organizations (usually affiliated with the local Catholic Church) which enforce extensive



rules, both formal and informal, on where to go, what to do, when to do it, and with whom. Penalties for breaking the rules include fines, ostracism, and even expulsion from the group. These organizations emphasize religious or cultural activities such as singing church hymns or Filipino folk dances to ward off society’s association of Filipinas with prostitution: e.g. singing Karaoke songs, disco dancing in places of ill repute. In the process of redefining service, many Filipinas mythologize a “traditional culture” that does not necessarily reflect life as it is in the Philippines (Chang and Groves 2000). Some Filipinas draw upon their religious faith to define themselves as servants of the Lord rather than the physical world of men. They describe this service to God and the Church as cleansing, filling them with a sense of “righteousness” and “completeness” that comes only once a week on Sundays. Articles in Tinig Filipino speak directly to the women’s faith as a means of redefining sexual service. In one issue, the editor imagined a “love letter” written by God to Filipina overseas contract workers, who are described as the “Chosen People to be Helpers of the World” (L.R. Layosa “Into Thy Hands,” Tinig Filipino April 1994: 6). In this letter, God urges Filipina domestic workers to embrace their work as servants, bringing to it their “true Christian values, your resilient, cheerful, persevering and helpful qualities” and “humble ways.” As one woman put it: “I am not only here to earn money, I am here used by God as an instrument to show special light to my employers.” In this way, the notion of service is cleansed of its sexual overtones and becomes an almost sacred activity, giving the women a sense of moral identity and purpose (Chang and Groves 2000). Many Filipinas also embrace their identities as wives, mothers, and daughters to counter the sexualized image of the service provider. They invoke their marital or family status to ward off sexual advances from male employers, e.g. they are “not available” because they must “sacrifice for the family first.” Public events also advance this theme of sacrifice for and devotion to migrant families. Articles in Tinig Filipino frequently flag traditional family values as a means of resisting the temptations of Hong Kong, e.g. illegal part-time work, “loan sharks,” spending on oneself instead of sending remittances back home, extramarital or illicit affairs, and so on. For example, one article emphasizes various kinds of “patience,” including “patience with desire” such as “buying a house, saving money, marrying, etc.” (M.E. Loria “Adjustments to the local situation,” Tinig Filipino April 1994: 25) as a way of serving one’s family rather than oneself. Finally, some maids seek refuge in a refurbished national identity. Articles in Tinig Filipino repeatedly remind the women of their role as “economic heroes” of the Philippines: Through your good works in those places where you are temporarily working, you will become instruments in the economic improvement or

Globalization and its intimate other


progress of your “sick” nation through the dollars you send back home. In the future, through your perseverance and hard work, your children and your children’s children will be the ones to benefit from your nation’s progress. (L.R. Layosa “Into Thy Hands,” Tinig Filipino April 1994: 6) Such articles portray the women as active participants in the economic destiny of the Philippines, as opposed to sexual commodities. Other articles redefine Filipinas as “helpers of the world” rather than the “world’s cleaners” (M. de Torres “The Filipino: world class,” Tinig Filipino March 1994: 15). Service, in this sense, takes on a strong nationalistic overtone. For example, in the letter from God, the editor urges maids not only to educate their employers’ children, but to “Filipinize” them (L.R. Layosa “Into Thy Hands,” Tinig Filipino April 1994: 6). While this retrenchment into God, family, and country provides a moral identity, it also creates painful moral dilemmas for Filipinas. Cultural and religious values offer a haven from the transnational ideology of sexualized, racialized service. But, they also become controlling and oppressive, depriving the Filipina woman of the autonomy and independence that liberal capitalism insists is hers. Yet, if she fails to live up to the moral standards of her community, she risks being labeled as “loose” or promiscuous. Thus the two processes of global restructuring – TMC and labor intimacy – catch the Filipina migrant worker in between: tradition or modernity, virtue or independence, sainthood or sin. Recognizing the impossibility of such choices (“I’m no saint! You have to be naughty sometimes!”), some women choose to loosen or even break their ties with their community – often at great personal cost. Still others choose another alternative: “tomboyism.” Sexual alternative: tomboyism Given such intense scrutiny of their sexuality by their immediate environment as well as the global economy at large, some Filipina migrant workers opt out through a homosexual identity they call “tomboyism.”16 Tomboys wear men’s clothing, have short hair, behave in a conventionally masculine manner, and have liaisons or affairs with other Filipinas. Some claim that outfitting as a tomboy allows them to avoid being perceived as “cheap.” It also saves from sexual harassment from men while offering some protection themselves to other Filipinas. As one woman put it: “Any friend can protect you, but the protection of a tomboy is different.” A tomboy, for example, replaced the former president of the Filipina shelter in Hong Kong when the latter was caught having an affair with her male employer. Indeed, many tomboys hold positions of power and responsibility within the Filipino community, where their image as “strong” and “faithful” women challenges the stereotype of Filipinas as sexually subservient or promiscuous.



The migrant community tolerates tomboyism, despite the Catholic Church’s injunction against homosexuality, precisely because it relieves Filipinas from their intense sexualization while overseas. Some women even speak of lesbianism as a show of devotion to their families. Tomboys are seen to offer a “safe outlet” for women: a means of enjoying the romance and intimacy of a relationship while at the same time preserving marital vows. The women thus construct lesbianism as a form of fidelity rather than promiscuity. Most importantly, a relationship with a tomboy would not disrupt family life since there is no risk of pregnancy. One article in Tinig Filipino, for example, describes tomboys as “gorgeous, faithful, sympathetic,” and so forth. These are words from women who are too afraid of flushing their fetus in the toilet: “With a lesbian, I’m safe” (L. Eronico “The Modern Romeos in the Making,” Tinig Filipino March 1994: 10).

Conclusion The moral dilemmas of Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong stem from their placement between two processes of global restructuring: labor intimacy and TMC. An examination of their internal dialectics provides a more comprehensive understanding of our latemodern global economy (see Table 1.1): 1 Labor intimacy results from and sustains TMC. Gross wage inequities increasingly casualize and informalize labor so that some workers have more means to hire others who need more economic compensation. Migrant workers toiling in the household also release cosmopolitans from time-consuming, mind-numbing, non-rewarding chores so that they may pursue their “casino capitalism,” “technology districts,” “strategic alliances,” “global cities,” and “trilateral economies.” Thus, the cycle of wage inflation and labor domestication continues. 2 The state may be released from traditional duties of sovereignty or community to further the “flexible production” or “mobile capital” of TMC. But this reserves the state’s resources to continue its historical institutionalization of racist, sexist, and classist policies in the RLI.17 As migration within East Asia shows, such state power parallels that of firms in its global reach. 3 A transnational ideology of sexualized, racialized service privatizes and mutes the contradictions of transnational liberalism. In this way, liberal internationalists may promote the public rhetoric of wealth, opportunity, and mobility even as a majority of the world’s population struggles in poverty, exploitation, and structural incarceration. As demonstrated by Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong, sometimes local resistance to global restructuring takes on the form of reifying those very pillars of society and state that are most conservative, patriarchal, and hegemonic.

Globalization and its intimate other 4


The cultural retrenchment and paralyzing moral dilemmas found in the RLI provide a stable pool of labor for the latemodern cosmopolitans of TMC to experiment with their time – space compression and/or reflexive individualism. Little chance exists, then, of local counter-hegemonies overhauling the capitalist world hegemony. Most likely, systemic changes or transformations will arise from the interstices of local – global interaction and the constituent-specific negotiations that they reflect.

This case study on Filipina migrant workers in Hong Kong broadens our understandings of subjectivity and cosmopolitanism under latemodern capitalism. It demonstrates that geographical mobility does not necessarily translate into a psychological or emotional detachment. Indeed, our case study underscores that recourse to “reflexive individualism” or “blasé withdrawal” highly correlates with relative power disparities in the global political economy. A middle-aged, middle-income, masculinized professional without household duties may feel free to “reinvent” himself or herself to “join new communities.” But the scope of such choice for a middle-aged, low-income, feminized domestic worker facing a barrage of sexual and racial discrimination is much smaller. Though choices do exist, they take very different and unanticipated forms. Some migrant workers choose to reify their indigenous culture; others seek subterfuge in an alternative sexuality. In shifting from a (neo)colonial, masculinist god’s-eye-view to the perspective of a subaltern woman from a specific location, we also change our notion of what constitutes the global and globalism. Hannerz’s high-style multiculturalism still applies, but another kind of cosmopolitanism/globalism comes into sight as well. It also requires competence, mastery, autonomy, selfmade-ness, and intellectual acumen. But, it has less to do with abstract, evaluative qualities like intellectualism or aesthetics than with a pragmatic outlook that aims to engage with, fit in, sort through, and negotiate across differences. Less idealized, it is instead embodied in the daily demands of global life: caring for young and elderly people who are not from one’s own culture or country, cleaning their houses, washing their clothes, preparing their food, living a life where local knowledge, tastes, habits, and customs blur ceaselessly with global ones. This “pragmatic globalism” recognizes contending ideologies (sometimes incommensurate ontologies) where they exist (e.g. work vs. family, devotion vs. service, saint vs. whore, Catholicism vs. homosexuality, Tagalog vs. English), but ultimately seeks to work them out such that they emerge as reformed, transmuted parts of oneself, not a quaint custom or exotic locale that can be “exited” at will. Thus, pragmatic globalism does not force a selection between false choices: modernity vs. tradition, contrast vs. uniformity, globalism vs. localism, reflexivity vs. withdrawal. Rather, it aspires for an overall sanity that endures through all the conflicts and contradictions that beset our daily, global life.



Notes 1 We borrow the description of “techno-muscularity” from Elaine Boose’s identification of American self-perceptions during the Vietnam War (1993: 67–106). 2 Since the mid-1980s, Hong Kong has become the second largest destination (next to the Middle East) for Filipina migrant workers. From 1975 to 1991, the number of Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong jumped from 1,000 to nearly 66,000 (Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrant Filipinos 1991). By the late-1990s, new arrivals were estimated at a rate of 80 per day, bringing the Filipina population to over 130,000, making it the largest non-Chinese community in Hong Kong (Constable 1997). 3 Paul Welfens (1989: 273) notes, for example, that “85 percent of international trade in technology is concentrated among companies from just ten market-economy, industrial countries – and that these are all among the top 15 countries for direct investment.” 4 A caveat: debates about the demise of the state under global restructuring are far from settled. Stephen Krasner (1994), for instance, reiterates that states remain what they have always been: rational, self-interested, unitary, and the most important actors in international relations. Thus a state-centric analysis still offers the most parsimonious elegance for predictive theory while, at the same time, explaining radical changes in the world political economy. The Economist (7 October 1995: 15–16) agrees that the powerless state is a “myth.” For evidence, it refers to continued high levels of public spending in states that are supposed to be the most globalized. For a critique of this line of reasoning, see Strange (1994). 5 This literature identifies Japan as an industrialized economy but not a member of the geopolitical club. 6 The concept of subalternity builds on earlier notions of the comprador: that is, a class or grouping of people structurally placed to serve the governing needs of another. But where comprador connotes a commercial relationship, subaltern suggests a political one. 7 Here, “feminization” refers to a process of physical embodiment as well as social construction. That is, more women are working in certain sectors of the global economy. These are usually low-wage, low-skilled, and low-mobility workers. At the same time, the global economy assigns to both women and men who work on Table 1.1 Schematic representation of techno-muscular capitalism (TMC) and regime of labor intimacy (RLI) Category



Identifying features

Integration of technology, trade, production, and communications facilitated by globalized financial networks Internationalized or “hollowed out” Liberal capitalism

Exportation of low-wage, low-to-medium skilled workers to service “intimate” jobs in cosmopolitan homes Complicit, patriarchal, vigorous Sexualized, racialized service Cultural reification: God, family, and country, crossing sexual boundaries, moral dilemmas

The role of the state Transnationalized ideology Nature of global society, culture, persons

Global elites, or cosmopolitans, postmodern individualism, or “shell-shocked” withdrawal

Globalization and its intimate other

8 9 10

11 12 13 14 15 16 17


its lower rungs’ traits historically identified as “feminine”, e.g. backwardness, irrationality, passivity, and victimhood. In 1985, there were 5–7 million Filipino working children within the 5–14 year age group, mostly in rural areas (Ofreneo 1993: 255). For example, the Philippines government in the 1980s removed most enterprises from coverage by various labor laws to reduce production costs for multinational corporations (Standing 1989). Surveys on Filipina migrant workers indicated the following figures: 20,000 in Greece; 40,000 in England; 50,000–100,000 in Hong Kong; 60,000 in Spain; 75,000 in Singapore; 80,000 in Italy; and 750,000 in the Middle East (Rosca 1995; Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrant Filipinos 1991). In 1974, the Philippines’ external debt amounted to $3.75 billion; by 1990, it had risen to $28 billion with a 8.6 percent unemployment rate (FEER 8 March 1990: 32–33). In 1990, for instance, overseas contract workers remitted $856 million through official channels and another $3 billion through private channels (FEER 8 March 1990: 32–33). Ninotchka Rosca (1995: 524) reports that over 75,000 Filipinas work in the Japanese sex industry. According to Rosca (1995: 524), between 30,000 and 50,000 Filipinos around the US bases in the Philippines have contracted the HIV virus. This portion of the chapter draws directly from Chang and Groves (2000). “Coming out” is common for migrants who may cross sexual borders along with national ones (Espin 1994). This dual strategy is apparent in the US Congress, for example, where many conservatives call for less governmental regulation of the “private,” corporate sector while advocating more for the “public,” civic sector such as immigration, welfare, education, and reproductive rights for women.


Querying globalization Sexual subjectivities, development, and the governance of intimacy Amy Lind

Introduction Feminist scholars working in the development field have long questioned the meaning and making of gender in shaping restructuring processes, international governmental institutions, nation-states, and household and community relations. Gender and Development (GAD) scholarship extended earlier discussions by positing gender as socially constructed and as embedded in development and globalization discourse (Jaquette and Staudt 2006). Feminist ethnographers have shown how notions of gender themselves are produced through global restructuring. For example, in Genders in Production (2003), sociologist Leslie Salzinger demonstrates how women’s gender identities are produced on the maquila factory floor. As the majority female labor force is trained and disciplined as maquila workers, managers, and factory owners are creating, rather than merely reproducing (as assumed in positivist political economic frameworks), a certain set of roles and expectations that the workers are obliged to follow in order to keep their jobs. That is, new gendered subjectivities are produced through transnational production (Salzinger 2003), itself a product of the so-called neoliberal model of global development and governance. This type of research has been key in pointing out the complex and often contradictory relationships between the production of gendered subjectivities, capitalism, and globalization.1 In a similar vein, queer studies2 scholars have addressed how new sexual subjectivities have been produced in the context of Western industrial capitalism and, to a lesser degree, globalization. Michel Foucault’s historical research and genealogical method have been key in articulating how sexualities are produced, disciplined, and regulated through a wide range of institutions and sites of knowledge production (see especially his 1980 The History of Sexuality and 1979 Discipline and Punish). John D’Emilio’s article, “Capitalism and Gay Identity” (1983) provided a conceptual foundation for contemporary debates on the emergence of gay subjectivities and capitalist restructuring in industrialized countries. Dennis Altman’s Global Sex (2002) more directly explores the relationship between sexualities and globalization, and Ara Wilson (2004) analyzes global iterations of gender and sexuality in

Querying globalization


the “intimate economies” of Bangkok in her ethnography, drawing heavily from queer theory. Yet, with these and a few other exceptions, this type of inquiry into how sexual subjectivities are produced, understood, imagined, and negotiated within the context of the Global South has been largely untheorized by feminist scholars of development and globalization. The global development industry largely sets the agenda for economic and social planning in the Global South. As such, this industry serves as an important site for understanding how global restructuring takes place in poor countries, and how categories such as “women,” “workers,” “families,” “peasants,” “men who have sex with men” (MSMs), or “women who have sex with women” (WSWs) become known, understood, and operationalized within governmental and nongovernmental programs designed to “restructure” either the economy or a certain set of institutions (e.g. state agencies, civil society organizations, or the public/private relationship between these institutional actors). In the neoliberal context, the presumed goal of this restructuring is to further integrate the national economy into the global market and shift traditional state social welfare responsibilities to the (for-profit and non-profit) private sector, a policy agenda backed by “bootstrap” ideologies of progress and modernization. Nonetheless, although feminist scholars have provided important studies of the “intimate other” to globalization (Chang and Ling 2000 and this volume; Sassen’s (2002b) “counter-geographies of globalization”), and the global caring and sex work industries that are often seen as the “underbelly” of globalization (Ehrenreich and Hochschild 2003; Hondagneu-Sotelo 2007; Salazar Parreñas 2001), few have explicitly addressed how heteronormativity itself underscores their own research conclusions about sexual consumption and identities; the limiting nature of masculinities and femininities as inscribed in cultural and institutional practices, arrangements of intimacy, and marriage; and the composition of families, households, and (imagined) local and national communities. In this chapter I address the meaning and making of sexual subjectivities in narratives and institutional practices of development. My goal is to assess the relationship between sexual subjectivities and globalization, the global development industry, and emergent capitalist consumer cultures. This project arose out of my perception that there is a great need to assess the contributions of queer studies to the field of development and globalization studies. Likewise, it grew out of my preoccupation with the feminist scholarship on gender and development, which, while useful for examining normative family structures and patterns of gender relations, has rarely turned its attention to the study of heterosexuality as a social institution. By examining gender, development, and global restructuring through a queer lens, this chapter provides a critical query of “development” itself and explores the liberatory potential, as well as the contradictions, of any project that attempts to query the gendered norms and nature of global restructuring.



This project reflects and responds to at least four sets of concerns or issues that have been developed elsewhere (Lind 2010a and 2010b). The first is scholars’ growing preoccupation with the entrenched nature of heteronormativity in development narratives, policies, and practices, particularly in the neoliberal era, where normative family models have been newly integrated into many international aid efforts in complex and contradictory ways (Buss and Herman 2003; Butler 2006). Although many observers have noted the effects of global restructuring on heterosexual families and households and on an imagined heterosexual national community, few have begun to analyze how processes of neoliberal development and globalization themselves lead to new arrangements of heteronormative intimacy and to new classes of heterosexuality, let alone how these iterations of identity converge with new forms of hypermasculinities and hyperfemininities on a global scale. The second concern is the increasingly globalized backlash against queers, including the re-inscription of heteronormative power in nationalist ideologies and the outright denial of full citizenship to homosexuals in various countries. This is so, despite the fact that significant advances have been made in some countries with respect to gay and lesbian rights and/or to gender identity claims. Interestingly, gayness and queerness have been used as barometers of national progress and development; some view the addition of “gay rights” as a sign of progress, whereas others view it as a Western imposition and/or as a deteriorating factor in their national identities. In addition, marked tensions among self-defined “gay” versus “queer” political and conceptual approaches demonstrate how “gayness” itself has been defined through market and other hegemonic forms of logic, which arguably tend to privilege Western, white, middle class values over all others (Hoad 2007; Lind 2009). Third, this project draws upon transnational dialogues among scholars and activists about the cultural politics of sexual and gender identity in an increasingly globalized, marketized context. This is a context where heteronormativity, as well as homonormativity, play roles in shaping global hegemonic expressions of capitalist power: in exoticizing “Third World” queers, in part through new forms of representing queerness in popular culture and marketing to gay consumers in post/neocolonial nations; by creating a hegemonic notion of “gayness” that also circulates transnationally and is heavily debated within the Global South (see Lind 2008); and in shaping docile, white-queer consumer subjects in late capitalism who themselves consume and benefit from images of the queer sexual savage (Hennessy 2000; Altman 2001; Alexander 2005). Needless to say, the relationships among capitalism, Westernization, and emergent queer subjectivities are complex, at best, and this chapter aims to contribute to debates on this topic. Finally, this research is possible due to the increased visibility of sexual rights and gender justice movements in the Global South, many of which have provided intersectional critiques of the violence of Western normativities from the start. All of these processes, combined, have played important roles

Querying globalization


in shaping what I call the “new sexual subjects of development”: gay men, men who have sex with men, lesbians, transsexuals, and other non-normative identities now targeted as subjects in need of development aid or assistance (which, in and of itself, contributes to new forms of stratification and hierarchies among groups now made visible through these development initiatives). Of course, most development frameworks continue to rest on heteronormative imaginings of national progress and identity, and, more often than not, queers are left out of the picture. In this chapter, I consciously employ the term “queer” in a few key ways. Certainly “queerness” has been interrogated by queer and postcolonial studies scholars for its usefulness (or lack thereof) in understanding genders and sexualities in the Global South. Here I draw from Suparna Bhaskaran’s usage of the term in both “a broad and narrow sense,” and in a “strategic, embodied, very much marked, and inventive manner,” recognizing that queerness can “flatten out differences,” yet also serve as a coalition building mechanism to challenge various forms of normativity (2004: 8–9). I also use the term to connote the multiple forms of sexual and gender identities that exist, although with the understanding that this term, too, needs to be problematized. Drawing from queer theory, I suggest that this framework of sexuality is more appropriate than a dualistic framework of homosexuality/ heterosexuality or gay/straight (Sedgwick 1990). As opposed to definitions of gay, lesbian, homosexual, and/or bisexual, the notion of “queerness” helps us to rethink dualisms in Western thought and in development discourses, which tend to universalize Western definitions – about “good” versus “bad,” “normal” versus “abnormal” genders and sexualities. Importantly, this rethinking of dualisms associated with a queer conceptual-political perspective includes rethinking the binary categories of gay/lesbian/homosexual versus straight/heterosexual. These categories arguably normalize and naturalize the social institution of heterosexuality, as well as privilege a certain kind of “gayness” that is linked to traditional respectability and normalcy, defined according to Western, white, patriarchal, middle-class standards (Duggan 2002).3 While I do not claim “queer” to encompass “all that is not normative,” as some US-based queer theorists have done (see Bhaskaran 2004), I wish to demonstrate how heteronormativity has negative effects, not only for self-defined queers (e.g. men who love men, or women who love women, gender-variant individuals), but also for heterosexual individuals who do not fit within prescribed gender roles and, therefore, do not benefit from development initiatives as their gender-normative counterparts might. The naming of sexual/gender difference is tied up with processes by which marginalized groups of people name themselves in relation to dominant processes of nation building, racialization, globalization, or class exploitation. “Queering” the analysis of marginalized sexual and gender identities allows scholars to “account for a sense of difference that comes with marginality” (Arrizón 2006: 3), in this case, within narratives and practices of development and globalization. One of my broader aims, then, is to rethink how sexual



identity is organized and normalized in development narratives and practices, often through its conflation with racialized gender norms (Gosine 2005). I use the term “heteronormativity” explicitly to illustrate how heterosexuality is normalized, naturalized, and privileged in societies of the Global South, in the international development field, and in colonial and post/ neocolonial narratives of the so-called “Third World,” or Global South (Lind and Share 2003).

Sightings: Neoliberal globalization and the governance of intimacy At the center of the debates on querying development in the neoliberal era is a shared understanding of the normalizing effects of globalization: we hear of a monocultural, uniworld vision, or “the McDonaldization of society” (Ritzer 1996), and of the general omnipotence of globalization. Some critics challenge these globalization scripts by suggesting their discursively colonizing effects (Gibson-Graham 1996; Bergeron 2004) or their effects on the creation of new consumer gay identities (Cruz-Malavé and Manalansan 2002a; Alexander 2005). Others argue that globalization occurs through everyday life as much “from below” as “from above,” leading to new ways of thinking about globalization, as well as to its alternatives (Flusty 2004). Globalization has arguably brought with it new economic normativities, as in the prevalence of the “free market” in countries around the world, as well as normativities generally associated with realms outside the market and the state. In particular, recent attempts to newly introduce “pro-family” politics into the multilateral arena, especially in the United Nations (UN), demonstrates how the agendas of the financial architects of neoliberal frameworks have converged in interesting ways with libertarian moves to deregulate post/ neocolonial states’ perceived roles in legislating “homosexual rights” and promoting “non-traditional families” (Buss and Herman 2003). Ideologicallyand religiously-inspired gender and sexuality wars continue to acquire significance in national and multilateral arenas, and this so-called “globalization of family values,” as Doris Buss and Didi Herman (2003) refer to it, has converged with neoliberal development initiatives in their aim to make heteronormativity, hyperfemininity, and hypermasculinity central to national development and national security policy processes. We are now seeing the effects of these lobbying efforts in development frameworks themselves, particularly with regard to fatherhood and marriage initiatives in World Bank and other development institutions’ projects in the Global South (see Bedford 2005 and 2009). Post/neocolonial nations face the task of negotiating heteronormativity within and across national borders, as states themselves repress queers and others perceived as non-citizens, yet they also must contend with debates on homosexuality in multilateral arenas, which may either influence or work to bind poor countries through neoliberal governance strategies. An important aspect of my understanding of neoliberal globalization involves how people’s intimate lives are tied up with state and neoliberal

Querying globalization


governmentalities. By “neoliberal governmentalities,” I am referring to the ways in which NGOs, multilateral institutions, and aid agencies and foundations have played new roles in public/private partnerships since the inception of the neoliberal era. Through the privatization of social welfare and the move toward market-based notions of citizenship (Ong 2006), these nonor trans-state institutions have increasingly played interpretive roles in defining citizenship itself, as well as what constitutes proper citizen practices. Drawing from Foucault’s (1979 and 1980) original work on governmentality and from more recent insights (Bhaskaran 2004; Bondi and Laurie 2005), I refer to neoliberal governmentalities as a way to capture the layers of institutions that are involved in defining and regulating our intimate lives. Seen through this lens, development policies work as instruments of governance and as methods of constructing and legitimizing subjectivities (Shore and Wright 1997). The “struggles for interpretive power” over policy definitions are not trivial conversations that take place within governing institutions; rather, they represent broader struggles over cultural representation, the right to security in the realm of intimacy, and access to material resources (Franco 1989; Lind 2005). When queers are left out of policies, their invisibility on paper translates into myriad forms of symbolic and material violence against them. Interestingly, both invisibility and hypervisibility serve as mechanisms of control and governmentality (Lind and Williams 2008). While much can be said about the invisibility of queers in development, development policies have also prompted new sexual subjectivities in a few key ways, especially, and perhaps ironically, in the neoliberal context. The so-called “NGOization” of social movements is a paradoxical result of neoliberal governmentalities: as grass-roots social movements were encouraged or forced to institutionalize and professionalize their agendas as a way to receive much-needed financial and ideological support (Alvarez 1998), their institutionalization arguably contributed to new forms of stratification among marginalized groups in civil society and in NGOs’ relations to state agencies (Schild 2000). While there are few instances of queer organizations receiving state support, their links to the state and to other governing institutions will likely bring on new forms of stratification among marginalized groups, as some forms of queer identity and consciousness are better understood through a neoliberal lens and legitimized more than others. Privatization is another process that has catalyzed queers to politically organize. Feminist scholars have long addressed the effects of global neoliberal restructuring on families, households, and communities, often with an emphasis on the impacts of policies on women’s work, lives, and identities (e.g. Benería and Feldman 1992; Bakker 1994; Marchand and Runyan 2000). However, there has been little discussion of how global neoliberal restructuring has contributed to ordering (or re-ordering) gender normativity and heteronormativity in societies throughout the world, and to feminists’ own roles in reinforcing heteronormative frameworks and practices. Given the new



emphasis on global fatherhood and marriage initiatives, combined with the ongoing attacks on women’s reproductive rights agendas and the push for a “pro-family” agenda in the UN, privatization schemes that seek to reinforce traditional constructions of femininity and masculinity, and related forms of heterosexual intimacy, in local development projects are part of the new neoliberal governance of heteronormative intimacy, a fact that, thus far, only queer studies (and a limited number of feminist) scholars and activists have addressed (Correa, Cornwall, and Jolly 2008; Cornwall and Jolly 2009). Because of the new neoliberal institutional arrangements, in which the governmentality of intimacy occurs through development policies implemented not only by states, but also by multilateral institutions, foreign aid agencies, and NGOs, many queers from around the world have mobilized to address these increasingly globalized forms of normativities. For example, queers from around the world have played significant roles in global justice movements, including in the recent World Social Forums (WSFs), first held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in the early 1990s. This is not a coincidence. By examining the “heterosexualization of the state” in their home countries (Alexander 2005), queer activists in the Global South have often necessarily utilized a transnational approach to address the effects of multilateral institutions in shaping the “sex wars” at home (Duggan and Hunter 1995). As queers have organized to fight back against crimes committed against them in their homes and communities, crimes often reinforced and/or perpetuated by nation-states, they have utilized transnational networks to strengthen their struggles for human rights, and have “encountered” development in numerous ways (Escobar 1995a). Sometimes they have received foreign aid to support their networks and struggles. Many of them work in the development industry itself. Through globalization “from below,” as in transnational social movements, as well as globalization “from above,” as in the enforcement of structural adjustment programs (SAPs) in indebted countries, queers have strategically utilized notions of sexual and gender identity as a way to situate themselves and their political struggles, thereby contributing to emergent sexual subjectivities in the Global South in paradoxical, yet often liberatory ways. To be sure, there is no simple “cause and effect” relationship between emergent sexual subjectivities, trans/national governmentalities, and neoliberal globalization. Yet in order to understand how a lesbian in Bolivia might be perceived as “unproductive,” as “unreproductive,” or as not participating in national development, one must examine the various genealogies of heteronormativity and gender normativity as they are tied up with local and transnational conceptions of development, national progress, race, and modernity.

Sites: GAD scholarship and heteronormativity Narratives about development have relied upon heteronormative discourses of the family and nation from the start. Women in Development (WID) and GAD practitioners are products of this historical trajectory, although

Querying globalization


they have provided important critiques as well. Historically, women have been targeted in their roles as mothers of families and, by extension, as mothers of the nation, in development efforts to eradicate poor health, “control” population growth, and improve access to education and economic standards among poor families (Hartmann 1995; Clarke 1998; Hill Collins 2006). Viewed in their roles as mothers, “women,” and especially “poor women,” have been the targets of numerous types of state and international development initiatives aimed at improving the lives of women and their families in impoverished sectors. As mothers, women’s bodies have been the subject of various public political discussions about the appropriate role of the state in regulating reproductive health, family law, affirmative action policies, and women’s rights within the family and in society at large. In the neoliberal era, the so-called “UNICEF approach” to addressing the social costs of structural adjustment, introduced by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), became a dominant model that linked maternal and child well-being to national progress. UNICEF’s “Adjustment with a Human Face” report became the major framework utilized by the development industry to address the negative effects of SAPs on poor households, first in Latin America, then, later, in Africa and Asia (Cornia et al. 1987). “Adjustment with a Human Face” meant adjusting the economy with women (as mothers) and children in mind; its supposed innovation lay in adding a “human face” to trickle-down economic growth policies that ordinarily posit the household as a neutral, passive unit that automatically “absorbs” the effects of macroeconomic change in unproblematic ways. UNICEF researchers developed an efficiency argument to convince development planners to address women’s and children’s needs: they argued that the economic crisis “will have longterm repercussions for the rate of growth of GNP because of a deterioration in the quality of human resources” (as cited in Elson 1992: 31). By theorizing gender relations within the household and linking the long-term quality of human resources (e.g. mother’s and children’s health, education, nutrition) to the rate of growth of gross national product (GNP), UNICEF was able to make women’s reproductive and productive (and sometimes their “community management”) labor visible and to effectively call for policy interventions that took into account the gender impacts of structural adjustment on women’s work, as well as their and their children’s nutritional, health, and educational status (Benería and Feldman 1992; Moser 1993). Yet, this narrative about national development and structural adjustment that rests upon women’s bodies is heteronormative in the sense that it assumes a heterosexual family and, by extension, nation. The reproduction of national identity, and of the household economic unit during economic crisis, is directly tied to heterosexual family reproduction and to the survival of presumably heterosexual households and communities. Queers are rendered invisible in the nation and in the crisis. “The state has always conceived of the nation as heterosexual in that it places reproduction at the heart of its impulse,” as Jacqui Alexander states (2005: 46). Whereas women are



targeted in their traditional gender roles, thereby gaining some recognition and possibly some “rights,” queers are, more often than not, left out of citizenship and economic restructuring. Paradoxically, when they do acquire certain citizen rights (at least on paper), such as in South Africa or Ecuador, these achievements have been embraced by neoliberal supporters as evidence of the successes of marketization and, more broadly speaking, of the country’s perceived progress toward modernity (Hoad 2007). From the start, development theory has constructed the nation as an object of inquiry and site of intervention, with important gender implications, and both the nation and the economy have been constructed as heterosexual.4 These economic representations, which have been institutionalized through various sets of policy frameworks, the most recent being neoliberalism, have significantly affected the ways in which women and queers themselves have been represented, legally regulated, and socially addressed as consumers and/or citizens in countries throughout the world. These (neoliberal) representations also have influenced the particular forms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ) identity politics that have emerged in the Global South.5 Whereas heterosexual women’s bodies have been central to narratives and practices of national development, men’s and women’s queer bodies have been largely absent, except when viewed as potential threats to the heteronormative social order. How queer men and women are viewed has led to contrasting and contradictory forms of regulation and visibilization in development narratives. For example, because lesbians are typically viewed as nonprocreative and as “non-mothers,” they are mostly left out of the picture, except when targeted in their reproductive roles (e.g. a pregnant lesbian, a mother who happens to be lesbian). In such cases, their queer identity is sidelined and they are viewed primarily as mothers or mothers-to-be. Because of the absence of a male in their lives, symbolically, at least, they pose a perceived threat to state building projects and to the heteronormative social order. They are seen as not “in need” of development interventions, as they are represented either as unlikely-to-get-pregnant or unlikely-to-get-AIDS. This is so, despite the fact that little, if any, research has been conducted to assess lesbian health issues in poor countries.6 Men’s queer bodies, in contrast, have been widely subject to development interventions through the lens of public health and disease control, primarily as a result of the HIV/AIDS crisis (Gosine 2005). Seen as potential carriers of disease, gay men are now seen as an important target for intervention because of their potential HIV status; as such, they are brought into the fold of development through health interventions, often implemented by NGOs, that in theory are predicated on pathologized notions of deviance and/or contamination. Of course, many NGOs have negotiated the terms of development funding and reclaimed the purpose of HIV/AIDS projects on their own terms, thereby transforming this type of disease discourse into one of empowerment or strength. As Timothy Wright has pointed out in his research on the globalization of gay identities in Bolivia, many gay rights groups have

Querying globalization


utilized this type of funding, much of which originally came from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to institutionalize their rights-based struggles for sexual and/or gender diversity, expression, and rights in their home countries (Wright 2000).7 What these narratives share is an unintended or conscious complicity with heteronormativity, namely with reproductive heterosexuality and its central place in modernist development conceptions of family life and the nation. As women are seen as reproducers (in studies as varied as women’s participation in so-called formal and informal sector employment; women’s economic contributions to national development; women’s household labor; women’s survival strategies; or women’s educational or health initiatives), they are linked to the family and private realm, and seen as only secondarily participating in the labor market and public realm. That is, even if women are asked to enter the labor market or must necessarily do so (as is the case for the majority of women in poor countries), their labor is less valued than men’s and is often invisible, as many feminist economists have pointed out (Elson 1995; Jackson and Pearson 1998; Benería 2003). Similarly, men are viewed as linked to the market and public realm, and recent fatherhood initiatives have sought primarily to teach men “how to love better,” while women are taught “to work harder,” thereby reinforcing, even if inverting, the male:public as female:private dichotomy (Bedford 2005 and 2010).8 And, as Gilles Kleitz warns us, although “[d]evelopment work only delivers safe benign packages of income generation and improved rights for women with the family institution … the truly liberating revolution of redefining identities outside reproduction and the family remains mostly untouched” (Kleitz 2000: 2). In this way, even feminist accounts that seek to make women’s labor, lives, and identities visible in development frameworks tend to reinforce this presumed male-female heterosexual contract, whereby men and women continue to play heteronormative gendered roles in every level of analysis: the household, the market economy, a specific industry, the community, the global political economy, and so on. This narrative about heterosexual family life powerfully shapes a range of scales and representations of daily life, cultural practice, racial purity, national identity, and global political economy. As such, these feminist accounts of GAD, while useful for uncovering male biases in economic development frameworks (Elson 1995), leave untouched heterosexuality as a social institution, including the ways in which this institution converges with broad projects of nation building, empire, globalization, and development, as well as influences every aspect of people’s daily lives, experiences, and subjectivities.

Complicating resistance: global restructuring and new sexual subjectivities How, then, can we think differently about the feminist scholarship on development and global restructuring? In an earlier publication, Lind and Share (2003)



argued that the project of querying/queering development involved a feminist rethinking of gender, as well as a rethinking of broader Western notions of gayness and development (especially capitalist, neoliberal development). This task continues with more importance today, given the current backlash against homosexuality and struggles over globalization and empire seen around the world. As nations around the world have heightened their security measures, in part through the militarization of borders which serve to regulate citizens both at and within national borders (Luibhéid 2002: xviii), and as nations struggle to compete in the global market economy, family values are one terrain upon which these broader struggles are taking place. Normativity – be it cultural, racial, sexual, or gender – is at the heart of these over “family values” in national contexts, UN assemblies, and international relations. Struggles for or against normativity (the norms that rule and regulate societies, states, or “traditions”) are central to material wars for territory and resources; it is difficult to separate out the interpretive from the material struggles, as they go hand in hand (Franco 1989; Lind 2005). From the Vatican-inspired “gender wars” to the controversy over homosexuality in the UN, women’s and queer bodies have been central to these globalized struggles over modernity.9 Neoliberal development strategies pose an interesting set of paradoxes for queer studies scholars and activists. To begin with, neoliberalism, a set of policies that emphasize market-led development, including economic liberalization, privatization, state retrenchment, deregulation, and the general insertion of national economies into the global “free market,” has contributed to heightened forms of gender, sexual, cultural, and economic normativity within and among cultures and nations undergoing neoliberal reforms and related initiatives, as many critics have observed (Babb 2001; FernándezAlemany 2001; Schild 2000 and 2002; Duggan 2003). Yet specific neoliberal ideologies and policy processes have opened new terrain for queer activism and political subjectivities as well. As sexual rights NGOs have played increasing roles in the new neoliberal public-private partnerships, and to the extent that sexual rights activists, like feminist activists, agree to pick up where the state left off, they have acquired some visibility in national development and political processes (Babb 2001: Ch. 8; Bhaskaran 2004). Furthermore, as gay men in particular have been targeted on the basis of their potential HIV status, they (and lesbians indirectly) have benefited from neoliberal development policies that support their organizing efforts (Wright 2000). Yet, this new visibility is laden with contradiction, when specific notions of gayness become dominant, global, and, therefore, ascribed with power whereas other notions of sexuality, usually local and non-Western in origin, are erased or marginalized. Thus, homonormativity, like heteronormativity, is an issue at stake in the project of queering development. Development institutions and nation-states engaged in framing the realities of LGBTQ individuals in the Global South through a particular cultural lens are themselves

Querying globalization


at risk of “Orientalism,” this time as gay, rather than heterosexual, imperialists, an observation also made by Alexander (2005: Ch. 2). Alexander argues that systems of white gay male tourism borrow from the “same epistemic frameworks” as systems of white heterosexual tourism in the Caribbean; that is, “gay capital mobilizes the same identity and operates through a similar set of assumptions as does heterosexual capital.” Part of this identity involves conflating the “erotic with the exotic” and rests upon white, masculinist notions of gay identity that exoticize “queer natives” and either erase or marginalize “lesbians, working-class gay men, and lesbians and gay men of color of any class” (Alexander 2005: 69, 71). In conceptualizing the link between gay identity and political praxis, then, Alexander suggests … that if we are to build effective solidarity movements that embody pleasure while not simply reifying it [as in the exoticization of “queer natives” in tourism practices], we need to understand and confront these orientalizing discourses and practices of travel, the fantasy of the “silent native,” and their possible effects on urban metropolitan racisms. (Alexander 2005: 69, 71–72) Additional research needs to be done, then, on how development narratives of sex, gender, and sexuality reinforce these forms of homonormativity, converge with broader narratives and practices that racialize and reify “queer natives,” and serve to globalize traditional Western models of identity politics, rather than theorize identity at the conjuncture of transnational circuits of knowledge and power. Gay tourism itself is a product of global restructuring and inequalities: as gay and lesbian tourists from industrialized countries are targeted in tourism marketing campaigns and increasingly have the opportunity to travel to foreign “gay destinations,” they, too, are benefiting from Western, white privilege associated with these new patterns of global consumption and production. There is also reason to be concerned with how “the family” is being targeted and rethought in narratives and practices of neoliberal development. Increasingly, neoliberal development initiatives have borrowed from Western (especially US) policy prescriptions that call for a return to the “traditional” family. For example, since the 1990s, fatherhood initiatives have been introduced by governments of the Global South, as well as by development institutions such as the World Bank (Buss and Herman 2003; Bedford 2010). These initiatives call for the increased participation of fathers in family life and in community development or employment initiatives. What they share in common is the assumption that a “healthy” and “balanced” heterosexual nuclear family (formed by a man and a woman) makes for better employees, as well as family and community members and national citizens. In these scenarios, re-involving fathers in family life was the missing corollary to involving women in the labor force. (One can surmise that feminist accounts fail to see this and, perhaps, even contribute to the deterioration of the



traditional family.) While little research has been conducted to examine how local actors are responding to and negotiating these types of initiatives, it is clear that the struggle for/against heteronormativity will continue to be central to broader struggles over the meaning and making of modern family structures under capitalist, neoliberal development. As I pointed out earlier, ideologically- and religiously-inspired gender and sexuality wars continue to acquire significance in national politics in countries around the world. This so-called “globalization of family values” (Buss and Herman 2003)10 has converged with neoliberal development initiatives, making heteronormativity, hyperfemininity, and hypermasculinity central to national development and national security policy processes.

Conclusion: querying feminist thought and activism What, then, can feminist scholars and activists do to counter these narratives and work toward a more equitable future? To what extent is there potential for radical transformation in any project that queries development and globalization, particularly if we simply “add queers and stir,” rather than rethink the social organization of sex/gender systems? What kinds of advocacy networks and solidarity communities do we wish to construct? And, given the risk of homonormative Orientalism, what “critical political stances are required when the oppositional begins to assume the shape of the hegemonic,” to paraphrase Alexander (2005: 69), when gayness or queerness defends or reinforces, rather than puts into question narratives of neoliberal development, globalization, and empire? Several existing scholarly and advocacy examples point us in the direction of social change. Future feminist research could further address heteronormativity through the analytical constructs of this volume: sightings, sites, and resistances. Sightings GAD scholars and other feminist social scientists could better assess how heteronormativity is central to the feminist frameworks they use, and how the privileging of heterosexual norms and traditional gender norms may obscure the broader range of sexual and gender expression that people actually experience. In addition, research could be conducted to understand how nonnormative genders and sexualities are understood, experienced, and negotiated in specific cultural, geopolitical contexts. While some work has been done in this area, much more could be done to understand how notions of gayness and queerness circulate transnationally and intersect with, subsume, or have no resonance in local expressions of identity or sexual practices. Research could also be conducted to address how heterosexuality as a social institution works to limit women’s and men’s forms of expression. Research on masculinities and femininities has begun to do this, but more could be done to understand and de-link the social institutions of marriage and gender

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from the social institution of heterosexuality, and to situate this analysis in specific contexts, rather than apply a universal framework of gayness/ queerness – or of heterosexuality – to families everywhere. More precisely, research could be conducted to analyze how development practitioners themselves think about gender and sexuality, and how this translates (or not) into development policies in the Global South. Initial research has been conducted on the impact of gay and lesbian employees in the UN (Lind 2010a and 2010b) and on how lesbian and gay World Bank employees have fought for their rights as employees, yet generally failed to integrate insights from their own institutional struggle into broader development and restructuring initiatives in the Global South (Gosine 2010). Likewise, research could be conducted to assess how, in accounts of globalization, “the economic” rarely includes “the sexual,” despite the fact that, clearly, sexual identity is a matter of survival for those who face discrimination on the basis of their gender appearance or perceived sexual identity. Some economists have addressed the relationship between sexuality and the economy in the context of industrialized regions (for example, Gluckman and Reed 1997; Badgett 2001), but little has been done to address this relationship in the context of poor countries. As I have argued elsewhere, this is due to a number of stereotypes concerning access to sexual pleasure and sexual rights among groups perceived to be poor and marginalized (Lind 2010a and 2010b). As Kleitz states in his paper on why development practitioners typically choose a “straight” path to progress, “[t]he poor simply can’t be queer, because sexual identities are seen as a rather unfortunate result of western development and are linked to being rich and privileged.The poor just reproduce” (2000: 2). Sites Feminist scholars could intervene in debates on development institutions, state planning, immigration, household bargaining, and women’s community organizing, to name only a few. While much research has been conducted on World Bank policies, few scholars have addressed heteronormativity in World Bank GAD frameworks. Kate Bedford’s (2005, 2009, and 2010) research is an exception: she addresses recent World Bank efforts to “restructure love” through initiatives that target flower industry employees in Ecuador. Influenced in part by recent global marriage and fatherhood initiatives, Bedford illustrates how World Bank employees in Ecuador have targeted male employees as fathers and family members in new ways. Whereas previously women were targeted by the World Bank (and many other development institutions) as mothers, and sometimes as workers, in the market-based economy, World Bank gender staff members are now targeting men as a way to create further “gender complementarity” in the household. That is, women are being taught to “work harder,” while men are being taught to “love better” (Bedford 2005, 2009, and 2010). Interestingly, the majority of workers



in Ecuador’s flower industry are from rural and/or indigenous communities, and the application of this type of policy to their experiences places them not only in a tightly-spun, heteronormative script, but also in a Eurocentric script that erases any non-Western forms of family organization or sense of identity that they share in their own lives, outside the realm of the development intervention. This type of scholarship points to the urgent political task of addressing recent family initiatives promoted by development institutions, and to the urgent intellectual task of delinking compulsory heterosexuality from gender roles and expectations and from Western narratives of family life. Another example concerns research on households and household survival strategies. Given the predominance of the discipline of economics in GAD scholarship, and given the emphasis on economies of scale (e.g. household, community, local, regional, national, global economy) in economic development discourse, it is imperative that feminist scholars analyze families and households from a queer perspective. For example, research could be conducted to analyze more accurately non-normative households and their locations in broader restructuring processes. Attempts could be made to rethink heteronormativity in household bargaining models and other feminist frameworks of family structure and household survival strategies, a project already begun by feminist economists (e.g. Bergeron, in this volume, and 2010). The goal of this research is to liberate us all from repressive gendered and sexual scripts, rather than assume that heterosexuality is inevitable and omnipresent. In addition, research could be conducted to address the differential impacts of restructuring processes on lesbians and bisexual and heterosexual women (to provide one example), particularly those who face discriminatory barriers in the labor market and/or have little or no family support system. To my knowledge, only one systematic, comparative study has been conducted on lesbians and barriers to employment in developing countries, a collaborative report published by six NGOs in the Americas (ADEIM-Simbiosis et al. 2006). In the study, which addresses employment discrimination against lesbians in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, and Mexico, the authors argue that lesbians face “double discrimination” in the workplace: as women and because of their sexual identities. While this type of research is normative in that it places lesbians in traditional development discourse by aiming to better “integrate them into development,” it is, nonetheless, important for making visible the verbal and physical discrimination faced by lesbians and for making a legal case for their human rights. Resistances In terms of advocacy, some groups have been working with a multi-faceted sexual rights approach as a way to secure much-needed legal rights for LGBTQ individuals/groups and challenge societal and state-sanctioned homophobia and heterosexism. Rather than focus on essential identities such

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as “lesbians,” “gay men,” or “MSMs,” global justice activists have adopted a sexual rights framework with the aim of repositioning the overall rights-based framework. For example, the New York-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has worked in “innovative coalitions to promote rights protections at the UN Commission on Human Rights, the UN Commission on the Status of Women and in national contexts and spaces.” They are “actively engaged in multi-issue organizing that links the agendas of activists working on safe migration, violence against women, LGBT rights, housing rights, HIV/AIDS and the rights of human rights defenders.” In a recent publication, IGLHRC activists argue that the “persistent conflation of sexual orientation and gender expression” in legal, human rights, feminist, LGBT activist, and other accounts of gender and sexually variant individuals has only exacerbated the problem of securing LGBT rights around the world (Budhiraja et al. 2010: 139–140). They argue that part of the problem concerns the fact that even LGBT rights activists situate their advocacy work in traditional models of identity politics and “minority rights” or “civil rights” frameworks. Because many individuals do not necessarily define themselves in relation to heteronormativity or gender binaries, their identities are often misunderstood, misrepresented, or erased in normative legal and policy accounts. [O]rganizing strategies that have grouped lesbians, bisexuals and gay men with a diverse group of transgender people have failed to adequately distinguish these realities and have therefore quite possibly even contributed to the conditions that give rise to violations: the persistent conflation of sexual orientation and gender expression. As a movement, the LGBT platform has yet to adequately address the intersections of sexuality and gender and articulate, in explicit terms, the convergence and especially divergence of the separate but related agendas of lesbian, gay and bisexual organizing and transgender (and intersex) organizing. Instead, mainstream LGBT advocacy has, in practice, implicitly posited that “LGBs” have sex, while “T&Is” have gender. (Budhiraja et al. 2010: 138) Taking this advocacy trend into account, these scholar-activists call for a multi-faceted “sexual rights and gender justice” approach that de-conflates sexuality and gender in conventional narratives of rights – a strategy from which development scholars and practitioners could borrow. Part of this project might include de-pathologizing sexuality and gender as well, as in institutional strategies to rethink sexuality in terms of pleasure and recreation, rather than only in terms of procreation, violence, oppression, and/or duty. The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) has sponsored research on the topic of sexuality as pleasure,11 as have other NGOs around the world that work in the area of women’s rights and/or LGBT rights (e.g. The Pleasure Project, see Because these projects



operate at the nexus of advocacy and scholarship, they necessarily focus on normative reform, even if they recognize its limitations. These examples of rethinking heteronormativity in the sightings, sites, and resistances of global restructuring point us in the direction of de-naturalizing and de-linking gender/sex/sexuality (à la Judith Butler) in feminist analyses of development and globalization, a project increasingly being undertaken by queer studies scholars. It is no coincidence that queer activists have played central roles in the global social justice movement, including in the WSFs. Queer activists and scholars alike understand the effects of normativities in shaping, regulating, and disciplining their lives, through the pathologization and governance of intimacy and through their paradoxical hypervisibility (e.g. gay male visibility in HIV/AIDS discourse) and invisibility (e.g. claims that lesbians “do not exist” in non-Western countries) in discussions about nation building, national security, Westernization, and globalization. Just as feminist scholars have demonstrated how genders are produced through transnational production and globalization, so too do we need to continue with our research on how queer sexual subjectivities are products of, and help shape, global restructuring initiatives.

Notes 1 In this paper, I use the term “globalization” to refer to a broad set of processes encompassing political, economic, cultural, and social change, recognizing that this term is used in multiple ways. For example, many equate “globalization” with market-oriented developments models, whereas others argue that globalization has both positive and negative effects, particularly with regard to transnational organizing and forms of resistance (Vargas 2003). Along the lines of what Marchand and Runyan argue in the introduction to this volume, in this chapter I use “globalization” to refer to this broader, highly contentious process, yet I also use “global restructuring” to refer to a concrete set of policies, laws, and institutional norms that have been put into place via global and national forms of governance and that have been challenged, re-appropriated, and/or resisted in multiple ways by specific sectors of people. 2 “Queer studies” is a broad field with multiple conceptual, epistemological, and methodological trajectories. Here I am referring to one common form of inquiry in the field: that of analyzing heteronormativity, or the understanding of heterosexuality as a “normal” and “natural” institution, form of identity, and/or form of expression, whereas all other sexual practices, identities, and forms of relationship are viewed as non-normative, deviant, and/or abnormal. The scholars I mention in this chapter more explicitly address the relationship among (hetero)sexuality and capitalist cultures, which is why I mention them here, although I wish to point out that some of them, along with additional scholars in this heterogeneous field, address as well how various aspects of people’s identities and experiences are shaped by the normalizing effects of processes of racialization, nationalism, gender relations, and global social stratification. 3 It is important to point out that these differing views on identity and experience are rooted in a highly stratified political economy and sometimes shift in meaning in different spaces and temporalities. At times, “queer” can be perceived and/or experienced as a hegemonic identity marker as well; in this chapter, I use notions of queerness to critique heteronormativities and gender normativities in feminist

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10 11


narratives of globalization, global restructuring, and development, keeping in mind that both “gayness” and “queerness” are, for different reasons and to varying degrees, themselves subject to critique, as scholars have correctly pointed out (Duggan 2002 and 2003; Lind 2008). On how development theorists have constructed the nation as an object of inquiry and given primacy to nation-states as the major site for development aid and intervention, see Bergeron (2004). On how capitalist economies are constructed as heterosexual, see Gluckman and Reed (1997) and Alexander (2005). On cultural representations of gays and lesbians in consumer capitalist culture in the US, see Pellegrini (2002). On how LGBTQ identity politics have emerged in the Global South in neoliberal contexts, see Fernández-Alemany (2000) and Altman (2001). Very few development institutions have addressed health or “development issues” affecting lesbians. To my knowledge, there is little research on lesbians’ experiences in employment, the economy, or families. One exception is a collaborate study by six NGOs that I discuss in the concluding section of this chapter. There is a paucity of research on how lesbian individuals and households negotiate economic crisis; how lesbians develop survival strategies and social networks; or how lesbians experience long-term partnerships or parenting, to name only three examples that fall within the normative range of development discourse. This, however, has had important, even violent, implications for local activists. Four years after helping to found the visible gay (male) rights movements in Bolivia, Timothy Wright himself was found badly beaten and amnesiac (Altman 2001: 95). Interestingly, global fatherhood initiatives, such as those proposed by the World Bank, historically have converged with models proposed by US administrations in the 1990s and 2000s, especially by the administrations of William J. Clinton (1992–2000) and George W. Bush (2000–2008). On fatherhood initiatives in the US, see Gavanas (2004). On the Vatican-inspired “gender wars” as they played out in Chile and other Latin American countries in the 1990s, see Franco (1996). On how the religious right has influenced global development and reproductive rights agendas, see Buss and Herman (2003) and Rothschild (2005). Buss and Herman’s (2003) study focuses specifically on the role of the Christian religious right in globalizing Western right-wing notions of the conventional family in United Nations policy discussions, frameworks, and policies. For further information on the Institute of Development Studies’ work on sexuality and development, see their website. Available at: (accessed 10 July 2009).


Governing gender in neoliberal restructuring Economics, performativity, and social reproduction Suzanne Bergeron

Introduction A decade ago, a major concern among feminist international political economists was the almost complete lack of attention paid to the relationship between global restructuring and social reproduction in development policymaking. Structural adjustment policies (SAPs), which reflected then-reigning Washington Consensus principles of expanding market forces and constraining the role of the state, led to inefficiencies and gender inequities by failing to acknowledge the important role of reproductive labor in the economy (Bakker 1994). Cuts in government support for social reproduction were advocated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and other international financial institutions (IFIs), based on the flawed belief that women would take on the newly-privatized care tasks formerly supported by the state. In this context, as Diane Elson put it so well, women’s supply of non-market labor was assumed to be “infinitely elastic” (Elson 1998: 71). But, as women were increasingly joining the paid workforce around the world, they were carrying a “double burden” of income and carework (UNDP 1999: 79), and the tensions between these often increased to near to breaking point. Yet, despite the growing severity of this care crisis, mainstream economists and policymakers remained resistant to taking issues seriously regarding women’s social reproduction, in general, and unpaid carework, in particular, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, preferring instead to emphasize the ways in which integration into the paid labor force was all that was needed to empower women in the Global South (Wood 2003). With the rejection of the strict free-market approach signaled by the recent turn toward a post-Washington Consensus on development, however, policy frameworks have changed. Now, the care crisis is included among the social concerns being addressed in the post-Washington Consensus framework, and more emphasis is being placed on recognizing and supporting the economic activities associated with social reproduction, particularly the unpaid reproductive labor done in the household. This change reflects, among other things, the influence of many feminist theorists, practitioners, and activists who brought attention to the negative effects of global restructuring regarding the

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tensions of paid work and reproductive labor on families, communities, and economies. By the turn of the century, even the originally defensive World Bank acquiesced that its own former restructuring policies had increased women’s reproductive labor burdens and needed to be rethought (World Bank 2001a). Consequently, the need to correct these effects by taking social reproduction explicitly into account has now been addressed in a host of World Bank country poverty reduction papers and country gender reviews. Additionally, categories of unpaid caring labor that were previously ignored are now included in the UN System of National Accounts, and used to measure economic well-being and guide policy at the national level in many countries, and specific policies aimed at resolving tensions around paid work and reproductive labor within households have been included in a number of recent aid programs in Ecuador, Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil. Given this recent policy shift, it is useful to examine how the recognition of the crisis of social reproduction has led to changes in the gendered impact of global restructuring. Does the inclusion of aspects of social reproduction, such as unpaid carework, signal a turnaround toward more feminist aims – as major development institutions such as the World Bank suggest? Has the emergence of new languages and frameworks for understanding social reproduction reversed what Janine Brodie (2005) identified as a central issue in gender and restructuring, namely the erosion of gender-based citizenship in terms of claims on the state for support? How have these recent changes in the discourse of gender and development created new opportunities, or new obstacles, for achieving the goals of gender, sexual, class, and other forms of justice? Part of the answer lies in understanding how the recent addition of reproductive labor to the equation in development policy is related to broader shifts in neoliberal governance. The conditions that led up to the postWashington Consensus in development policy, including the need to respond to critiques of structural adjustment by activists, as well as the growing evidence that the old regime had led to economic instabilities and had failed to deliver the goods on growth, challenged but did not derail the project of neoliberal restructuring. Instead, it gave rise to new frameworks that focus not only on markets, but also on transforming social institutions and social practices. This post-Washington Consensus discourse of development represents a movement away from the economistic, growth-centered rhetoric of the earlier era. It highlights improving health, gender equity, and environmental sustainability alongside economic growth, imagines a role for the state in institution building, and articulates a broader set of goals and instruments than the narrow framework of the 1980s had allowed. While this shift certainly does open up some space to advocate for positive change, the World Bank’s recent social turn could also be viewed as evidence of the adaptive capacity of neoliberalism itself. If the first phase of neoliberalism under the guise of the Washington Consensus was a process of “rolling back”



the previous Keynesian and social welfare regimes, recent efforts are aimed at “rolling out” and engineering a deeper set of neoliberal transformations (Peck and Tickell 2002: 380–8). David Mosse (2005: 5) refers to these attempts as a “new managerialism in international development” that focus not only on economic growth and finance, but also on the reorganization of society in order to enhance efficiency defined in the most neoclassical of terms. Flawed institutional structures and individual behaviors are now viewed as key constraints in the system. So, contemporary discourse and policy on social reproduction aim to transform institutions, such as the household, community, state, and legal system, to introduce not only marketization, but also self-reliance, self-empowerment, and individual responsibility (Hindess 2004). Thus, new efforts to address the care crisis often seek to transform institutions and individual behavior to be in line with neoliberal goals of expanding market capitalism and creating self-responsible neoliberal subjects. A variety of projects that take the social seriously aim to re-engineer the behaviors of individuals in developing economies through institutional change that renegotiates the boundaries and identities of private and public, productive and unproductive, market and non-market. Thus, the recent increased attention to social reproduction in the household and attention to carework, which was previously deemed private and relatively unproductive non-market labor, should be viewed at least in part as a process in which feminist concerns about carework have been “circulated, interpreted and reinscribed with alternative meanings” (Naples 2003: 91) in these emerging frameworks. The mainstreaming of unpaid reproductive work into development offers an example of how feminist aims can become governmentalized in new projects of neoliberalism.

Sightings: economic theory, social reproduction, and neoliberalism While there are many angles from which to examine these processes at work, one relatively unexamined factor has been the role that economic theory plays in neoliberal attempts to renegotiate boundaries and identities. Changes in economic theory have been crucial to the development of the postWashington Consensus. The recent broadening of the scope of economics to explain and manage market imperfections has been a key factor in the turn to examining and addressing how social and institutional factors matter for economic growth in the post-Washington Consensus (Fine 2001; Mosse 2005). These shifts in economic theory toward institutional approaches have created space for examining how formerly neglected social aspects of development, such as gender inequalities, might interfere with broader policy goals. Development institutions have drawn heavily on these theories in their research, policy, and lending projects. For instance, in the World Bank’s recent focus on addressing and resolving poverty by institutionalizing private property rights in poor communities, many practitioners draw upon new

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institutional economic theories which see property rights not through a lens of fairness but one of efficiency – granting rights will liberate previously untapped capital and economic rationalities among the poor (Mitchell 2005). Numerous other examples, such as the focus that the World Bank has recently placed on developing social capital to reduce women’s poverty, draw upon new institutional economic theories in their emphasis on reframing behaviors through institution building efforts in order to enhance efficiency (Bergeron 2003b). When examining the literature on the care crisis in particular, recent innovations in economic theory that have jettisoned the formerly dominant unitary model of the household (which left little room for taking household production seriously) in favor of a game-theoretic, intra-household bargaining model have been key in the shift towards more recognition of unpaid reproductive labor. Household bargaining models have given legitimacy to feminist claims in development circles and are used by the World Bank and other development institutions to support arguments for pursuing gender justice as a way to fight poverty and foster economic growth. In addition to acknowledging the existence, and importance, of unpaid household labor, these new models can examine how alternative ways of organizing the household position men and women differently vis-à-vis responsibility for household tasks. Unlike the older unitary models, which assumed that households were sites of harmony that pooled resources, the new models are able to take into account power dynamics within the household, viewing decisions regarding resource allocation and the distribution of paid and unpaid labor tasks within households as the outcomes of bargaining between individual household members who have different preferences. In this bargaining approach to understanding the household, each individual chooses between staying or exiting, depending upon which option is more attractive. Greater access to assets, wage income, and social capital enhances each person’s individual leverage in household decision-making by strengthening what is referred to as the “threat point” of their “fallback position,” or level of well-being they would have should they choose to exit. The greater one’s fallback position, the more bargaining power one will be able to wield so that household decisions work in her or his favor. The model conceptualizes affective labor in the household being the primary responsibility of women initially, but also as something subject to negotiation when women gain access to independent wage income, assets, or social capital. Without question, household bargaining models have made unpaid reproductive labor, and conflicts around domestic work and related issues, more visible in development circles. Further, and in line with many feminist demands, these models have been incorporated into policy discourses that are focused on how to decrease women’s inequitable burden of carework in households. In development circles, there is now a focus on the household as an institution that structures incentives between women and men for dividing up caring labor tasks and income-earning in market labor, in which changing



incentive structures will reshape social behavior in ways that move the distribution of work to a more equitable, and efficient, position. Reforming incentive structures and transforming the household into a more equitable and efficient institution usually falls under one of two categories in these formulations. Drawing upon the household bargaining framework, a number of studies suggest that the household must be restructured through explicit policy interventions in order to unleash the potential efficiencies that will occur when women and men can bargain effectively and fairly within it. Ensuring that women have ownership rights of their property and assets, overcoming gender norms that proscribe women’s paid economic activities through gender equity trainings for men – such as those recommended in the World Bank’s Brazil Gender Review (World Bank 2002) – and subsidizing daycare at work sites so that families may more easily purchase commercialized care – such as in the transnational flower industries studied by Kate Bedford (2009) and the transnational production sites studied by Maxine Molyneux (2006) – are the most commonly cited examples of such policies in the literature. Reports and policy frameworks emanating from the World Bank and elsewhere have relied upon these arguments in their call for creating more equity in the household in terms of sharing of tasks. For instance, arguments in favor of giving women control over their property in the context of the social reproduction crisis are based on the idea that this will improve their threat point and thus their ability to bargain for assistance with care tasks from their partners. Gender equity trainings are aimed at making men more involved parents and more reliable and less profligate partners. These policy initiatives are certainly not at odds with feminist goals per se, but because they are aimed at the instrumental concerns of achieving economic growth, and not the more transformative goal of achieving gender equity, they are imagined and implemented within a somewhat narrow neoliberal agenda. In general, such efforts are framed in terms that emphasize the relationship between strengthening the family as an institution and keeping it intact, unleashing women’s social and human capital, and, ultimately, promoting economic growth and stability (USAID 2000; World Bank 2001a). The second type of argument put forth in the development literature that draws upon the intra-household bargaining model is that integrating women into the paid labor market will itself empower women at home to make their male partners share in household tasks, as increased income improves women’s threat point. Those who emphasize this approach often claim that women can decrease their carework burden without much need for state intervention in the form of subsidies, educational initiatives, or tax incentives. The income that women earn in the private sector will itself put these changes into motion toward more sharing of tasks and equitable household arrangements, just as it (supposedly) did for “liberated” households in the North Atlantic economies (Newman 2002; Friedemann-Sanchez 2006). While on balance this second approach has tended to dominate World Bank literature on the care crisis (see Blackden and Bhanu 1999;

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World Bank 2001a and 2001b; Newman 2002; Quisumbing and McClafferty 2006), some argue that both fronts – policies aimed at restructuring the household on the one hand and ensuring women’s access to paid work on the other – must be addressed simultaneously in order to create more equitable and efficient outcomes at home. Here, it is contended that increasing women’s participation in the workforce will strengthen their bargaining position at home and lead to more task-sharing by their partners, yet simultaneously some policies still need to be put in place to change gender roles in households so that women can even participate in wage work. For example, the authors of the World Bank’s Brazil Gender Review (World Bank 2002) draw upon the intra-household economics literature to argue in favor of policies to address gender imbalance in the household division of labor as a way to free women to participate in the workforce more easily. They suggest programs to promote changes to gender roles in the household along the lines of the World Bank’s “Family Strengthening and Social Capital Promotion Project” in Argentina which emphasizes increased paternal responsibility and family stability (World Bank 2002). But, the authors also contend that integrating women into the Brazilian workforce will itself speed along a transformation in the household by giving women the economic power to demand a more equitable division of labor at home (World Bank 2002: 12). Social reproduction, household models, and the performativity of economics Thus far, I have been emphasizing the influence that recent economic theories of the household have had on making reproductive labor visible in development policy in order to support the case that economic theories have been part of the trajectory of the post-Washington Consensus shift toward more policy approaches aimed at resolving the care crisis. But, the question of “how does economic thought frame policy?” which I have been examining is a slightly different question from “what is the role that economic theory plays in neoliberal attempts to renegotiate boundaries and subjectivities?” So it is to the latter question I will now turn. While adding social reproduction to the equation through economic household bargaining model frameworks can certainly have all manner of intended and unintended effects on the well-being of women and men, including creating space for women to demand access to resources, support for social reproduction in multiple venues (home, community, state), and reduction in carework burdens, it also needs to be understood in the context of a contemporary global governance structure that is attempting to transform subjectivities toward neoliberal aims. Economics might seem an abstract representation that merely observes and studies material life, as its practitioners suggest. But, economics does more than just represent the world. It influences and, at times, even restructures economic practices. In the past 30 years, economic theories and models have played a clear role in global restructuring. The shaping of economies by



economics, however, extends beyond the obvious economic experiments of the Chicago Boys in Chile in the 1970s or of the Jeffrey Sachs-inspired shock therapy approach taken by the IMF toward Bolivia and Russia in the 1980s (see Klein 2007). It is also built into processes of global restructuring in more subtle and pervasive ways that include, but are not limited to, providing legitimation for free-market experiments and policies. As Michel Callon (1998) has argued, economics is performative in its attempts to shape behavior. The notion of performativity as developed by Callon, Judith Butler (1997), and others can be applied here to highlight the political dimension at work in the language of economics with regard to social reproduction. The social circulation of economic statistics, descriptions, and predictions about the nature and role of social reproduction in the economy work as part of a set of politicized norms through which economic agents make sense of their selves, their choices, and their environments. These norms are related to the ways that economists attempt to fix the socially, morally, and economically contested boundaries between rationality and altruism, market and nonmarket, or productive and unproductive. To argue that economics is performative of its object within global neoliberal governance, however, does not mean that its power lies in getting people to adopt its (mis)representations. Rather, it is to acknowledge how economics contributes to the work of development policy and other mechanisms that attempt to reorganize ways of life and subjectivities to be more in line with neoliberal imperatives. While writers such as Callon (1998) unproblematically suggest that economics “creates” its world, one would not want to overstate its capacity to frame peoples’ lives. For instance, economic models are filtered through various bureaucratic channels before they “land on the ground” and are implemented through national policy or by development staffers. Even though they are generally not economists, these staffers, along with clients of development who are making their claims for support within pre-given policy frameworks, still must negotiate the constraints posed by economic models. Many studies have corroborated the work that economics does in limiting the range of options on the ground in areas such as environmental policy (Goldman 2005), land reform (Escobar 1995a), and gender and development policy in general (Kuiper and Barker 2006). Bedford’s interviews with World Bank gender staffers in Ecuador demonstrate a similar process at work among those attempting to address the social reproduction crisis. The pressure to conform to technical economic language and goals, she demonstrates, was woven into policy implementation through what she refers to as “coerced acts of translation” (Bedford 2009: 131). Thus economics is performative in the way that it participates in framing the political claims that people can make, and the resources they can control, in the context of development (Mitchell 2005). Recognizing the power of economic ideas in this manner allows us to challenge such framings. It also creates space to imagine the effects that theorizing the economy differently might have on women’s and men’s lives.

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One way that newly hegemonic economic theories of the household are performative is the way they attempt to reframe women’s subjectivities to correspond to the neoliberal protocols of self-responsibility and selfempowerment. Intra-household bargaining models rest on the assumption that each member of the household makes individual decisions and then bargains over the division of labor and resources inside the household. This certainly offers a useful alternative to both academic and popular ideas about women as either deferring to a husband’s wishes and/or as non-rational carers, presenting women instead as rational economic agents capable of making their own decisions. However, this same conceptualization also works its way through development policymaking to frame the struggle for gender equity as an efficiency and equity-enhancing individual exercise in free choice, one that can occur once we get the institution of the family right. The “problem” of the care crisis, when made sense of through this lens, does not highlight those broader social and political factors that affect the choices of family members, such as the ways that neoliberal restructuring shapes the economic system in which choices are made. For instance, it does not address the declining state support for childcare, healthcare, and education and other cuts in the public sector that have increased time burdens on households; rather it puts the burden on families who are just not getting it right. Neither does it address the increased informalization in the paid labor market over the past 20 years that has placed a large percentage of both male and female workers in unstable and precarious work situations. But, as Lourdes Benería and Maria Floro’s (2006) research on the care crisis in households in Bolivia and Ecuador demonstrates, those employed in these informal sector activities also do not experience much increased bargaining power due to the precarious nature of the work, nor do they experience much space to create balance between all the different kinds of work in which persons in informalized households must be engaged in order to survive. Further, in the context of intra-household bargaining thinking about households in development, the objective put forth for resolving the social reproduction crisis is one’s own self and family well-being, and not the wellbeing of women in general or that of the community in which one lives. It frames women as clients of development who have responsibilities only to themselves and their families. As such, it represents an attempt to solicit women who are struggling with caring labor burdens to invest in the management and success of their own human capital, not in appeals to the state for support, or collective mobilization. Yet, in the context of neoliberal restructuring, continued feminist mobilizations, criticisms, and demands to the state are crucial to ensuring gender justice in the countries of the Global South (see Moghadam, this volume). While some women may be able to improve their situation through this individualized approach, the existence of flexible and unstable labor markets means that the material conditions are not available for large numbers of women and men. Further, household economic models which put forth this solution to the care crisis assume that families



and households correspond to particular gender and sexual norms, and given that increasing numbers of households do not fit these norms, the solution that is offered here will fail to adequately address the care needs of such households. As I discussed above, there is some emphasis on policy solutions to “get the institution of the family right” as a way to resolve the inequities in household labor distribution. But, the crux of the economic story in which women’s self-empowerment will reduce reproductive labor burdens is the positive impact that their integration into the paid workforce will have on conditions in the home with their male partners. According to the intrahousehold bargaining model, women can leverage income and assets to get their male partners to pick up more of the household tasks. This argument, as Bedford has shown, has had tremendous resonance with many gender and development staffers in Ecuador working with the World Bank (Bedford 2007). The conceptual framework has also filtered down to policy solutions in Argentina (World Bank 2003), Mexico (Molyneux 2006), and Brazil (World Bank 2002). Like earlier Washington Consensus gender and development frameworks, there is still an emphasis on the always-empowering impact of women’s paid employment, an idea that persists despite the fact that it has been challenged in a number of theoretical and empirical texts, including Barker (2005), Charusheela (2003), and Cleaver (2002b). In the current shift to global gender governance that attempts to address the care crisis, however, policy discourses now simply extend these assumed empowering effects of paid labor to the realm of the household. “Women earning income” so that they can bargain for their male partners to do more at home is the solution for alleviating the social reproduction burdens of women. This results in further intensifying the neoliberal efforts at progressively detaching individuals and households from social networks and supports, while, at the same time, placing responsibility for problems onto the individual household (Brodie 2005). But, the attempt to construct women as rational, self-responsible, and selfinterested agents who will bargain to decrease their caring burdens at home rests in a sometimes uneasy tension with representations of women as more altruistic, caring, and responsible for their families than men. In fact, in many iterations of development policy that rely on these models, men are often represented as profligate and selfish, spending money on drinks instead of food for their children (Hart 1997). Such representations circulate widely in development policy arenas, such that caring labor is viewed as embodied in women and the primary responsibility of women in their bargaining with men in households. So on the one hand, women are represented as individual rational actors who will pursue their own self-interests, but on the other hand, it is assumed that women are the initial and primary carers, and will continue to act as carers in the household and act altruistically toward their families once they have access to income. Neither the theories, nor their extensions to policy papers and projects, suggest that once women have wages they

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will abandon their family responsibilities or even the families themselves (Molyneux 2006).

Sites: normalizing and de-politicizing carework I would argue that, in fact, the focus on women’s caring role in the family, and the idealization of a particular institutional form of the family, is a feature of how intra-household bargaining models participate in attempts to restructure and regulate subjectivities in the context of development through the construction of norms. While previously dominant unitary household models offered the Western, middle-class ideal of an earlier era, and the heterosexual couple made up of a stay-at-home mom and a working dad was held up as something for households in developing economies to aspire to, new models offer an updated, “modern” ideal of a sharing heterosexual partnership in the home. The intra-household bargaining model literature reproduces this sexual norm and its attendant gender subjectivities. Even the most feminist of scholars who work within the bargaining model framework assume that every adult forms a household bond with a member of the opposite sex and all carework is structured around a heterosexual couple that conforms to more or less normative gender roles (Danby 2007; Bergeron 2010). Even where female-headed households are the focus of economic analysis, their singlehood is viewed through the same normative lens – as the problematic outcome of failed heterosexual relationships. Thus, the emphasis on a particular sort of nuclear family as the norm and embodiment of modernity renders family forms such as female-headed households in matrifocal communities in the Caribbean as pathological, rather than as alternatives that have their own legitimacy (Safa 1995). Further, the implicit suggestion of the model is that so-called failures, such as single-parent households, can be fixed through institutional reform in which families can be kept intact if households are transformed into more equitable sites. With these assumptions in place, the “problem” of caring labor becomes the traditional gender-normative household in which women have primary responsibility for domestic work, while the “solution” is to create more equal sharing of tasks between women and their male partners. Consequently, the enormous amount of unpaid social reproduction that takes place within a whole range of other arrangements is pushed to the margins of analysis. Certainly, this heteronormative framing of the solution is clearly problematic for those in same-sex partnerships. It leaves these individuals outside of the realm of development projects that could otherwise improve their economic and social rights (see Lind, this volume). But, these assumptions also contribute to the lack of visibility of a wide spectrum of non-normative sexual, gender, and household arrangements – not just single-parent households and same-sex partnerships, but also people who do not conform to gender norms in their domestic life, extended family care arrangements, families where women migrate to do carework for others, and so forth. Thus, these



assumptions, and the policies that are based on them, are also implicated in the production and transformation of normative heterosexualities themselves, by regulating people across a range of sexual and familial arrangements who do not conform to the hegemonic ideal (Cohen 2004: 27–28). Empirical studies show that households are changing in developing economies in the context of neoliberalism such that fewer correspond to the supposed norm of nuclear, heterosexual coupledom. In Latin America, for instance, household arrangements have changed fairly dramatically over the past two decades, and fewer families conform to the traditional nuclear family model. There are many factors at work here, including increasing labor migration, which is clearly a consequence of neoliberal restructuring. Migration is contributing to these changes in family form, and is also intimately related to the crisis of social reproduction both in the North (where women from Latin America and the Caribbean migrate to meet the care needs of individual households) and in the region itself, where the migrating of one parent increases the care duties of those who are left behind (Ehrenreich and Hochschild 2003; Kunz, this volume). Migration sometimes leaves extended family members or children in charge of caring tasks (Ehrenreich and Hochschild 2003). Migration of women can challenge existing gender roles as men take on more caring tasks and primary responsibility for family care (Kunz, this volume). Finally, migration can cause families to break up. In none of these cases do the heteronormative, gender role assumptions of the bargaining model fit easily with the existing family structures, or care needs, of these households. Thus, the policy solution implicit in bargaining models, namely that women’s income gives them bargaining power to make their men at home pick up the slack, is not a feasible solution for many households, for it rests on the assumption of a traditional nuclear family arrangement. However, this has not diminished the power of such models in development circles. In fact, such models effectively mask women’s multiple and contradictory relationships to social reproduction, and implicitly cast the problem of care as one that can be resolved through self-management in the private realm of the household by sharing tasks between women and men, making them especially effective in the context of neoliberal governmentality. Further, such models contribute to a lack of visibility and support for those who are in nonnormative sexual, gender, and household arrangements. They are implicated in the production of normative heterosexualities by the failure to acknowledge, and to provide any kind of support for, a whole spectrum of sexual and familial arrangements that do not conform to the ideal. They demarcate certain forms of social reproduction as private concerns, while simultaneously rearranging borders by contending that women’s integration into paid labor will allow them to transform their households into more equitable sites of social reproduction. They attempt to restructure behaviors by reforming households to be more like a “modern” ideal of heterosexual coupledom in order to encourage self-regulation, self-empowerment, and responsibility in

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a system of indirect social management. In doing so, they also offer a privatized solution to the caring labor dilemma that costs almost nothing. And, finally, this privatization of the governance of social reproduction supports what Isabella Bakker (2008) has referred to as conditions of “primitive accumulation” in neoliberalism, by making available previously unavailable forms of labor.

Conclusion: implications for resistance While a more conventional critique of the ways that intra-household economic models have circulated in development’s recent attempts to address social reproduction would expose them for failing to adequately address women’s care burdens, the analysis offered here takes another perspective. The accuracy of an economic model does not, in the end, tell us much about its performative power. Rather, this power lies at least in part with how well a model, description, or set of statistics form a part of the equipment for neoliberal governance (Mitchell 2005). To the extent that intra-household bargaining models have provided a means of mobilizing some facts about economics (and, crucially, not others) in alliance with the planning of development institutions and other political forces toward both heteronormative and neoliberal ends, they have performative power. This does not mean that they will win the day, by any means. As Aihwa Ong (2006) argues, subjectivities cannot be entirely remade by even the most vigorous neoliberal attempts. Still, recognition of the performative, rather than realist, nature of economic knowledge and language makes us cognizant of the way that these mainstream approaches render legitimate certain ways of making sense of the world, and exclude others, in an attempt to achieve a particular sort of outcome. It also invites us to think about how alternative economic languages and frameworks could open up the possibility for us to achieve different sorts of outcomes that would be more in line with our ideals of gender justice.


“Where the streets have no name” Getting development out of the (RED)TM? Michelle V. Rowley

« C’est à ce prix que vous mangez du sucre en Europe » – Le nègre de Suriname à Candide (Voltaire)

Introduction1 In this chapter I draw on an anti-capitalist, transnational feminist praxis to analyze the global political economy and the emerging symbolic economy that have become integral to the glamorization of philanthropy within development campaigns such as the (RED) campaign to provide AIDS medication in Africa and the ONE campaign to reduce world poverty championed by pop stars Bono and Bobby Shriver. This is transnational feminist praxis in which I do not give the category “gender” a priori primacy. I am offering, rather, a transnational feminist critique in which the salient analytical markers must, above all else, be determined by the fields of play in which power reveals itself. This is not to suggest that gender does not matter, nor should it suggest that gender is not always-already at work in the co-constituted nature of subjectivity. Rather, I am suggesting that any effective critique of power recognizes, above all else, that the valence of discrimination is con/textual. As such my anti-capitalist, transnational feminist critique is one which is guided, as indeed it should be, by the ways in which contextual valences manifest, rather than serve as a priori designations or the manipulation of an additive set of identity markers (e.g. race, gender, class). In the analysis that follows, I show how race, masculinity, femininity, and geopolitics manifest and are variably deployed as categories of seduction in the (RED) campaign, aimed at wooing us into believing in capitalism’s power to produce global solidarity and to solve, rather than exacerbate, human suffering. While working on this chapter, I was reminded of my high-school introduction to Voltaire’s Candide, ou l’Optimisme (1759, 2000). In Candide, Voltaire crafts a journey, set in the eighteenth century, in which the main protagonist, Candide, the illegitimate son of a German aristocrat who is schooled in his father’s house, undertakes a series of misadventures in Europe and beyond. Candide is subject(ed) to a series of catastrophic events and

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fast-paced, fantastic scenarios (e.g. torture, war, natural catastrophes, wealth acquisition, and dire poverty). The allegorical novel was an assault on German philosopher Leibniz’s belief that “we live in the best of all possible worlds.” This creed of Western optimism and celebration, inculcated under the tutelage of Candide’s teacher, Pangloss, initially guides Candide. In his odyssey, however, with each harrowing episode, Candide increasingly questions his teacher’s wisdom, resulting in the novel’s resolution that in life, humanity is best served when we “tend to our own garden” (« il faut cultiver notre jardin»). Candide’s odyssey challenges him to reconcile a number of irreconcilable moments and events (e.g. mass death, his sweetheart’s rape). However, while I was reading Candide as an adolescent in the Caribbean, what captured my then-nascent postcolonial imagination, was that, on his entrance to Suriname, Candide encounters an enslaved man who has horrifically lost his leg and arm to the terrors of slavery.2 The enslaved man attributes his dismemberment as the gruesome cost of the pleasures of European sugar consumption. («C’est à ce prix que vous mangez du sucre en Europe») With this articulation, the enslaved body becomes the site from which political economy extracts both its pains and pleasures. The body of Le nègre de Suriname marks the hidden contradictions of consumption; indeed, the very pleasure of consumption is premised on not seeing these forms of extraction and dismemberment. As such, we learn of Le nègre’s existence only because he has become the object of Candide’s gaze, a gaze that is made possible only after Candide has been violently thrown out of the comforts of “Westphalia” in Europe and finds himself in South America. For those who do not make such a journey, the slave’s body remains disconnected from the site of consumption, as well as hidden from the gaze of the consumer. Yet, even at the point at which the consumer encounters the laboring body, it is still an instrumentalized encounter in that the slave’s dismembered, laboring body is positioned in the text primarily to advance Candide’s knowledge and critical awareness of himself. What, then, does Voltaire’s Candide have to do with a piece that aims to interrogate the upsurge of celebrity-driven “development” campaigns that claim to address the spread of HIV/AIDS on the African continent? To make these connections, I draw on an anti-capitalist, transnational feminist praxis that builds on Chandra Mohanty’s critique of capitalism as a “foundational principle of social life” (2003: 183). Such a critique requires an engagement with how colonized, racialized, and gendered laboring bodies are deployed in the processes of profit-making. This engagement must disrupt colonizing narratives and imaginaries that guide the logic of neoliberalism, a logic which itself has infected and animated even seemingly “progressive” campaigns for human rights, including feminists’ rights. Thus, I draw on such anti-capitalist, transnational feminist praxes to analyze the global political economy and its emergent symbolic economy that have become integral to the glamorization of philanthropy within development



campaigns, such as (RED) and ONE. These campaigns have been lauded as offering a new and sustainable model of corporate engagement (Asongu 2007). I argue, instead, that this adulation is premature and, in turn, suggest that these campaigns produce new and problematic intimacies between the concepts of globalization and development. Using these two concepts as consorts, I argue, these campaigns draw heavily on the marketing and dissemination principles and practices of globalization, with the intent of producing “profit philanthropy” as the new haute couture of development. However, I argue that for these practices to work, they must deploy an ageold erasure of an African body-politic analogous to what I have described in Voltaire’s treatment of Le nègre de Suriname. In similar ways, contemporary moves toward “philanthropy as development” render the unknown laboring/ ailing body as familiar, but this is a tropological familiarity. This familiarity is confined by signs and symbols, which draw on a set of legitimated colonial narratives that hide much more than they reveal about the bodies that labor and pain. These signs and symbols do not centralize or visualize the laboring/ ailing body; they foreground the realization of a new “First World consumer” in need of greater awareness of herself and the politics of her purchasing power in service to these “profit philanthropy” campaigns that (re)present the colonial encounter. What might these sightings and sites mean in contextualized African locales? I challenge the repetitive forms of African erasure in the emerging “philanthropy as development” through a reading of Abderrahmane Sissako’s film, Bamako (2006). I draw on Sissako for the ways in which his work does not allow the viewer to be complacent or to deny complicity in relation to the imperial impulses of globalization. I juxtapose my analysis of celebrity-driven “philanthropy as development” campaigns with this artist’s work to further argue that the level of paternalism inherent in these projects not only pertains to the African continent, but also extends to their client base: the US (and most typically female) consumer, whose subjectivity is (re)produced through the invisibilized subjugation of racialized laboring bodies in pain.

Sighting globalizing development: a new Pax Concordat ? The socio-economic disparities that exist between “developed” and “developing” countries often determine whether a country’s economic (and political) possibilities are better charted through the use of a “globalization” or a “development” framework. Yet, the very concepts “globalization” and “development” offer a conceptual muddle; neither functions completely independent of the other, nor does one inherently explicate the other. Together, they become even more conceptually murky if we envision them, as I am proposing, as potentially intersecting concepts that resonate in peculiar ways in this turn toward “profit philanthropy as development.” Geographer David Harvey’s characterization of globalization as a space– time compression is one that has contributed to a visualization of globalization

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as a distanceless and borderless phenomenon (Scholte 2005: 1251). Expectedly, globalization scholars, depending on their theoretical and methodological locations, emphasize either the potentials or the deleterious effects of increasing deterritorialization, expansion of neoliberal market ideology and practices, and the transnational flows of cultural products, symbols, and bodies (Yúdice 1995; Ong 1999; Sassen 2007a). While the hegemonic aspect of globalization – variously characterized as the Washington Consensus, neoliberal empire, or economic or market fundamentalism – is largely undisputed by its critics, there is studied caution in equating “hegemony” with “homogeneity” – or the culturally, politically, and economically homogenizing forces of global capital. When hegemony is reduced to homogeneity, “local” political spaces are left bereft of “agency” or possibilities for resistance (Appadurai 2001: 5–7). “Development” practices and theories are often deployed as the analytical antitheses to neoliberal “globalization.” Yet, despite decades of contestations over, and reformulations of, the idea of development, it has not shaken its colonial or economistic origins (Escobar 1995a). Hence, the persistent shadow of the modernization paradigm remains, despite conceptual and political challenges to built-in assumptions of upward, linear progression. Modernizing development has undergone, instead, a re-glossed resurgence because of the neoliberal pressures that globalization has placed on the development agenda.3 These colonizing antecedents notwithstanding, practitioners attempt to “sell” the “new” development mandate as a means of countering the ill-effects of globalization. This new mandate is characterized by a number of rightsbased claims, increasingly taken up by intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) over the past decade or two, in part as a result of nongovernmental organizations’ (NGOs) pressure. These rights-based claims, while always in negotiation with a neoliberal logic, prioritize the improvement of the human condition and are characterized by some degree of resistance to economic fundamentalism. These claims remain varied, multi-tiered, and far-reaching. Among other aims and objectives, they encompass concerns for environmental degradation (the 1989 Brundtland Report); a commitment to incorporating women into national and global accountings of progress (the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action and the 1995 Human Development Report); a strategy-oriented approach to reducing global poverty (the 2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)); and apparatuses to arrest population growth and improve reproductive well-being (forums such as the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)). Yet, achieving these rights-based claims within nation-states and through inter-state formations has been severely compromised by the neoliberal exigencies of the globalization of currency devaluations, privatizations, and struggles to balance accounts (Jaquette and Staudt 2006: 18). The intersections of development and globalization produce an ever-expanding range of vulnerabilities, rather than synergies. It might, therefore, be more appropriate



to refer to the relationship between globalization and development not as a co-habiting intersection, but rather as a condition in which development becomes affected and inflected by the geopolitical and economic exigencies of globalization. These effects and inflections are multifold. At the conceptual level, globalization has produced what William Robinson refers to as a “paradigmatic quagmire” for development (2002: 1047). Central to this quagmire are the ways in which the processes of globalization have limited the explanatory value and policymaking potentials of development models that depend heavily on the nation-state as their primary focus and agent. Nevertheless, when one foregrounds state politics in the Global South, one still finds robust local deployments and manipulations of development discourses and models. For example, the nature of party politics, such that it is in a number of territories within the Global South, ensures that the rhetoric of development, particularly in the newer, more rights-based form, remains a powerful script in the survival strategies of state managers. This does not negate the reigning conceptual quagmire, however, but I am more concerned with the ways in which globalization has inflected development models with neoliberal priorities. These neoliberal priorities have been responsible for much structural violence and, thus, have presented development practitioners in the Global South with an even more uphill battle when arguing for the legitimacy of rights and equity for vulnerable citizens as part of the new development mandate. This is, in part, due to the increasing alignment, if not conflation, of development goals with consumption and production practices under neoliberal globalization. Vulnerability in this frame is explained as a condition of a failed market that is potentially alleviated through the immediate and efficient use of vulnerable bodies in and by the market. Though crassly reductionist, my point here is that there is a disembodied logic that attends neoliberal discourses, a point to which I return later in this chapter. There are, however, hopeful sightings of “expert” contestation to this logic, most notable of which is Amartya Sen’s (2000) now well-known argument that expanding an individual’s rights and capabilities holds both intrinsic as well as instrumental value. This potentially brings bodies into view, but neoliberal orthodoxies continue, even under what some call the post-Washington Consensus (see Bergeron, this volume). I have asked us to consider the conceptual conundrum that globalization presents for development and the infusion of neoliberal priorities, which have compromised the legitimacy of arguments centering on the body, rights, and capabilities. I will later argue that this constellation of effects and inflections presents a global environment that facilitates the increasing turn toward “profit philanthropy as development” and simultaneously serves to produce disturbing erasures of the very bodies that should be the beneficiaries of this philanthropy. However, do these effects and inflections mark the end of the state-sponsored development paradigm? Robinson argues that the future of

Where the streets have no name


development should be based “not on territories but on social groups” (2002: 1048). This is certainly a judicious call, since such an approach can potentially account for national identities that are being reconfigured not only across geopolitical boundaries (as a result of migrations, remittances, and so on), but also through transnational networks of resistance (such as feminist NGOs and anti-globalization movement coalitions) that confront the hegemony of globalization by sharing resources and micro and individualized processes that potentially challenge the erasures of globalization. Yet, development, more than ever before, has become a product, that is increasingly commodified, stylized, and celebrity-driven, with black and brown bodies in agony as the supporting cast.

The “Bonoization” of development Shirley Temple, Audrey Hepburn, Angelina Jolie, Don Cheadle, George Clooney, and Bono4 are all part of the ever-expanding conglomerate of celebrity-driven development (Cooper 2008: 3). Each has, at different points, burst through the seams of our leisure media consumption and, at the very least, brought us into a visual relationship with a diverse slate of issues that includes global poverty, HIV/AIDS, world hunger, peace, and genocide. However, in this conglomerate, Bono’s mega-personality stands above the rest, prompting William Cooper to coin the term “Bonoization” as a means of underscoring the extent to which Bono has emerged as the “archetypal” instantiation of celebrity influence (2008: 36).5 Cooper places emphasis on the profound levels of influence and credibility that Bono exudes as a result of his iconic, rock star status and signature fashion sense (2008: 36); his communication skills and manipulation of political structures and actors (2008: 37, 45–48); his moral credibility through his invocation of Catholicism and other world religions (2008: 39); and the ambiguity of his Irish identity, which posits both a “First World” and a colonized sensibility (2008: 40–41). Despite his assertion otherwise, Cooper’s analysis of Bono’s work rests disproportionately at the level of the individual – a cult of personality, as it were. However, to fully grasp the complexity and far-reaching intersections of globalization’s effects on development through celebrity-driven motifs, I want to add a more systemic and global analysis to Cooper’s discussion of Bonoization. In addition to the unparalleled, personality-based resources that Cooper identifies, Bonoization should also be seen as a way of describing the ways in which Bono, as both actor and institution, incorporates processes and technologies of the market toward the realization of his development objectives. My emphasis here is on the fact that the Bonoization of development is possible precisely because it follows the same logic as and deploys very similar practices and grammar associated with globalization. This, in and of itself, presents no harm in that it would be wonderfully subversive were we finally able, in the words of Audre Lorde (1984), to “dismantle the master’s house” with “the master’s tools.” However, my growing concern is that this



Bonoization also brings with it the same acts of erasure and disembodiment that attend to globalization practices. In addition to Cooper’s claim that Bonoization is the quintessential formulation of celebrity influence, we might also understand Bonoization as an approach to development wherein the celebrity’s persona morphs into a marketable product and a political process. For the rest of this chapter, I will explore how this has taken place through Bono’s (RED) campaign to treat HIV/AIDS on the African continent so as to reflect on the inherent dangers that result when persona as product and process is aligned to territorial and global crises. As both product and process, Bonoization occurs through two primary means of operation: the first is through political influence; the other through product alignment. Bono’s unquestionable political reach runs the gamut from high political and economic officeholders to the gurus of popular culture. Through these relationships, he blends and mixes these spheres in ways that make popular culture of unparalleled importance to global political events through popularizing policy-related matters. For example, in a Rolling Stone interview conducted with music critic Anthony DeCurtis (2007: 61) during the final year of the Bush administration, Bono punctuates his skepticism about the capacity of a US-driven model of democracy to bring about peace in the Middle East with repeated references to his access to powerful global leaders (then-US President Bush, then-World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, and past and present Republican strategist Karl Rove) and the terms of familiarity by which he addresses them (e.g., the use of “Condi” to refer to then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice). Bono’s expressions of political sentiment in a popular magazine highlight his iconic merging of cultural, political, and economic spheres. But, Bono’s credibility is not merely one of political access. His association with development economist Jeffery Sachs, and his own improved fluency in development rhetoric, both have lent significant credibility to Bono’s advocacy for, and invocation of, the MDGs when meeting world leaders. For his humanitarian work alongside Bill and Melinda Gates, Bono has graced the covers of Time Magazine in 2002 and 2005 and, in 2006, he again entered the ranks of Time’s “100 Most Influential People.”6 An overview of a Bono photo gallery often leaves the observer wondering, who needs whom more? Is it Bono’s need for access to formal political leverage, or the need of formal political actors for access to Bono’s “brand” of personal/popular politics? Take, for example, his multi-site launch of the (RED) Campaign, which raises funds for anti-retroviral drugs for African HIV/AIDS sufferers. It included venues such as the World Economic Forum (January 2006)7 for its initial announcement, a March 2006 UK launch, and a US shopping frenzy launched along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile with talkshow magnate Oprah (October 2006) – the latter ending with a meeting between Bono and then-President Bush. These highly orchestrated deployments of Bono’s celebrity persona through political access and cachet are disguised by his casual style.

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Bono’s blending of the political with the popular reconfigures the issues that have come to matter in the teaching of development studies – a popularization of the domain, as it were. Arturo Escobar, pointing to the already blurred boundaries of the discipline, observes: [D]evelopment was chiefly a matter of capital, technology and education and the appropriate policy and planning mechanisms to successfully combine these elements. Resistance, on the other hand, was primarily a class issue and a question of imperialism. Nowadays, this transparency has been muddled … (Escobar 1995b: 205) At the very least, I argue, (RED) has consolidated existing spheres of signifying “Others” and has ushered in a perverse moment where consumption is offered as subversion. With respect to the signification of “Others,” development discourses have long circulated images that either denigrate or romanticize peoples of the Global South, constructing them either as lazy and backward and in need of capitalist stimulus from the West or as heroic resisters of Western capitalism and imperialism. The “Third World Woman” has become a particular trope in these fantasies with the rise of feminist development studies, some of which are implicated in constructing “her” as the site of hyper-patriarchal oppression, impoverishment, and disease, and/or the site of hyper-resistance to that oppression and its outcomes. In both cases, “she” is rendered as a symbol of both inequity and redemption and, thus, seen as most worthy, at least rhetorically, of the most development assistance (Escobar 1995a; Mohanty 2003). In the recent past, Western students of development interested in alleviating global poverty identified with these renderings of the quintessential “Third World Woman” without ever having met anyone from the Global South or questioning the roles that neocolonial – and more recently neoliberal-inflected – development policies play in impoverishment and disease. In similarly problematic ways, such students (often with “well-meaning,” “progressive” agendas) are coming to identify consumption as the appropriate response to global poverty and disease: buy (RED) and support ONE, since (RED) and ONE afford at least a psychic (as opposed to experiential or firsthand, visual) awareness of global inequity. This increasing psychic awareness that the campaigns have brought to the campuses of some 1,300 universities and colleges has produced a profound sense of accomplishment among the organizers of the two campaigns. In an interview with Rolling Stone to commemorate the magazine’s fortieth anniversary, Bono lauds his college-based constituency: “Those college kids are redefining their country through the prism of the fight against poverty. Issues like that afford a chance to (sic) America


Sightings to redescribe itself to the world. But they also afford America a chance to redescribe itself to its citizens. That’s what’s going on.” (DeCurtis 2007: 62)

This perceived sense of student politicization arguably popularizes and democratizes the field of development studies. It contributes to the ongoing challenge to the idea of the “development expert” by placing decentralized responsibility for development into the hands of individuals. However, those individuals are constructed by these campaigns as scattered, individual, global consumers. The very emphasis of (RED) on identity formation through consumption and product alignment facilitates a less than accidental transition from one disembodied “Other” (the “Third World Woman”) to another disembodied “Other” (“Africa”). At the heart of this chapter are concerns about the reinvention of the “development expert” as a decentralized, unknowing, consuming agent and the implications of this reinvention for those laboring bodies that continue to be extracted from and managed by the shifting sites of developmentalism.

Profit philanthropy sites: the new haute couture of development Much of Bono’s activity as actor and institution coalesces around his ONE and (RED) campaigns, respectively, to halve the number of the world’s poor by the year 2015, and to raise funds to provide anti-retroviral medication for people in “Africa.”8 Among Bono’s successes is a petition in support of debt forgiveness, signed by 21.2 million people globally (Cooper 2008: 43). In addition to the eradication of poverty, ONE’s vision includes reducing infant and maternal mortality among the world’s poorest and reversing the spread of diseases that are particularly virulent on the African continent (e.g., HIV/ AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis). Similarly, the (RED) campaign is a business partnership, which acts in concert with an increasing number of megabrands, such as Gap Inc., Giorgio Armani, Converse, Nike, Apple, American Express (UK), Hallmark, Dell, Starbucks, and Windows. The Global Fund serves as its trustee, and the campaign promotes itself as a commercial initiative that aims to raise funds to fight the AIDS pandemic in “Africa” (which, at the point of writing, refers to Swaziland, Rwanda, and Ghana) by providing anti-retroviral medication. When designated (RED) products are purchased, between 5–40 percent of the profits are donated to the Global Fund. It aims, therefore, to create awareness and facilitate a “sustainable flow of private sector money … to fight the AIDS pandemic in Africa.” (RED)’s manifesto is clear: it is not a charity; it is a “business model.”9 This mode of profit philanthropy is an example of what I refer to elsewhere as “globalized developmentalism.” I use this term to refer to the practices and ideologies that are involved in the differentiated “marketing” of prescriptive notions of “development” by transnational organizations to the world’s population. The emphasis here is on the “marketing” of “development”

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as a branded product, which, despite the difference in language, resonates in very similar ways within populist (for profit) NGOs, such as ONE, and in IGOs, such as the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions. Unlike traditional modes of philanthropy, (RED)’s multi-million dollar marketing strategy promotes a range of highly stylized products. Its product selection includes toys for the technologically savvy, as well as fashion for both high-end sophisticates and the middle-tier cosmopolitan chic. Through very strategic advertising placement, the marketing power of (RED) is exponentially enhanced by its cachet, brand recognizability, and the deployment of a high-powered list of celebrities by its corporate partners.10 (RED)’s model of philanthropy is unique by virtue of its own brand recognizability, as separate from its corporate partners – an unusually collaborative corporate structure, wherein already-established brands have attached their own identity to the (RED) philosophy – and in its potential for becoming a philanthropic monopoly, because of its malleable boundaries, which allow for an expanding base of new corporate members. The resulting synergy is a curious inversion of accepted notions of sustainability in development, positing in its place notions of consumption meeting the wants of future generations without compromising the profits of the present.11 (RED)’s branding process comes to suggest more than a commodity. Rather, it deploys a tried and trusted marketing strategy; it offers a relationship, an experience, and an identity to global consumers (Klein 2000). Adherence to fashion might be seen as an individualized pursuit in response to social and cultural trends; (RED) builds on the individual display and maintenance of social status that fashion makes possible. In addition to the maintenance of social status, (RED) also interpellates fashion and lifestyle into a range of “glocalized” expressions of political economy.12 However, the connection between consumer identity formation and product alliance is premised on an additional set of neoliberal assumptions. (RED) depends on and promotes a steady belief in the inevitability and “naturalness” of the market. The naturalization of consumption itself requires a “modernist model of human nature (read: elite male nature) as competitive, self-interested and acquisitive” (Peterson 2003: 143). (RED) manages to keep its brand equity13 by maintaining a finely-tuned balance between the acquisitive, selfinterested aspect of neoliberal consumption and the redemptive, as reflected in its manifesto: “As first world consumers, we have tremendous power, what we collectively choose to buy, or not buy, can change the course of life and history on this planet.”14 At the foreground are the redemptive possibilities of economic fundamentalism, framed by the steady juxtaposition of consumption and redemption as the preferred mode of addressing global disparity. The narrative progression of the (RED) manifesto places custodial responsibility for (RED) in the hands of the consumer, and, by extension, brown and black bodies in pain. You have a choice … If you buy a (RED) product … at no cost to you, a (RED) company will give some of its profits … to our brothers and


Sightings sisters dying of AIDS in Africa … We believe that when customers are offered this choice … they will choose (RED) … and more lives will be saved. You buy (RED) stuff, we get the money, buy the pills … If they don’t get the pills, they die. … All you have to do is upgrade your choice. (“The (RED)TM Manifesto”)

The ultimate aim of this narrative structure is the generation of profit, for which achieving the development-related goal of buying anti-retroviral medication is a by-product. In order to achieve this, the narrative invokes an empathetic relationship between the consumer and the product, whereby responsibility for the corporate soul is placed squarely in the hands the consumer (Klein 2000: 23). The interplay between commodification, consumption, and concern is always at work in a textual analysis of the (RED) and ONE websites, culminating in a kind of Orwellian interchange between the product and the person.15 One of the many descriptors attached to discussions of globalization is the encroaching deterritorialization of the world. This idea, when summoned, suggests an increasing interconnectedness between markets and geographies, as well as the permeability of national boundaries. However, one of the contradictions of our supposed “global village” is a persistent and rigid separation between the spheres of consumption and production. Integral to the pleasures of consumption is that we not see the laboring or ailing bodies that make consumption possible (re-enter Le nègre). So that we heed Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s admonition that we “keep the economic visible under erasure” (1999: 315), I will continue to explore the ways in which (RED), in spite of, and possibly through, its missionary fervor, mirrors and deploys many of the erasures and separations that figure integrally in globalizing discourses. The erasure of both laboring and suffering bodies becomes necessary if the brand is to signify for the problem and the solution. Throughout this discussion, I have been pointing to the fact that development as haute couture brings us into a psychic – rather than experiential or first-hand, visual – relationship with global crises, inequity, and suffering. This reference to the psychic is one that highlights the ways in which “Africa” functions as an imaginary – an imaginary that makes it become a psychic spectacle, that which is made hyper-visible through renderings, imaginations, and projections. In other words, we see without the need to engage, because what we see is rendered for us through the brand. And what fantastical renderings they are! There is the rendering of continent as country: “in Africa” – the recurring pathologization and homogenization of an entire continent under the sign of HIV/AIDS. There is the rendering of a smiling Maasai warrior as the emblematic representation of the “African” being helped, despite the fact that the Maasai populate Kenya and Tanzania (East Africa), while the Global Fund presently works in three non-Maasai territories.16 At very few points in (RED)’s marketing arsenal do we see the ailing bodies for whom the brands

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reputedly are in service. These bodies are never aligned to the brand; indeed, the very success of the brand as chic metropolitan sophistication dictates and demands their absence.17 The imbrication of (RED) in a profit-seeking agenda brings it into further conflict with its own ethics of care for those who reside in the Global South. In keeping with a growing emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR) many of (RED)’s corporate partners have well-documented CSR policies, most notable being those of Gap Inc.18 Gap Inc. began their social responsibility reporting in 2004. Among the highlights of their report are increased factory inspection, use of organic cotton, contributing US$25 million to the Global Fund by 2007, and the notation that “social responsibility can provide new ways to engage our customers.”19 Still, as will be the case in competitive, exploitative global markets, the seduction of “cheap” labor has, on many occasions, placed Gap Inc. on the defensive, most recently in response to charges of its use of child labor in India.20 It would be noble if such whistleblowing represented a deep commitment on the part of governments and consumers to caring about the context of production. However, an evershrinking middle class presents the American consumer with a dilemma: that of keeping jobs within the US but still being able to buy goods cheaply. Yet, the working premise of (RED) is exactly that people do care. For whom, then, should the consumer care? Should she care for the ailing bodies who are “helped” by her consumption, or should she care for the laboring bodies who have contributed, often to their detriment, to what she consumes? These tensions and contradictory flows of global capital and ethical intent remain unresolved. By the campaign’s own assessment, (RED) had, in a little over a year of its operation, contributed US$50 million to the Global Fund. There is, of course, something strikingly persuasive in Bono’s assessment of the HIV/ AIDS pandemic: This is an emergency – normal rules don’t apply. There are no easy good or bad guys. Do you think an African mother cares if the drugs keeping her child alive are thanks to an iPod or a church plate? Or a Democrat or a Republican? I don’t think that mother gives a damn about where that 20-cent pill comes from, so why should we. It can lead to some uncomfortable bedfellows, but sometimes less sleep means you are more awake.21 (“It’s Bono, on line one,” Vanity Fair (July 2007)) My concern is not about these moral inconsistencies, but rather the lack of systemic interconnections made between consumption in the North and poor health indicators in the South in the deployment of these very networks for profit. In this way, again, drawing on a neoliberal individualist logic, poor health indicators in the South are reduced to bad decisions made by individuals in the Global South.22



The links between fashion and territorial crises are pernicious and precarious. In the world of marketing, “product abandonment” signals the point at which profit-motivated decisions are made about the continuance of a product. Abandonment can occur as a result of weak performance or in response to the need for new and “more promising” product generation (Gruenwald 1997). It is an efficiency approach, which attends to such variables as financial security, marketing strategy, cost, value, and scope of product (Hamelman and Maze 1972). Social costs are rarely, if ever, seen as an accounting variable. The question that logically follows is: what becomes of the crisis when the fashion is no longer marketable? Who is saved when the instrumentalized use of the sign “Africa” as a fashion icon becomes abandoned once again?

Economically mi(red): getting Africa out of the (RED)TM I have argued here that there are economic, textual, and rhetorical practices in philanthropic models, such as the (RED) campaign, that are inimical to the long-term well-being of peoples on the African continent. Primary among these is the disarticulation of operational and analytical spheres. This disarticulation masks the asymmetrical relations that exist between and among economic regions and the ways in which individual lives are affected by these inequities. This is a disarticulation that also hides the ways in which consumption in the North facilitates the underdevelopment of the Global South. Rather than address these inequities frontally, these campaigns’ dependence upon consumption and profit-generation reflects a model which, in Gunnar Myrdal’s words, is governed by a theory of international trade (which) was not worked out to explain the reality of underdevelopment and the need for development. Rather, one might say that this imposing structure of abstract reasoning implicitly had almost the opposite purpose, that of explaining away the international equality problem. (Myrdal 1970: 277, emphasis in the original) In this section, I will bring operational and analytical sites of economic circulation into dialogue with the bodies affected by these movements of capital, initially by connecting health indicators to economic policy and, finally, by centering the cinematic work of Malian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako for the ways in which his film Bamako challenges and re-narrates the intersections that exist between global economic injustice and African peoples’ lived realities. The indicators on the economic, political, and health status of the peoples of Africa are undeniably worrying. According to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), 22.5 million people living with HIV/ AIDS are in sub-Saharan Africa; this accounts for 68 percent of adults and

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90 percent of children living with HIV/AIDS worldwide (2007: 7–8). Despite falling poverty rates between 1999 and 2004, persistent population growth in sub-Saharan Africa has resulted in 300 million people living below the poverty line and, in the midst of debt-forgiveness programs, external debt responsibilities remain high (IMF 2007: 5). In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) noted in their annual report that: The WHO Region of the Americas, with 10% of the global burden of disease, has 37% of the world’s health workers spending more than 50% of the world’s health financing, whereas the African Region has 24% of the burden but only 3% of health workers commanding less than 1% of world health expenditure – even with loans and grants from abroad. (WHO 2006: 8) The lack of fiscal expenditure on health-related services is a critical factor when confronting the HIV/AIDS crisis. There is presently a deficit of approximately 2.4 million health care providers in 57 countries; 36 of the countries affected by this deficit are in Sub-Saharan Africa (WHO 2006:12). This fiscal instability cannot, and ought not, be isolated from the economic instability arising, in part, from structural adjustment programs (SAPs) imposed on the region. Reduced public expenditure and privatization of state services are now well-known and standard features of SAPs. While not a causal factor per se, reduced expenditure on the health sector does account in important ways for the WHO’s sobering observation that the national healthcare management systems in these states are “weak, unresponsive, inequitable – even unsafe” (WHO 2006: xv). Health management systems are critical to the prevention of HIV/AIDS mother-to-child transmission, the provision of information that challenges myths and dangerous folk practices, of testing and counseling, and of pediatric services for the growing number of children who are living with HIV/ AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Philanthropic models such as (RED) are so deeply imbricated in neoliberal assumptions that consumption and poor health are rendered as discrete properties, rather than as phenomena that hold an obverse and occasionally parasitic relationship with each other. It is here that I turn to Abderrahmane Sissako’s Bamako (2006) for the ways in which the film resists the compartmentalization of the impact of the global political economy on individual lives, and its defiance of the laryngectomy that results when the North tells “Africa’s” story. Bamako is set in a residential compound surrounded by a rural village atmosphere in the capital of Mali. An outdoor court of law has been convened, with judges and prosecuting and defense attorneys, to consider an indictment of international financial institutions (IFIs), and globalization more generally, for socio-economic injustices based on villagers’ testimonies. Bamako tells no single story, but rather interweaves a panoply of lives, with



people telling parts of their stories as formal testimonies or through cutaways to their daily lives and conversations outside the courtroom, in, and beyond the village setting. The closest that Bamako comes to a coherent storyline is through a secondary narrative of a young couple: Melé, who sings in an upscale, urban bar at night, and her unemployed husband, Chaka, are caught in a marriage on the verge of demise; their communication with each other is perfunctory, and the only signs we have that there must have once been love between them are the still photograph of the young couple on the wall, and their love and affection for their young daughter. While this story unfolds, we are also the audience for the seemingly bizarre trial of IFIs and globalization that occurs daily in the compound in which Melé and Chaka live. In Bamako, testimony and witnessing work along a continuum of words, silence, and unintelligibility to convey the grief and mourning resulting from living under the exigencies of globalization. As the trial continues, a reporter covering it re-engages one of his interviewees, Chaka, by prompting: “You were saying that the worst part of structural adjustment policies is the destruction of the social fabric – that entire part got erased – say it again.” To which Chaka responds, “No one will listen … don’t waste your time.” Yet, Sissako places the film’s moral burden on the importance of testimony and witnessing. Through the trial testimonies, Sissako humanizes the social and economic variables of macroeconomics; these variables are made flesh as whistle-blowers formerly employed by exploitative corporations; migrant workers with harrowing tales of near-death experiences on their forced journeys across African deserts to seek work in Algeria; laid-off teachers in the wake of education cuts; infirm but stoic elderly, who have seen so much loss; and “the folk,” particularly the female folk, who go about the daily-ness of some vestige/semblance of social reproduction as the trial goes on, preparing food, cleaning shelters and clothes, and dying textiles. The multiplicity of narratives is a reminder, in the words of one witness, that “[t]he goat has its ideas but so does the hen.” Villager after villager steps forward to tell her/his story, some through sophisticated analyses and others through personal tales, with the prosecuting attorney providing mountains of additional, statistical evidence of human costs in her summation, for which there is little defense. In these ways, we learn of the complex and far-reaching effects of globalization. Through the use of testimony and voice, Sissako engages in a poignant renarration of Africa, which challenges the language and form of, and legitimated stories told by, traditional jurisprudence and economic policy. However, the emotional and psychological losses of the economic are most poetically rendered by Sissako through silence and unintelligibility. As witnesses come forward when called, so, too, does a former school teacher made redundant by reduced state expenditure on education. Asked to state his testimony, he becomes overwhelmed by his story, rendering him silent; he is able merely to record his existence, rendering his humanity through no more than the utterance of his name and date of birth before departing in response to a final «Rien à déclarer? ».

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The narrative culmination of the film comes through the voice of an elder, a griot, who, at the beginning of the film, disrupts the conventional legal narrative and walks to the podium to speak before he is called. As he is sent back, he responds, “Words are something, they can seize your heart if you keep them inside.” This elder again defies convention by poignantly breaking into a song that is never translated, at which point all non-Bambara-speaking viewers, and the French-speaking magistrates, are left unable to decipher what is being conveyed. If words are inadequate to tell these woes, in this moment, Sissako appeals to the human spirit, not so that we, the viewers, can understand, but so that we can feel. The song’s profound emotive effect rests in its very unintelligibility; that we do not know, understand, and are not enabled to understand (through subtitles) requires us deploy a different register. Here, Sissako seems to suggest a connectedness through the power of the human spirit, and the possibility, through alternative engagements, for a new socioeconomic arrangement that can be reached when other, typically rationalist, discourses are suspended. To treat any emotional register as though it were transcendent may not always be effective; however, in this scene, we are faced with the very important reminder that there are parts of these narratives that will always be impossible for us, the Western viewer, to fully comprehend. The camera shuttles into Melé and Chaka’s room and out into the courtyard, following the trial in the compound and following Melé and Chaka when they leave the compound. Sissako skillfully ensures that these are parallel, and occasionally intertwined, narratives. They never seamlessly mesh into each other, but maintain the tension of an imbricated messiness. The confined location and the occasional character movement from the personal narrative to the political remind us that these stories matter to each other; however, the most intimate connection is at the epistemological level. That these private and public knowledge-worlds confront each other is a deliberate attempt to put personal connections and costs into relation with the worlds of production and consumption. The personal is made prominent and the political, accountable. As such, these narrative structures and spatial contrivances disallow the deception of separation. Sissako skillfully presses the unseen hand of the market against the slow and quotidian aspects of economic tyranny and, in so doing, makes the market hyper-visible. Sissako weaves these worlds into each other so that, as lawyers debate the impact of SAPs on the healthcare system, we see the immediacy of the ailing body when the compound dwellers keep vigil for a sick and dying neighbor. Heated exchanges between legal teams on China’s economic prowess are punctuated by a toddler’s squeaking synthetic shoes as she learns to walk. A cameraman, there to film the historic trial, announces that he now does most of his business filming funerals, suggesting a lucrative, homonymic play on “death” and “debt.” Throughout the entire movie, the local economy is represented by Malian women who dye fabric; their steady and adaptable centrality is reflected by an equally steady, yet flexible, flow of dyed water that winds its way on the ground in almost every scene of the film.



At moments, the film draws on the rich allegorical tradition of African storytelling, imbuing the film with a satirical and sometimes mystical edge. There is the unmistakable irony of a cross-eyed policeman, who has been assigned the task of solving the theft of a gun, an instrument which simultaneously implies an indictment of increased violence and compromised policing in the era of adjustment. Similarly, as the proceedings unfold, we find twin brothers among the community members: they wear the same style shirt in different colors; they are always visible during the proceedings; and they never speak audibly. In my reading of the film, Bamako is edited as if to suggest that they are simultaneously inside and outside of the proceedings, so that they remain in the camera’s eye, even when partially hidden. It is difficult not to interpret these twins as both observers and observed, as the metaphoric, mystical omnipresence of the twin Bretton Woods institutions, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), always in the backdrop. Sissako employs the absurd in his critique of how IFIs impact on the economic and moral worlds of the continent. He offers a particularly strong indictment of the promise of technology and prescriptive infrastructural development, for which World Bank funds are released through a set of ironies. For example, the film opens with a mass of scaffolding constructed upward into nothingness with no connected building or other construction. Meanwhile, Melé’s husband has begun to learn Hebrew and is presently wrestling with sentences to explain that he has lost his wallet. His intended goal for such a task? To work as a security guard for an Israeli embassy that he has convinced himself will one day open in Mali. The trial is interrupted, first for a wedding procession, and, at the end, for a funeral. Thus, through parodying infrastructure, development, and daily rituals, the film points to promises emptied of utility and meaning. The filmmaker also creates a cinematic rupture in the work, which serves to pull the audience into a hyper-chaotic and ruthless world of SAPs. A rupture occurs in Bamako as we are thrown into a snippet of a parodic western, Death in Timbuktu, featuring US film star Danny Glover, Palestinian director Elia Suleiman, and Sissako himself as one of the cowboys, Dramane Bassaro. In this embedded movie, a band of marauding cowboys has arrived in a Malian village and is recklessly shooting villagers as they tend to their daily affairs. Villagers in the main film, Bamako, are depicted as viewing the embedded movie. The young children viewing Death in Timbuktu laugh along with the cowboys, who find humor in their murderous spree. This laugher itself points to an early de-sensitization to the violent effects of structural adjustment and illuminates the film’s claim that “even in our imaginations we are raped.” I am not suggesting that Sissako offers a “truer” narrative about the effects of structural adjustment, but his filmic account is undoubtedly one that resists disembodiment and one that contextualizes inequity. The use of testimony and witnessing resists the erasure of the laboring/ailing body without

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sacrificing the poetic. Bamako resists the conventional heroic narrative through the use of decentralized narratives: this is a film that neither needs nor desires a “star” (or savior) from/in the North, but one that demands equity in trade and economic practices, which makes it possible for nations to heal themselves. Bamako is a testimony and an epistemological challenge that echoes the words of one viewer to the filmmaker: “At least they’ll know that we know.” And it is here that a hero of sorts emerges – civil society. The heroes of Bamako are the teachers/professors, whistle-blowers, writers, and migrant workers, who, despite the Sisyphean dimensions of their task, continue to tell their stories so that at least the world will know that they know. These narratives challenge the disembodied, silencing erasures of projects such as (RED). I have argued that the neoliberal logic that now drives globalization and development projects forces a purposeful distancing of markets from their effects. Throughout this chapter, I have wrestled with one dominant question: why is it that centralizing the consumer and centralizing laboring/ ailing bodies are presented as mutually exclusive, non-compatible sites of critique? My examination of celebrity-driven philanthropy for profit models shows that not only states are displaced within conversations on the global political economy, but so, too, are citizens. In this model, it is the brand identity that takes preeminence and becomes the medium of transnational dialogue between consumers in the North and perceived need in the South. These are not inconsequential activities; to date, the (RED) website notes that more than three million people have been impacted by “HIV/AIDS programs supported by … (RED) purchases.”23 However, through a reading of Sissako’s work, I have called for a lived literacy of oppression which, for many marginalized bodies, is critical to survival. The pleasures of contemporary consumerism come with embodied costs, as was the case with Candide’s Le nègre du Suriname. Unless we connect the worlds of productions and consumption, it becomes too easy to individualize and commercialize responses to global inequity. Such policy solutions focus on the importance of individual “behavioral adjustments,” whether on the part of the consumer to buy more “responsibly,” or on the part of laboring bodies to work harder. This individualist logic masks the ways in which underdevelopment is historically and structurally determined; and, it further masks the ways in which individual consumers in the North are implicated in the construction of the very inequity that their consumption is supposedly designed to change.

Notes 1 The very contemporary nature of this topic required that research be done using sources and media unlikely for a paper on development and globalization (e.g. popular magazines, television, blogs, and internet sites). I would like to thank EO for her careful read and comments and my undergraduate student, Erin Dawson, for her trolling curiosity and for helping me navigate the many cultural messages and spaces that target and bombard her generation.



2 The encounter is rendered in Candide in the following manner: «En approchant de la ville, ils rencontrèrent un nègre étendu par terre, n’ayant plus que la moitié de son habit, c’est-à-dire d’un caleçon de toile bleue; il manquait à ce pauvre homme la jambe gauche et la main droite. ‘Eh, mon Dieu ! lui dit Candide en hollandais, que fais-tu là, mon ami, dans l’état horrible où je te vois ? – J’attends mon maître, M. Vanderdendur, le fameux négociant,’ répondit le nègre. – ‘Est-ce M. Vanderdendur,’ dit Candide, ‘qui t’a traité ainsi ?’ – ‘Oui, monsieur,’ dit le nègre, ‘c’est l’usage. On nous donne un caleçon de toile pour tout vêtement deux fois l’année. Quand nous travaillons aux sucreries, et que la meule nous attrape le doigt, on nous coupe la main; quand nous voulons nous enfuir, on nous coupe la jambe: je me suis trouvé dans les deux cas. C’est à ce prix que vous mangez du sucre en Europe’» (Voltaire 1759, 2000: 96). 3 Despite the persistence of modernization thinking, there have been a number of prominent and varied development economic models which have challenged the preeminence and linearity of modernization thinking. These include a basic needs approach, redistribution with growth, and dependency approaches. Here it is important to note that both dependency and world-systems models called into question the historical structures of inequity in which “underdevelopment” was seen not as a stage in production, but as a production in itself, which was foundational to profit maximization in the North. 4 Bono, lead singer for the group U2, was born Paul David Hewson. 5 While my work focuses on the relationship between celebrity identities and development, Cooper addresses the nexus of celebrity and the shifting spheres of diplomatic operation. 6 Bono appeared with Bill and Melinda Gates on the cover of Time as “Persons of the Year” for 2005. “The Good Samaritans: Bill Gates, Bono, Melinda Gates,” Time Magazine, 26 December 2005/2 January 2006. Online. Available: (accessed 23 December 2007). Bono was also featured in the “2006 TIME 100.” See Helms, J. (2006) “Bono,” Time Magazine, 30 April: 84. Online. Available: (accessed 23 December 2007). 7 See World Economic Forum (2006) “Bono and Bobby Shriver launch Product Red to harness power of the world’s iconic brands to fight AIDS in Africa,” 26 January. Online. Available: (accessed 23 December 2007). 8 Both ONE and (RED) are the brain-child of Bono and fundraiser Bobby Shriver. See Online. Available: (accessed 23 December 2007). 9 See “(RED)TM Factsheet.” Online. Available: (accessed 23 December 2007). 10 Gap Inc., as part of its (RED) campaign, has worked with comedian Chris Rock, actors Don Cheadle, Penelope Cruz, and Jennifer Garner, singers Mary J. Blige, Wyclef Jean, and John Legend, and director Steven Spielberg. 11 This, of course, parodies the Brundtland Report’s definition of sustainability as “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED 1987: 43). For example, “The (RED)TM Manifesto” advertisements presently air on Music Television (MTV), whose monopoly captures a demographic that includes pre-adolescents to young 30-year-olds, thereby ensuring a generational reach for (RED)’s “sustainable flow of private sector money.” (RED) “FAQs.” Available: (accessed 23 December 2007). 12 I refer to the use of fashion as a “glocalized” expression of political economy to point to the ways in which the production process requires global labor.

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14 15




19 20 21 22


However, for the purposes of this chapter, I want to emphasize the ways in which a collective recognition of the (RED) brand among the cosmopolitan elite also brings a recognition (albeit spurious) of the global home. In a more direct way, Bono also partnered with designer Rogan Gregory in 2005 to create a line of “socially responsible” fashion, EDUN. Brand equity refers to the set of “assets and liabilities linked to a brand, its name and symbol, that add or subtract from the value provided by a product or service to a firm or to that firm’s customers” (Saviolo 2002: 3). Available: (accessed 27 December 2007). “The (RED)TM Manifesto.” Available: (accessed 27 December 2007). On, there is the occasional exchange between the iconic (PRODUCT) RED motif and (YOU)RED. Similarly, on, we find “POWERED BY: YOU.” Both instances generate a very powerful appeal to an individual sense of global responsibility while engaging in the process of commodifying both consumer and recipient. See the advertisement featuring supermodel Gisele Bündchen and Maasai warrior Keseme Ole Parsapaet used for the launch of American Express (RED) available at (accessed 27 December 2007). This absence is nowhere more readily apparent than on the 20 covers released in July 2007 by Vanity Fair. For this issue, guest-edited by Bono, photographer Annie Lebowitz paired 21 individuals, all identified for their connection with or concern for “Africa.” The list is remarkable for the sheer political heft of the individuals who participated in this project. Among the individuals who sat for these covers were then-President George Bush, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, pop star Madonna (noted for her adoption of an African child), peace activist Bishop Desmond Tutu, Oprah, then-US Senator Barack Obama, former prize boxer Muhammad Ali, and philanthropists William Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates. Of the 21 individuals selected, two presently reside on the continent (Bishop Tutu and Queen Rania Al-Abdulla of Egypt). In my introductory analysis of Candide’s encounter with the nameless Le nègre du Suriname, I pointed to the fact that even when we encounter the laboring/ailing body, it is a moment in the text that serves to advance Candide’s knowledge and critical awareness of himself. Similarly, the blurbs that accompany the individual photographs tell us something more about the individual as they gaze on “Africa” and, in so doing, learn something more about themselves. CSR places emphasis on the pursuit of ethical business practices, as well as a holistic corporate model which makes connections between economic development, communities, and the quality of life of the workforce (Watts and Lord Holme 1999: 6). See Gap Inc. (2006) “2005–6 social responsibility report fact sheet.” Available:

(accessed 28 December 2007). See “International Information Programs of the U.S. State Department.” Available: (accessed 28 December 2007). See “It’s Bono, on line one,” Vanity Fair, July 2007. Available: (accessed 28 December 2007). The WHO estimates that only one in five persons in sub-Saharan Africa have access to adequate information to make decisions about sexual practices



and HIV/AIDS. See WHO, “MDG 6: combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.” Available: (accessed 31 December 2007). 23 See (RED), “Learn.” Available: (accessed 22 March 2009).

Part II


In the previous section, we have seen how the intimate and the global interact far more visibly and insidiously in the current phase of global restructuring. Part II moves us even further along on this trajectory, but does so by pointing out the contradictory effects of the intimate/global nexus in various sites of restructuring. Specifically, these contributions by Valentine Moghadam (Chapter 5), Jonathan Bach (Chapter 6), Pauline Gardiner Barber (Chapter 7), and Rahel Kunz (Chapter 8) point to the simultaneous disciplining and empowering aspects of restructuring for women, whether in the context of liberalizing Middle East and North African (MENA) economies or in the cases of remittance-based economic development, Mexican remittancereceivers, or Filipina migrant workers. As we have argued, the notion of “global restructuring” better captures the multi-dimensional, multi-speed, and disjuncted nature of this multi-phased economic, political, social, and cultural phenomenon. Such a re-appellation conceives of globalization not as an overarching, unitary force majeure out of nowhere, but rather as an openended, historically-produced social, cultural, and political construction with uneven and contradictory dimensions and effects that are subject to change. These chapters provide empirical evidence from multiple national, regional, and transnational sites of these tensions and slippages, accounting for the still considerable room for agency that redirects restructuring processes in unanticipated ways, at least from the perspective of world power-brokers. By challenging assumptions about the homogenizing nature of global restructuring and claims that women are only victimized by it, these chapters provide examples of sites of and for resistance. Migration is a major theme in Part II, as it constitutes one of the most visible and highly contested aspects of restructuring at the current juncture. It is also the nodal point for seeing how the contradictions between capital and the security state are played out and sometimes smoothed over through racialized and classed gender ideologies that regulate such flows. As Harvey (2003) (and others) have pointed out, the tension between open borders required by global capital and the desire of states to protect their borders, particularly since the beginning of the “war on terror,” is being (temporarily) resolved through “spatio-temporal fixes” under the “new imperialism.” In this


Part II

scenario, powerful states and financiers have allied to visit “crises of devaluation upon vulnerable territories” and their most vulnerable inhabitants in the name of “corrective medicine,” and to then buy up resources at rockbottom prices to make high profits (Harvey 2003: 134–35). This violence of development has intensified the migration of the displaced in the Global South, who become convenient scapegoats, from the perspective of politicians, upon which to redirect the anger of those displaced by deindustrialization in the North (Harvey 2003: 188). Thus, racism and nationalism, similar to what undergirded old empires, has been put into the service of the “new imperialism” to quell right-wing backlash against globalization (Harvey 2003: 188). At the same time, migrants have been put in the service of neoliberal restructuring in their role as a cheap reserve labor pool, while their mobility is now subjected to regimes of surveillance and discipline. The new governance scheme of “managing migration,” promoted by the United Nations and other IGOs, is aiming to find a balance between economic and security frames. This means allowing enough (foreign) cheap labor into national markets through temporary workers’ agreements to enhance competitiveness while at the same time reasserting the state’s role in securitizing its borders against “the tidal wave of illegals.” As highlighted in some of these chapters, whether women workers migrate themselves or are left at home by (male) family members who migrate, they are subjected to intimate regimes of surveillance and discipline, whether by the state, the employer, or their own communities, to develop “appropriate” neoliberal (and securitized) subjectivities that will keep them working hard in formal and informal labor forces, whether for remittances or in the name of sustaining the family farm or business (often through microcredit). At the same time, they are expected to develop consumer habits (that classstratify their communities) and still be fully responsible for social reproduction, even over distance (through the use of cheap, globalized technology, such as cell phones). Female migrants of color also are constructed as posing less of a threat to host states than are males of color in the context of the racialized “war on terror.” While still feared for their purported fecundity and drain on welfare and citizenship benefits, migrant women are now seen as crucial for propping up failing economies and distended families, even as they continue to be denied rights, social welfare, citizenship, and belonging. Nevertheless, there is also evidence that women who have entered wage labor and/or gained mobility report new senses of empowerment and some leverage in their communities and households. There is also a relationship between women’s collective action for their legal rights and the liberalized economies in which they find paid labor. The questions are at what costs and with what limits in this leaner and meaner stage of restructuring. For Moghadam, the gender impact of (still relatively low) economic and trade liberalization in the MENA region (of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia) has been “mixed.” It has increased women’s private sector employment, but at the low end, primarily in garments and textiles industries, and often to



compensate for male out-migration, while contributing to higher general unemployment, especially among university-educated women, as public sector jobs are reduced. It has led to the development of new labor legislation, including unemployment insurance and maternity leave, but this does not cover women and young girls (typically from the countryside within each nation) in domestic service, which is a growing labor category as more privileged women seek or find work. Finally, it has given greater impetus to women’s movements (led largely by elite women, at times in concert with women in government and labor unions, the latter of which has been most resistant to women’s leadership participation) in fighting discriminatory labor and family laws as they agitate simultaneously against the dislocations of neoliberal restructuring and the enclosures of Islamization. When it comes to remittances, which constitute one of the highest sources of external funding for the Global South, Bach also finds a mixed picture. As he points out, remittances, along with edicts for women to work harder and men to love better, are part of the “New Development Mantra” under neoliberalism, which uses them as a seemingly stable, private solution to macro-economic problems. Moreover, there has been a dramatic increase in women as remittance-senders, as opposed to only remittance-receivers. However, while women are seen as (and often are) more reliable remittancesenders than are men, workplace gender discrimination ensures that women always have less to remit. Moreover, although the majority of returning women migrants seek to migrate again, report feeling and being more independent both abroad and at home, and self-identify as “middle class” as a result of migrating and gaining cash income, Bach cautions that the risks can often outweigh the personal gains, given patterns of workplace discrimination and sexual abuse, sex trafficking and sex work, and the emotional and physical burdens of sustaining transnational family ties and social reproduction. Such pressures also reflect still dominant heteronormative expectations that women are, and should continue to be, responsible for social reproduction. Following from Bach’s recommendation to better study the transformation of identities and subjectivities along “the remittance chain,” Barber offers an ethnographic study of Filipina migrants in the “commoditized domestic care chain.” Arguing that migration is Janus-faced for Filipinas who migrate to perform domestic (and other service) labor, entailing both excitement at the prospect of migration and fear of its uncertainties and realities, Barber finds an intense “ambivalence” among her respondents about the migrant experience. She offers the story of Maria, who migrated from the countryside to Manila for factory work, then to Hong Kong for domestic labor, and then to Canada for further domestic labor, after which she became a Canadian citizen and left domestic service for a (still) low-wage job in the elder care industry. Maria’s story reveals that her personal sense of empowerment gained from the privileging of migrant remittance-senders and the elevation of domestic labor performed internationally by her home community and her government, as well as the income that changed standards of living for her and her family,


Part II

were offset by a host of other, new problems associated with becoming “unbound” from place, nation, and family. These included the burdens of responding to more claimants at home on her income (and for her advice), while trying to keep a long-distance relationship with her son (by cell phone) and sustaining a Filipina identity in the diaspora. Leaving domestic service, in which she experienced some overt racism and sexism, also meant having to provide her own room and board while still in a low paid “helping” profession that is increasingly reliant on women’s immigrant labor in Canada – a combination, along with more demands for remittances, that puts her into debt. She fantasizes about returning to the Philippines when she retires, but this is unlikely given her economic circumstances and the nature of the remittance chain forged through increasingly dense institutional policies and practices of sending and receiving countries that bind her to the diaspora. Kunz offers an ethnography of the flipside of the gendered remittance-sender – the gendered remittance-receiver in Mexico. While the remittance-sender is lionized in his/her community and nation, as well as in international development circles, the remittance-receiver, who is typically female, is increasingly denigrated as “unproductive” and even “lazy” in Mexico, not unlike the construction of welfare recipients in the US. As a result, remittance-receivers feel compelled to engage in market-based activity (such as setting up small sundries stores or selling food and crafts on the local market) to make their own incomes – as supplements to or even in lieu of the remittances they receive, but refuse to spend – on top of the work of social reproduction, made harder by the absence of (more typically male) family members. Again, women earning their own income report higher senses of independence and household leverage, but they also report exhausting workdays and emotional burdens arising from distended families. They also construct their “new” relative freedoms and rights in economic terms, not in social or political terms, and, in many cases, are now resigned to living under market dictates. Nevertheless, Kunz does offer cases of women who went against or “subverted” imposed (and imperfectly internalized) neoliberal norms by using remittances and/or their extra incomes. Furthermore, the social intercourse market activity enabled them to connect with other women around common issues of concern and to increase their own capacity and mobility to visit family to offer and receive care. Some women’s refusals to use remittances and instead rely on their own meager incomes to avoid being labeled as “lazy” can also be read as subversion or resistance. We learn from all of these contributions that global restructuring does enable some renegotiation of boundaries that actually or potentially challenges extant gender contracts across public and private realms. However, the intimate/global nexus is a fraught one in which neoliberal subjectivities are inculcated at the expense of social reproduction (undermined by the triple burden of productive, reproductive, and service work), community cohesion (as class differentiation increases within communities), and women’s (and men’s) psyches and bodies (which literally suffer from familial/community



separations, market discipline, community surveillance, and exhausting physical and emotional labor done for others, often performed at huge distances from one’s “home” and/or in someone else’s “home”). As Harvey argues (2003: 162–63), there may be some merit in the orthodox Marxist argument that primitive capitalist accumulation and the violence it wrought may have been necessary to break down feudal orders that rested most heavily on patriarchy and led to working class movements that, for a time, domesticated capital. Nevertheless, the current round of accumulation by dispossession is visiting violence on such a scale, and in such insidious ways, that claims about individual freedoms and conventional collective action are sorely circumscribed and even complicit in furthering the most virulent aspects of restructuring. The privatization of production, social reproduction, and ultimately the earth’s commons is unsustainable; but to bring about change will require new subjectivities and collective action generated not out of economic determinism, but by conscious struggles in resistance to neoliberal capitalist and imperial imperatives and for social justice.


Global restructuring and women’s economic citizenship in North Africa1 Valentine M. Moghadam

Introduction The sexual division of labor and its correlate, the public – private divide, has allocated to women secondary and subordinate roles in the economy, the polity, and various social institutions. Even where women have been long involved in economic activities – whether formal or informal, agricultural or industrial, household or market – gender ideology has placed a lower value on the work that women do. In parts of the world where seclusion of women or male guardianship have been norms, women’s entry into the labor force and their growing visibility in public places often have been met by conservative backlashes, intense national debates on women’s roles, and feminist activism. Globalization has only served to intensify such debates and reactions, because of the accelerated nature of the social changes it engenders. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, for example, trade liberalization, Islamization, and demands for women’s participation and rights have occurred in tandem, and often in conflict with each other. As a result, the protection or expansion of women’s socio-economic rights confronts at least two barriers: aspects of economic globalization, in particular the growth of precarious employment with little or no social protection; and the persistence of a gender ideology that has rendered women marginal in trade unions, government bodies, and other influential societal organizations. Women’s collective action, therefore, has centered on the expansion of women’s organizations, which engage in advocacy, lobbying, and coalition building to enhance women’s participation and rights. Though largely constituted by women of the elite social groups, women’s organizations in North Africa in particular evince a kind of social feminism that calls for the enhancement of social rights, as well as civil and political rights. Calls for legal and policy reform center on both family law and labor legislation, and to achieve these goals, women’s organizations have built coalitions with trade unions, human rights groups, and government agencies. Concepts of economic citizenship and of social rights have been elaborated in a number of international conventions, as well as in historical and sociological studies. Following Alice Kessler-Harris (2001), I define economic

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


citizenship as the right to equal opportunity in employment and income or, as recommended by the International Labor Organization (ILO), as decent wages for decent work. Social rights, as defined by T.H. Marshall (1964), are part of the panoply of the rights of citizenship, and entail rights to education, employment, fair wages, trade unions, collective bargaining, and welfare. These concepts have been elaborated in the ILO’s core labor standards, as well as in the International Covenant on Economic, Cultural, and Social Rights (ICESCR). For women, economic citizenship and social rights are also defined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and especially in the Beijing Platform for Action (BPA), as well as in the Charter of Rights of Working Women of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).2 Gender stratification theories and sociological research on women’s movements attribute collective action to socio-demographic processes such as urbanization, the expansion of women’s education, and economic power (Chafetz and Dworkin 1986; Blumberg 1989), as well as to gaps between laws and policies, on the one hand, and women’s social positions and aspirations, on the other (Ferree and Hess 1995). Women’s collective action also arises in, or accompanies, certain political or economic developments in national contexts (West and Blumberg 1990). International factors are increasingly salient. These may create national-level crises that precipitate protest, as in the case of structural adjustment programs (SAPs) or other forms of economic restructuring. Or they create opportunities and legitimize demands for participation, justice, and rights, as in the case of international standards and norms and global discourses on human rights and women’s rights. The North African countries of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia form a distinctive geocultural unit with similarities and differences in their economic and political arrangements, social structures, and gender relations that allow for appropriate comparisons.3 The main difference is that Algeria remains largely dependent on revenues from oil and gas exports, whereas Morocco and Tunisia have pursued export manufacturing.4 A common feature is that all three countries – situated within the semi-periphery of the world-system – instituted SAPs and then more sweeping liberalization in anticipation of free trade agreements with the European Union (EU). Another commonality is that feminist associations have been vocal and visible in demanding participation and rights, and in effecting legal and policy changes, in the face of both globalization and Islamization. In the early 1990s, North African feminists formed a transnational network called Collectif 95 Maghreb Égalité, which continues to this day. Examining these issues in their complexities, this chapter shows how state strategies for integration into the global economy have been affecting women’s economic participation and social rights, and how women’s collective action for legal equality and socio-economic rights has affected state strategies and legal frameworks. A discussion of recent reforms of family codes and labor laws will elucidate the contradictory effects of globalization and the



complicated relations between states and feminist organizations in the region. In the process, the chapter examines global restructuring and economic citizenship through a gender lens, puts the spotlight on a particular region, and considers collective action by women’s groups. As such, this chapter lies at the nexus of the present volume’s foci: sightings, sites, and resistances.

Sightings: globalization, employment, and women’s social rights Economic globalization and its correlate, trade liberalization, offer women opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship, but even before the financial crisis and economic recession of 2008–9, it was clear that there were risks and social costs to women as well. There is little consensus among researchers about the short-term and long-term impacts of liberalization, which expanded globally in the 1990s. Many feel that the neoliberal trade agenda does little to advance economies, let alone social groups, such as workers and women (UNDP 1999). Activists in the global justice movement – including transnational feminist networks, such as the Women’s International Coalition for Economic Justice (WICEJ), the International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN), Women in Development Europe (WIDE), and the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) – have argued that the new trade agenda benefits big corporations and rich countries, and squeezes out small producers and wage earners (see Moghadam 2005a: Ch. 6). And even policymakers who are committed to a liberalized trade regime disagree on trade rules and their implications for different countries and different sectors of their economies. To satisfy their own populations, including powerful unions, the countries of the North continue to protect certain of their products or enter into bilateral trade agreements with specific terms. The countries of the South are determined to enter the rich country markets, but to do so they must open up their own markets to competition. The evidence on trade liberalization’s economic impact thus far is mixed for semi-peripheral countries. For example, Lance Taylor’s long-term study of 14 countries undergoing liberalization found that only four “managed steady growth over a period of a decade or more” (Taylor 2004: 29). In at least half the cases: [O]utput per capita in the traded goods sector grew less rapidly than labor productivity, forcing the overall employment structure to shift toward less attractive jobs in the non-traded sector. … Similarly, liberalization tends to shift the employment structure toward more highly skilled workers. (Taylor 2004: 29) Four countries in his study reported increased “informality” of employment. Given the evidence, Taylor expresses “amazement at the continued insistence on the part of proponents of orthodox neoclassical theory, that

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


increased integration of world commodity and capital markets is conducive to growth and is expected to be welfare-improving” (2004: 29). His skepticism was well-founded, and the onset of the world financial and economic crisis in 2008–9 has shaken, to some degree, the neoliberal orthodoxy. China – still the world’s factory despite the recent downturn – is usually cited as an example of a successfully liberalized economy that has benefited enormously from massive amounts of foreign direct investment (FDI). This is so despite the fact that China is not highly liberalized and its financial market remains restricted. Certainly, it has enormous reserves of educated workers ready to serve in the countless factories that have been set up to produce and export goods. India – with its huge reserves of educated, English-speaking, middle-class workers – has become a major site of offshore services (“teleservices”) by credit card companies, airlines, banks, and other service providers. In both countries, however, although some workers and some producers have clearly benefited from liberalization, poverty and inequalities remain massive. The Chinese workforce experiences significant exploitation and extremely hazardous work conditions. Both economies have seen growth and wage increases, but social exclusion and relative poverty have grown, too, and there are many concerns about environmental degradation (UNDP 2005). Both have also suffered from the global economic crisis, which is shrinking export markets (Reverchon 2008: 45). Indeed, research on free trade agreements indicates that they often stimulate new jobs that are without benefits or stability, as well as urban developments without environmental regulations. Such deteriorations in employment conditions and environmental protections are well documented to hurt women disproportionately. As transnational corporations expand their operations, low-wage workers may initially enjoy more choices in employment, but ultimately they find fewer opportunities, as traditional income sources and local businesses give way to a small set of transnational investments. Meanwhile, women generally continue to receive lower wages than men do for the same work, and low-wage female labor often makes women the preferred employees. Compounding that vulnerability, women in low-income or irregular employment, or who lack substantial financial assets or have no say in trade unions, play no role in responding to, much less shaping, any free trade agreement. As Jane Henrici (2005) notes in her study of Peru, women experience not only a glass ceiling in employment, but increasingly a glass floor as well, both of which allow discrimination in hiring and advancement and unjustified firing and displacement, with women hitting one sheet of glass or the other. Available research, Henrici continues, suggests that trade agreements appear to expand the glass floor and encourage it to crack, while gender ideology allows women workers’ vulnerability to persist. A counterweight to this state of affairs would appear to lie in the activities of trade unions, including efforts to enhance women workers’ socio-economic rights through movement activism and the adoption or enforcement of proworker legislation. To be sure, the increasing involvement of women in the



global economy has seen large numbers of women joining trade unions in many parts of the world economy. However, this growth in the rank and file has not been met by a corresponding growth in women’s decision-making positions in trade unions throughout the world, although the global union federations have taken steps to establish normative standards.5 Both CEDAW and the BPA include paragraphs pertaining to the conditions and rights of working women. These are augmented by the United Nations (UN) convention on migration and the ILO conventions on non-discrimination and on maternity protection. In general, however, there is little systematic attention in international law to the socio-economic rights of working women. (The ICESCR, which is the main international framework for economic citizenship, does not specifically refer to working women.) Feminist studies have examined the double burden of women, that is, their responsibility for both productive and reproductive labor (UNRISD 2006). The “reproductive tax” (Palmer 1995) creates a distinct disadvantage to women and an unequal playing field in the labor market. For women workers, therefore, the capacity to attain economic citizenship and enjoy social rights entails maternity protection, including paid maternity leaves and childcare facilities. It also entails family allowances and – perhaps more importantly – paid paternity leave, which would encourage fathers to take part in childcare and help transform family relations. Other socio-economic rights for working women include vocational training, skills upgrading, and opportunities for advancement; protection from discrimination and sexual harassment; and, of course, access to productive employment, including decent wages, equal pay for equal work, and social insurance. Socio-economic rights are usually addressed in national laws, including labor legislation and pertinent social policies. However, in many countries, laws and policies regarding working women’s social rights are being revised or constrained in various ways, in part due to the spread of neoliberal economic policies and trade agreements. And, in many countries of the MENA region, two additional factors constrain women’s employment opportunities and their economic citizenship: family laws that place women under male tutelage, and high rates of unemployment.

Sites: Liberalization in the Middle East and North Africa The MENA region, in general, has not been able to cash in on opportunities for investment and trade (CAWTAR 2001). One reason lies in the continued centrality of oil in the economies and exports of many countries of the region. Despite years of attempted diversification, those countries with substantial oil reserves have remained dependent on oil exports for foreign exchange earnings. With a few exceptions, modern manufactured goods and services have not developed fully in these nations. Despite state investments in the education sector over several decades, and notwithstanding dramatic increases in literacy, educational attainment rates in the MENA region remain

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


relatively low and the quality of schooling has been deteriorating. Gender gaps in literacy and educational attainment have been narrowing in recent years and school enrollments are up, but the benefits of this progress will not be felt for some time. As noted by Massoud Karshenas and myself: During the period of the 1960s to the 1990s, MENA countries benefited from high rates of public spending on health and education. The combined rates of public spending on health and education as a share of GDP in the MENA region, even after the retrenchments of the 1990s, have been very high as compared to other regions. Per capita public spending on education in the MENA countries is in general well above other countries at comparable levels of per capita income. Nevertheless, educational outcomes, despite the achievements in the area of youth illiteracy, have not met expectations. Indeed, it is in the area of education that the handicaps of social development in the MENA region are most prominent, and where the main disjuncture between social and economic development is most pronounced. (Karshenas and Moghadam 2006: 10) In the 1990s, the new global trade regime posed challenges to countries that lacked an educated and skilled working class, including working women. Despite massive unemployment in the MENA region, high school graduates continued to expect office work, while those with bachelor’s degrees usually did not have fluency in another language to better position themselves in a global market.6 In particular, the region lacked the kind of educated female labor force willing to work – or be exploited – in factories and services that have made countries such as India, China, Vietnam, and Malaysia attractive to foreign investment. Moreover, the region’s political volatility and its lack of stable and transparent institutions made it a risky environment for investment.7 The World Bank has argued that because MENA failed to take advantage of the expansion in world trade and FDI in the past two decades, it remains one of the least integrated regions. Since the mid-1980s, global trade has expanded more than output, to the advantage of middle-income countries. But, in MENA, large hydrocarbon exports were accompanied by high and increasing product concentration, loss of export dynamism in non-fuel exports, and little participation in global production sharing. Moreover, exchange rates in the region were persistently overvalued, by as much as 22 percent on average during 1985–2000. Trade regimes in MENA have been among the most protective in the world. The high transaction costs associated with transport, logistics, and communications, combined with weaknesses in the business climate and constraints on the participation of foreign capital, have discouraged FDI (World Bank 2003: 9–10). Flows of FDI into the region have been among the smallest in the world. Considering just the Arab region, the share of total FDI barely came



to 1 percent over the period 1976–98, with a steady downward trend (World Bank 2000). In 2000, excluding the Gulf countries, MENA received about US$2.2 billion in net inflows of FDI in 2000, or slightly more than 1 percent of the US$158 billion that flowed to developing countries worldwide. These inflows averaged less than half a percentage point of gross domestic product (GDP) for most of 1985–2000. Early on, Egypt accounted for half the MENA total (US$1.2 billion), and Jordan (US$750 million) and Tunisia (US$560 million) for about one-quarter each (World Bank 2003: 9). More recently, Morocco has been receiving a substantial share. In the oil-rich countries, investments are concentrated in oil or petrochemicals, whereas the North African countries, Egypt and Jordan, receive external investments in the tourism, textiles, and minerals sectors. The relatively low levels of FDI would not matter so much if the region had extensive internal trade agreements. In fact, trade among MENA countries is limited; intra-Arab trade is just 11 percent of the region’s imports and 8 percent of its exports (Saidi 2003). Existing commercial groups – such as the Arab Common Market, the Arab Cooperation Council, the Arab Maghreb Union, and the Council of Arab Economic Unity – are largely inactive or dormant. Only the Gulf Cooperation Council is active, holding annual meetings and maintaining a customs union. Effective since 2003, it has had the goal of adopting a single currency by 2010. The Arab Free Trade Area has been slow to progress; most exports and imports are with the EU and East Asia. The countries receiving FDI tend to be those that have instituted SAPs and exhibit political stability. Structural adjustment goals include eliminating large, unsustainable fiscal and external imbalances; trade, exchange rate, and financial sector reforms to liberalize the economy; and privatization. Structural adjustment is meant to favor the production of tradeables and, in particular, labor-intensive manufactured exports, such as textiles and garments. Feminization usually ensues because of the focus on traditionally female-intensive sectors (e.g. textiles and garments) and the tendency to cut costs in tradeable goods sectors, leading to the substitution of cheap female labor for more expensive male labor (Standing 1989 and 1999). Morocco certainly conforms to this pattern, as does Tunisia. In the 1980s, Morocco embarked on SAPs intended to re-orient the economy to the production of tradeable goods. The first phase emphasized cuts in fiscal expenditure and the institution of a flexible exchange rate; the second phase focused on trade liberalization and public sector reform. Since the programs began, employment opportunities in public service have been increasingly replaced by jobs in the private sector. By June 2002, some 87 Moroccan firms, including hotels, had been privatized (Pripstein-Posusney 2006). Likewise, Tunisia began to privatize its state-owned holdings in the mid-1980s, but one result was growing unemployment. Some 20 percent of the 150,000 workers in the privatized firms were made redundant (Harik 1992). Tunisia and Morocco – always more open to foreign investment and trade, as

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


well as to women’s employment – have entered into new trade agreements with the EU. Morocco’s political liberalization, as well as its economic restructuring, has made it a favorite for FDI and new trade agreements. In 2006, it was announced that the Free Trade Agreement between Morocco and the EU would cover not only goods, but also all agriculture and services by 2010. FDI doubled to 1.7 billion Euros (not including capital investment in property), with the majority coming from Europe. Trade between Morocco and the EU was up 35 percent in 2005, and the value of Moroccan exports to Europe – including high-value manufactured items like automobile parts, electrical cables, and software – doubled to 16 billion Euros (Vencat 2006: 23). Both Morocco and Tunisia have thriving tourism sectors, and many wealthy Europeans are buying holiday homes in Moroccan cities or resort towns. The case of Algeria is somewhat different because it pursued the “Arab socialist” path of state-directed economic development following independence and because of the violent civil conflict it endured in the 1990s. Although social and economic development certainly took place in the 1960s and 1970s, the early-1980s saw huge debts to service, a demographic explosion resulting from the earlier pro-natalist policy and low female labor force participation, and societal unrest. These problems also led to the deterioration of social services, which were exacerbated by the neoliberal economic strategy adopted in the 1980s, and later by Islamist terrorism in the 1990s (Layachi 2006). Still, Algeria implemented SAPs in the mid-1990s, sponsored by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. In the new century, Algeria has sought both integration into the global economy and partnership in the global “war on terrorism.” Bilateral trade with countries of the EU, as well as the US, is ongoing (Zoubir 2006). FDI remains largely concentrated in hydrocarbons, but Algeria has privatized many of its once state-owned enterprises. Economic restructuring implies changes in capital/labor relations, which means changes in labor laws and social policies, or in the social rights of citizenship. In MENA, liberalization made many private employers unwilling to hire workers under the highly protective labor regimes, while unions were hostile to restructuring. Many governments, therefore, chose the lax enforcement of labor laws over the politically treacherous process of reform (World Bank 2003: 80). But in North Africa, labor law reforms have sought to establish flexibility in labor markets while avoiding a legitimation crisis by introducing “modern” forms of social protection and non-discrimination. For example, mindful of the inevitable labor redundancies caused by privatization, the North African countries introduced compensation packages for laid-off workers, as well as unemployment insurance (Alexander 2001; Pripstein-Posusney 2006). Tunisia’s Labor Code of 1996 introduced provisions for fixed-term contracts and part-time work. These revisions were intended to give both employers and workers more flexibility. According to a recent Tunisian Employment Survey, 14 percent of all employment in 2001 was part-time (World Bank 2003).



Similarly, Morocco’s Labor Code of 2004 introduced provisions for term contracts and for open contracts, available to both agricultural and nonagricultural sector firms (World Bank 2003: 114). The unions objected to many of the changes, resulting in a certain stalling of the labor law “reform” process (Pripstein-Posusney 2006). These developments raise a number of questions regarding economic restructuring and women. What advantages, if any, have working women in North Africa gleaned from privatization and the new trade agreements? What of jobs, wages, work conditions, and socio-economic rights? And how have women’s rights organizations responded?

Challenges to women’s economic citizenship Prior research has shown that while some patterns of women’s employment in the Middle East are similar to those found in other regions, the region’s female labor force exhibits distinctive features that are rooted in both political economy (oil and rentierism) and culture:  


Female employment levels have been rising, but remain lower than in other regions in the world economy. Most of the women in paid employment have been concentrated in professional jobs, showing the links between educational attainment and female employment. Thus, most of the female salaried labor force has been middle class (except in Morocco and Tunisia). Working class women gravitate to jobs in the textiles and garments sector and to domestic labor.8 Certain occupations that are typically female-intensive in other parts of the world are not so in MENA: wholesale/retail/commerce, hotels/ restaurants, and other tourism-related branches. The female labor force has become more literate and educated, and in recent years the majority of university students are women, but the mean years of schooling for women remain relatively low. Female unemployment rates are very high – and college-educated women are more likely to be unemployed than are college-educated men. A substantial proportion of economically active women are counted as unwaged workers (mostly in family enterprises and in agriculture). Labor legislation favors women in the government sector and large enterprises (paid maternity leaves, crèches and childcare facilities, early retirement) – but agricultural workers, domestic workers, and those in small enterprises are largely outside its purview. Women’s trade union participation is limited and their leadership roles are nonexistent.

The privileged position of the public sector in MENA labor markets has had important gender and education effects. The rise in female labor force

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


participation in many countries is due primarily to the expansion of educational opportunities, the employment of educated workers by governments, and explicit government policies to facilitate the participation of women in the labor force. One consequence has been a feminization of government or civil service employment, which also reflects the absence of women-friendly policies and conditions in the private sector (Moghadam 2003 and 2005b; Assaad 2006). Still, variations may be found across the countries. Among the North African countries, Algeria has had the highest concentration of female employment in the public sector; in 1990, more than 85 percent of the female labor force was in public employment. During the 1990s, Algerian women came to dominate professions such as law and medicine, and became the majority of university students. In Morocco, through the 1990s, the female share of public sector employment was much smaller at 7 percent (World Bank 2003: 77). Until relatively recently, there were few employment opportunities for working class women in oil-rich Algeria compared to Morocco, where manufacturing work expanded in the 1980s and 1990s and absorbed female labor. Moroccan manufacturing workers are, however, typically undereducated. This is true also in Tunisia. Most Tunisian women workers have low levels of educational attainment, especially in the feminized textiles sector, and few women with higher education are found in supervisory roles in the manufacturing sector (Ben Slama 2006). In theory, the shift from a statist economic development strategy to a more open economy that liberalizes prices and trade could affect labor supply and demand. Liberalization seems to have triggered an increase in female labor force participation, especially in the non-rentier, export-oriented states. It is not surprising that the countries that have experienced significant growth in manufactured exports, such as Tunisia and Morocco, have seen rising levels of female employment, while this has not been the case for countries that have relied on remittances, service exports, and oil for their foreign exchange earnings.9 The feminization of jobs in Morocco can be attributed largely to developments in the textiles and garments sector. In his comparative study of liberalization and women’s employment in Egypt and Morocco at the turn of the new century, Ragui Assaad (2006) explains that Morocco’s pattern of insertion into world trade relied on labor-intensive manufactured exports (largely textiles and garments), whereas Egypt continued to rely on remittances, tourism, oil, and transit receipts (e.g., Suez Canal tolls) as its main sources of foreign exchange revenues. In 1998–99, the Moroccan female share of blue-collar textile manufacturing employment was over 60 percent (up from 38 percent in 1990–91), while in Egypt it actually declined from 17 percent in 1988 to 15 percent in 1998. Moroccan women are also entering into business ownership: women own some 14 percent of the larger enterprises (those with 100–249 workers) according to a recent survey (CAWTAR and World Bank 2007: 19). With the agricultural sector shedding workers and no longer absorbing surplus labor, and with manufacturing stagnant except in Morocco and



Tunisia, services are playing the lead role in labor absorption in most MENA countries. In Morocco in the 1990s, private sector salaried employment outside the agriculture sector was the most dynamic segment of the economy, growing at an annual rate of 6.2 percent (five times the average) and accounting for more than 100 percent of net employment creation. There was evidence that job types traditionally closed to women (such as in the tourism-related and banking sectors), which constitute more than half of all nongovernmental employment in Morocco, were becoming more accessible to women (Moghadam 1998; World Bank 2003: 89). More recently, some of this private sector employment in modern services has taken the form of call centers and bank back offices, financed by France and Belgium (Vencat 2006: 24), although one scholar notes that the call center employees are typically over-qualified and exhibit high turnover rates (Said Saadi 2009). In Tunisia, non-agricultural salaried employment in the late 1990s and early years of the new century accounted for 20 percent of employment growth. As in Morocco, most employment growth occurred in the broad services, manufacturing, mining, and utilities. Throughout the region, however, although the private sector has been taking the lead from the public sector in employment creation, most new jobs have been in the informal sector, and all indications are that this sector is likely to grow even further. In Algeria, the informal sector grew significantly in the 1990s; by 1998, the informal economy employed more than 19 percent of non-agricultural labor. It is estimated that every year some 250,000 new job seekers (or 4 percent of the labor force) enter Algeria’s informal sector. Those who find a job in this sector usually receive less than the minimum wage and have no social protection (Layachi 2006: 91). This is the case in Tunisia, too, which, moreover, has seen a growth of precarious and nonwaged economic activity, along with declining female shares in industrial employment (Moghadam 2003 and 2005b).10 The informal sector in Tunisia grew at about the same pace as did paid employment and accounted for about 46 percent of employment growth. Self-employment accounted for about half of informal employment in Tunisia, two-thirds in Algeria, and up to four-fifths in Morocco, with wage employment in enterprises of fewer than ten workers accounting for the rest (World Bank 2003: 83). Women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have proliferated in Tunisia, and the share of the female labor force in the category owner/self-employed increased from 20 percent in 1990 to 31 percent in 2000. The number of textiles enterprises increased from eight in 1992 to 192 in June 2003, and the number of women-owned businesses with capitalization of more than 50,000 dinars increased from five in 1992 to 82 in June 2003, with about 60 percent in textiles (World Bank 2003: 84). But half of Tunisia’s companies in the textiles sector are small-sized ones, including those owned by women. A majority of women-owned SMEs in Tunisia report that they neither import nor export, because many are in personal and related services, and are small.11 Tunisian scholars have concluded that labor market flexibility

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


and liberalization in their country are associated with the growth of informality, temporary jobs, and small businesses (CREDIF 2002; Ben Slama 2006; Arfaoui and Chekir 2006). This is so despite the presence of many government programs to assist working women and official reports that emphasize the rights of women to work, to maternal employment protection, and to social insurance.12 Analysts have long considered employment trends in the region to be highly problematic, although some have refrained from blaming economic restructuring for the high levels of unemployment. Unemployment rates in the region have been mostly double-digit for at least 15 years with women’s unemployment rates disproportionately high given their lower labor force participation rates. For some, the high rates of unemployment and dependency result from insufficient liberalization, while others attribute it precisely to the impact of liberalization (Moghadam 1998; CAWTAR 2001; UNDP and UNIFEM 2003). A 1999 survey in Morocco found that about one-third of the unemployed said that they were unemployed because of “firm closure,” up from 22 percent in 1991 (World Bank 2003: 73). Unemployment continues to rise, especially among women with university educations (Martín 2006). This confirms that economic restructuring has been an important contributor to unemployment. The global economic recession of 2008–9 has without a doubt exacerbated the situation. The high fertility rates of the past have created a large population of young people who are either unemployed or seeking higher education. This has had the effects of raising the age of marriage and delaying work, but also of limiting the tax base and raising the household dependency ratio.13 Unemployment in Morocco has dropped, but it is still disproportionately high among Morocco’s educated urban young. Some 35 percent of university graduates are jobless – leading many to migrate abroad (Vencat 2006: 25). At 11 percent in 2006, Morocco’s female unemployment rate has seen a sharp decline from the highs of 30 percent (for urban areas) in the 1990s; Tunisia reported a 23 percent female unemployment rate in the early 1990s (more recent data are not available); while Algeria’s female unemployment rate is 18 percent (Lopez-Claros and Zahidi 2005). In Algeria in the new century, one effect of high male unemployment and out-migration is that more women have been seeking jobs to augment household incomes and they are now seen in non-traditional occupations. In the span of a decade, Algerian women’s labor force participation rate doubled to reach 20 percent (Slackman 2007). What of compensation to laid-off workers, or unemployment insurance, an important component of social rights and economic citizenship? In Algeria, until 1994, the law required employers to compensate laid-off workers with one month’s salary per year of tenure (up to 15 months) in a lump-sum payment. Algeria now has unemployment insurance, in which formal sector workers participate through a mandatory payroll tax, and under which significant retrenchment has occurred. Tunisia, too, has legislation covering unemployment assistance. Moroccan law now requires employers who expand



after downsizing to rehire laid-off workers before considering new applicants (World Bank 2003: 103; Pripstein-Posusney 2006: 286). Labor law in North Africa, as elsewhere, provides for paid maternity leaves, childcare facilities, and nursing breaks. These entitlements have been largely enjoyed by women in the public sector, while in many countries women of the upper middle class also have maids, nannies, or housekeepers. Unlike the Gulf countries, Jordan, and Lebanon – where women from Sri Lanka and the Philippines are imported to work as nannies – Morocco does not import foreign workers. (Nor do Algeria or Tunisia.) Rather, rural girls from poor families traditionally have been recruited as household help (Chaffangeon 2000). In 1990, while researching women’s manufacturing employment in Morocco, I was stunned to hear a production-line pharmaceutical worker outside Casablanca tell me, in response to my question as to who cared for her child while she was at work, that it was «la bonne » (“the maid”). My interviewee was a member not of the elite middle class, but of what may be called the female labor aristocracy. In Morocco, the phenomenon of underage maids appears to have receded, but research shows an increase in the category “domestic and other service workers” and the large female share of that occupation (Assaad 2006). This coincides with low unemployment among under-educated workers. What explains the apparently high demand for domestic/service workers? Is there an increasing demand for domestics by employed women in the professions? Continued financial pressures on workingclass households must explain the supply of young women available to work as maids. One category of “domestic and other service workers” is no doubt employed in public establishments as cleaners. But the available evidence does seem to suggest that in Morocco, there is a class of women that works for another class of women. Thus far, domestics remain outside the purview and benefits of labor legislation, although this matter has been on the agenda of feminist organizations since at least the mid-1990s (Moghadam 1998). As seen in Table 5.1, the North African countries have signed a number of international conventions on labor rights and women’s rights. For the most part, the ILO conventions of the 1940s and 1950s were ratified immediately after national independence. These include the conventions on freedom of association and protection of the right to organize; the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining; the abolition of forced labor; antidiscrimination in employment and occupation; and equal remuneration. The Minimum Age Convention (1973) and the Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention (1999) were signed later.14 Tunisia adopted the UN’s ICESCR almost immediately. In the decades following independence, labor legislation afforded women in the formal labor force generous maternity protection, even though relatively few women were beneficiaries, as its purview extended mainly to the government sector and to large state-owned enterprises. In more recent years, economic restructuring has led to labor law reforms that protect women from sexual harassment but, in harmonizing private and public sector provisions, reduce the length of paid maternity leave.

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


Resistances: women’s collective action for socio-economic rights The global diffusion of the UN-sponsored women’s rights agenda, coupled with the expansion of a population of educated and employed women with social, economic, and political concerns, has resulted in new forms of feminist collective action in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. This has taken place within national borders in the forms of public protests, lobbying, advocacy, and awareness-raising, and coalition building with unions, political parties, or human rights organizations. Activism also takes place transnationally in the form of the well-known Collectif 95 Maghreb Égalité, which was formed in the run-up to the Beijing Conference and continues to be active and visible. In her research on “the search for gender equity” in the US, Kessler-Harris (2001) showed how women were seen as economic dependents and tied to family roles until well into the twentieth century. Similarly, in the MENA region, the association of women with family roles remains codified in outdated family laws (and justified as divinely ordained). Thus, North African feminists, like those elsewhere in the MENA region, have focused on reform of existing family laws, which are seen as inhibiting women’s civil, political, and social rights because they place women under the protection, or control, of male kin. In particular, the practice of male guardianship prevents women from freely choosing an occupation (because a father or husband can forbid his daughter or wife from seeking employment), making contractual arrangements for their children, or traveling without the written permission of a father or husband. The injunctions for men to maintain their wives and for wives to obey their husbands perpetuate what I have called “the patriarchal gender contract” and prevent women from being seen as adult workers or breadwinners. Unequal inheritance gives women a lesser share of family assets, while the practice of mahr (dower from husband to wife) substitutes for a concept of shared matrimonial property. For low-income women, being divorced can mean loss of children and home and a life of destitution.

Family law reform In the early 1980s, the new Algerian president, Chedli Bendjedid, initiated Algeria’s move toward economic liberalization. He also was the initiator of the family law that placed women under the control of male kin. This infuriated women professionals and led to the emergence of the new feminist movement, characterized by the formation of a number of militant women’s groups calling for equality and full citizenship (Moghadam 2001). Among other things, Algerian feminists noted the discrepancy between the country’s constitution – which grants equality to all citizens, male and female – and its family law, which placed women in a subordinate position in the family, with implications for their wider social participation. The family law was also at odds with the country’s labor law, which presented women as workers and citizens. During the 1990s, women’s groups were preoccupied with the fight



against Islamist terror, but in the new century they were rewarded by the government of President Bouteflika with positions in the state bureaucracy and a promise to amend the family code (known in feminist circles as « un texte infamant et dégradant »). Amendments to the code finally came in 2005, but Algerian feminists object to the retention of polygamy and of unequal family inheritance, which remains two-thirds to sons and one-third to daughters. One argument is that such clauses are insulting to women’s dignity. Another is that the clauses are at odds with the social reality, given that women are increasingly helping to support their families. Polygamy, moreover, is rare – although at 5.5 percent of the population, it is more prevalent than it is in Morocco (Collectif 95 Maghreb Égalité 2005: 66). Nadia Aït-Zaï, a lawyer and professor of law at Algiers University and a director at le Centre d’Information et de Documentation sur les Droits de l’Enfant et de la Femme (CIDDEF), has said of the family code: It could have been abolished. … Parliament was supposed to vote on the amendment. Instead, Bouteflika had it quietly passed as a presidential decree. As a jurist, I find the reform incoherent: it’s got one foot in modernity, the other in the past. (Cited in Kristianesen 2006) Even Algerian women trade unionists regard the family code as an obstacle to gender equality and women’s economic citizenship.15 Moroccan feminists began to push for reform of the highly patriarchal family law, known as the Moudawana, in the early 1990s. The call was for legal reforms to give women equal standing within the family, along with governmental policies to better integrate women into the development process. Thus, when a socialist prime minister was appointed in 1998, the Action Plan for the Integration of Women in Development was launched, and the minister in charge of social and family affairs – a longtime communist – worked with women’s organizations to support family law reform. The proposed reform proved to be highly contentious and was the subject of vocal and visible Islamist opposition. Eventually, a royal commission recommended reform, and the Moroccan parliament adopted the new law in early 2004 (Sadiqi and Ennaji 2006). Since then, the government has established family courts and appointed women jurists. Women’s groups have partnered with each other and with government agencies to implement the new family law and diffuse its spirit across the country. Tunisia has not seen street demonstrations by a mobilized women’s movement (unlike Algeria and Morocco), but it does have a number of feminist organizations that focus on the protection or the expansion of women’s rights. A network of women’s organizations (le réseau Rihana) includes groups ranging from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the National Union of Tunisian Women, the Center for Information, Documentation, Studies, and Research

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


Table 5.1 International conventions on women’s social-economic rights, year of ratification, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia Convention




Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 1979 (with or without reservations)




Optional Protocol, 1999


Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 1995 (adopted)




International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), 1966

12/09/1989 with reservations



International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 1966




International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Families, 1990




UNESCO Convention: Discrimination in education, 1960




ILO Convention 111: Discrimination in employment/occupation, 1958




ILO Convention 100: Equal remuneration for men and women for equal work, 1951




ILO Conventions 87 & 98: Freedom of association and right to organize, 1948




ILO Convention 182: Worst Forms of Child Labor




ILO Convention 183: Maternity protection, 2000





Sources: International Labor Organization (ILO). “ILOLEX: Database of International Labor Standards.” Available: (accessed 6 June 2006). ILO. “NATLEX: Country Profiles.” Available: (accessed 6 June 2006). Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). “Status of Ratifications of the Principal International Human Rights Treaties: As of 09 June 2004.” Available: (accessed 6 June 2006). United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “International Migration Convention.” Available: (accessed 6 June 2006). Note: * Made general and interpretative statements or expressed reservations.



on Women (CREDIF, the respected research institute), to independent feminist groups, such as the Association of Tunisian Women for Research and Development (AFTURD) and the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD), also known as the Femmes Démocrates. This makes for a highly effective and coordinated women’s rights network. What is more, the Tunisian state, while non-democratic and, indeed, authoritarian, presents itself as a champion of women’s rights and of social welfare. Tunisia’s family law has been the most progressive in the Arab region since its inception in 1956; and amendments in 1993 gave women additional rights, such as nationality rights and protection against domestic violence and workplace discrimination. Since then, the Femmes Démocrates have operated a centre d’écoute, or counseling center and hotline. Throughout the region, feminist activists have called for women’s full citizenship – civil, political, and socio-economic. Hence, the struggle for family law reforms has been coupled with calls for other policy reforms and legislative measures to enhance women’s participation and rights. Women’s organizations also have turned their attention to an old and universal problem of gendered labor markets: sexual harassment in the workplace.16 The issue has been framed in terms of the urgent need to combat all forms of violence against women, to protect the rights and dignity of working women, and to raise the importance of working environments conducive to women’s participation and contribution to development. The section below examines some of the actors and coalitions that have been formed and the mechanisms put in place to advance women’s economic citizenship – in other words, gains that have been made and obstacles that remain to be overcome. Labor laws and social policies for women In keeping with the spirit of its relatively egalitarian family law, the Tunisian government enacted new social policies in 1997 to support low-income working women and divorced women and their children. Article 66 of the Labor Law conforms to ILO conventions regarding night work, underground work, and other hazardous work by women, especially by pregnant or lactating women. New mothers may have time off to nurse their babies for up to six months. Enterprises with at least 50 women must provide a special nursing room. But the maternity leaves are not generous; nor is there a uniform policy. The public sector provides two months’ leave at full pay, which may be taken along with annual leave; the private sector offers only 30 days at two-thirds pay, with a medical extension for an additional 15 days, but no longer than 12 weeks (CREDIF 2002: 213–14; UNDP and UNIFEM 2003). Moreover, while the Tunisian National Social Security Fund is meant to cover all workers with a work contract, the expansion of short-term contracts and the persistence of unemployment mean that many workers, including women in the predominantly female textiles sector, face unstable or precarious employment, income, and social security.

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


The Union Generale des Travailleurs Tunisiens (UGTT), the country’s principal trade union, has had a women’s commission since 1982, and in 2005 some 35 percent of the UGTT members were women. Along with women’s groups, the UGTT lobbied the government for an anti-sexual harassment law, which was adopted in August 2004. Yet women’s participation in the union’s leadership is marginal; some attribute this to the women workers’ difficulties with work – family balance (Arfaoui and Chekir 2006). More female involvement in trade union leadership could increase lobbying for a more generous maternity leave policy. Algeria’s labor law of 1990 made significant changes to the pre-existing law; among other things, it instituted the principle of non-discrimination toward young workers and women workers. On the other hand, the Algerian code does not specify the length of paid maternity leave for women workers. Instead, «Il en découle que la durée du congé de maternité doit être fixée par les accords collectifs et négociés entre l’employeur et les représentants des travailleurs». Critics call this «une nette régression par rapport à la protection des mères travailleuses» (Ltaief 2006: 22). Despite legalization of trade unions, observers note that trade unions in Algeria confront disdain and hostility on the part of authorities. Perhaps because of this, trade unions have joined coalitions with women’s groups and human rights groups to protect worker’s rights and to organize women workers. The Union General des Travailleurs Algériens (UGTA) was created in 1956, and is the largest trade union in Algeria.17 Historically, the role of women workers and their involvement in trade unions has been weak, but the National Commission of Women Workers (also known as the Women’s Commission) was formed in 2002 as an affiliate of the UGTA. It consists of 91 members representing women workers from the 48 wilayas of the country. At the last UGTA congress, only eight women were delegates out of 800 participants. Still, since the formation of the Women’s Commission, the size of the female membership has risen from a few thousand to 130,000 women members, but this is still only 10 percent of the UGTA membership. In March 2005, in line with the ICFTU campaign, “Unions for women and women for unions,” the UGTA launched a campaign for unionization of women, especially in the textiles sector.18 Mary Kawar of the ILO has written that women’s participation in Arab trade unions “is almost always limited to ‘women’s issues’. Women trade unionists rarely have the chance to participate in hard core issues that require collective bargaining agreements with employers and governments” (Kawar 2002: 29). And yet one might argue that the protection or expansion of “women’s issues” is an important objective for both trade unions and women’s organizations. Soumia Salhi, who in 2006 chaired the UGTA Women’s Commission, was the only woman represented on the National Executive Commission of the UGTA, but the Women’s Commission included several other women leaders, such as Souad Charid, president of the women’s committee of the district



of Chlef. Both women were involved in the union’s anti-sexual harassment activities. In addition to her other assignments, Salhi was director of the country’s first center for women victims of sexual harassment, le Centre d’Écoute et d’Assistance aux Femmes Victimes d’Harcèlement Sexuel. The Center is housed at the UGTA and financed by the trade union. The Center was born following a consciousness-raising campaign of the Women’s Commission and human rights groups, and the hotline was launched in December 2003. In Algeria, the problem of sexual harassment was recognized as part of the larger problem of violence against women, which had been the subject of a survey conducted by Collectif 95 Maghreb Égalité. The survey’s disturbing findings about the extent of spousal abuse and sexual harassment in the streets and in the workplace were widely publicized, and Algerian President Bouteflika referred to them in his International Women’s Day address of 2002. In the years since then, women’s groups – notably SOS Femmes en Détresse and the Wassila Network – set up centers and hotlines to provide judicial and psychological counseling for abused women. The Women’s Commission of the UGTT made the penalization of workplace harassment and the establishment of a hotline for women workers a focus of its activities. Since the Center’s establishment, there have been several thousand calls from women victims and supporters. What is more, the work of the union and the Women’s Commission resulted in the government’s adoption of a new policy against sexual harassment. In October 2004, the National Popular Assembly adopted an amendment to Article 341 of the Algerian penal code. This amendment condemns men found guilty of sexual harassment to a prison sentence. This provision was introduced into the penal code at the initiative of the feminist groups, the National Commission of Women Workers, and the Algerian League of Human Rights. Sexual harassment is now an offense; it is defined as abusing the authority conferred by one’s function or profession in order to give orders to, threaten, impose constraints or exercise pressure on another person for the purpose of obtaining sexual favors. A person convicted of this offense is subject to imprisonment of two months to one year and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 dinars.19 In several interviews, Souad Charid of the UGTT has said that the law against workplace sexual harassment and the establishment of the centre d’écoute were major victories for women workers.20 Critics, however, say that the majority of calls from victims have no follow-up: “The bravest women register a complaint but don’t follow through. They prefer a change of work.”21 According to the chairperson of the Algerian League of the Human Rights, Boudjemâa Ghechir, «les mentalités restent le principal obstacle qui continue d’empécher les victimes de harcelement sexuel de se plaindre» (“attitudes remain the main obstacle preventing complaints by sexual harassment victims”).22 Thus, a challenge is to encourage women to break the wall of silence, while also ensuring full enforcement of the law.

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


In Morocco, improvements to the Labor Law have served women’s interests. Along with its elements of “flexibility,” Morocco’s new Labor Law reinforces the principle of non-discrimination against women, improves maternity rights, and recognizes women’s right to unionize. It gives men and women equal rights in the workplace and prohibits discrimination against women in the workplace. In general, it grants rights to male and female workers and provides specific rights for women. The Labor Law recognizes sexual harassment at work as a serious offense, with compensation for the victim by the employer. It is also a criminal offense under Article 503–1 of the revised 2003 Penal Code. Given the high incidence of sexual harassment of women workers publicized by feminist groups in the 1990s (Moghadam 1998), the new anti-harassment legislation is regarded as an achievement for women’s economic citizenship, as well as their human dignity. Various articles of the Moroccan Labor Law stipulate the following:23        

Equality of treatment between women and men. Women’s right to sign a contract without the agreement of a male guardian. Women’s rights to unionize and participate in collective bargaining without discrimination (Article 9). Up to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave (Article 152). Guaranteed employment protection during maternity leave (Article 159). The right to a one-hour nursing break daily for up to 12 months after childbirth (Article 160). Access to a breastfeeding room in the firm (Article 162). The right to special conditions and protections in night work (Article 172).

According to the law, Moroccan workers are free to join or form trade unions. The three major trade unions in Morocco – the Union Marocaine du Travail (UMT), the Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT), and the Union Générale des Travailleurs du Maroc (UGTM) – did at one time play a prominent role in protesting structural adjustment. However, in 2004, only 6 percent of the 10 million Moroccan workers were members of a trade union. Of the 306,000 members of the UMT, just 12 percent were women.24 In a 2004 interview, Amal El Amri, head of the Women’s Committee of the UMT, emphasized the need to unionize women in order to curb falling membership and to protect women against the ravages of economic globalization (ICFTU 2004). For their part, Moroccan feminist organizations have entered into coalitions with trade unions and human rights organizations to protect and expand the social rights of working women. Morocco has a large number of active, and activist, women’s organizations, including several that specialize in working women’s issues: Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM); Association Marocaine pour la Promotion de l’entreprise Féminine; Comité des Femmes Marocaines pour le Développement;



Union Nationale des Femmes Marocaines; Union de l’Action Feminine; and Association Marocaine des Droits des Femmes (AMDF). In 2004, an alliance was formed among several of the above-named women’s associations to encourage the adoption and implementation of a more worker- and woman-friendly labor law at a time of globalization and economic restructuring in Morocco. In November of that year, the CDT, UMDT, and the Association Marocaine des Droits Humains (AMDH) joined the alliance. Together, they produced a document entitled Protection des droits des femmes: agissons pour l’application effective de la legislation du travail. This was deemed important because of concerns about lax labor law enforcement, the absence of a governmental strategy for implementation of existing rights, and the absence of protection for women in the information sector, small businesses, and domestic service. The majority of Moroccan women (three-fourths of the female workforce) are employed in the textiles and clothing sector, but many are in small businesses outside the purview of labor legislation or of union organizing efforts. In 2007, the shadow report to the CEDAW committee, prepared by ADFM, decried the absence of legislation to regulate paid domestic service work and extend labor rights to household workers (ADFM 2007). Certainly, the exclusion of certain categories of working people from the purview of labor law adds to the weakness of economic citizenship and social rights in Morocco – a condition that can only have been exacerbated by the global economic crisis of 2008–9. In principle, policy formulation for women’s social rights and economic citizenship could be enhanced by a well-resourced women’s policy agency strategically located within the Moroccan government. However, what was initially a cabinet-level ministry for women was downgraded in 2002 to a Deputy Ministry for Women’s Condition, followed by the Secretariat of State for Family Affairs (SEFSAS), and most recently, the Secretariat of State for the Family, Child Welfare, and Disabled Persons (SEFEPH). The various agencies certainly have accomplished some goals, including the introduction of gender budgeting (with the cooperation of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, or UNIFEM), as well as the publication and distribution of guides on support centers for women victims of violence, and the creation of the Centre Marocain d’Information, de Documentation et d’Études sur la Femme, or CMIDEF (in partnership with the EU). Nevertheless, Morocco has lacked a consistent national central mechanism of coordination as called for in the BPA. Critics argue that the government, therefore, does not have the necessary infrastructure for the application of international agreements or the enforcement of policies and laws. Women’s organizations such as the ADFM, therefore, continue to lobby government officials and issue reports describing the economic, social, and political status of women and recommending specific institutional changes toward women’s equality and empowerment (see, for example, ADFM 2007).

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


Conclusions Examining economic restructuring through a gender lens reveals a mixed impact on women’s economic citizenship and social rights in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Women’s organizations have worked within civil society and with governmental agencies to push for legal and policy reforms toward the advancement of women’s participation and rights. Governments have financed institutions for the promotion of women’s rights and have signed on to international standards and norms pertaining to the civil, political, and social rights of citizens. Amendments to family laws have been adopted. This shows that governments in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia have not been unresponsive to feminist collective action and to the growing population of working women. Spurred, too, by ties with the EU, governments have amended labor legislation in two ways, pertaining to both labor/capital relations and gender relations. In aligning labor legislation with European standards or international norms, governments have instituted unemployment insurance and permitted independent trade union activity, while also allowing employers more leeway in hiring and firing and in issuing temporary work contracts. In addition, gender equity norms have been introduced, with new policies prohibiting workplace sexual harassment and/or employment discrimination based on sex. Thus, in seeking integration into the global economy, governments have revised labor laws and social policies. On the downside, however, flexible labor markets with unstable employment are the rule, unemployment rates remain high, and the material conditions for the enjoyment of socio-economic rights are non-existent for large segments of the female (and male) populations. Three conclusions may be drawn regarding restructuring, states, and women’s social rights in North Africa. The first is that the new social contracts are based on a neoliberal model; flexibilization, privatization, and targeted social assistance are hallmarks of neoliberalism. As such, the North African countries have joined other countries in participating in the capitalist global economy on its terms. Similarly, the new gender contract appears to be based on a liberal model – the human rights of working women are protected under the new anti-sexual harassment legislation, for example. Among other things, these developments would appear to confirm arguments advanced by theorists associated with the “world culture” or “world polity” paradigm, to the effect that the adoption by countries around the world of international standards and norms, along with the observed isomorphism in institutional arrangements, constitute a kind of “shared modernity” (Boli 2005). But it is also the case that in the three countries under consideration, and elsewhere, the international conventions often have remained mere words on a page, without real implementation or enforcement. As we have seen, critics argue that domestic legislation is similarly under-enforced or -implemented. Meanwhile, feminists and trade unionists seek more expansive social rights, such as the extension of labor legislation to non-protected categories of workers, along with stable and decent work.



The second conclusion pertains to the vexed relations between feminism and the state, and to the continuing significance of the state in an era of globalization. Feminist scholars have long debated the relationship between feminist collective action and the state, and activism has ranged from working outside and against the state to working within it or with particular state agencies. The recent history of North Africa shows the complexity of women’s interactions with the state, and vice versa. Feminist organizations have sought to enhance the social rights of working women, and they have succeeded in effecting legislative advances. While anti-sexual harassment legislation is a “liberal” strategy, its adoption in countries where women have long been excluded from economic participation, and where the labor force has been largely masculine, should be seen as an achievement for women’s economic citizenship. This confirms that the state still matters in an era of globalization, because it remains the guarantor of socio-economic rights and welfare. Notwithstanding the array of international conventions on social rights and economic citizenship, it is the state that is charged with implementing these instruments, and this is why feminists (and trade unionists) continue to address their criticisms and demands to the state. Even if the new laws and policies adopted in North Africa are regarded as co-optation in a context of exploitative economic relations, it must be conceded that the growing trend of women’s economic participation has led to women’s growing collective action. It is precisely employed women who have been the ones to recognize gender injustices and to mobilize for women’s participation and rights. They have agitated for laws and policies to end violence against women and workplace harassment, and to improve autonomy and access to income and property through family law reforms and women-friendly labor laws. The third conclusion, therefore, is that the contradictions of global restructuring entail popular mobilizations, as well as adverse social and gender effects. As a multi-dimensional and complex set of processes, globalization opens up new arenas for coalition building and collective action, including struggles around gender justice. In North Africa, coalitions to improve civil, political, and socio-economic rights have been formed across social classes, and among feminists, trade unionists, human rights activists, and even government agencies. Given the vagaries of the global economic system and its tendency toward crisis, it is clear that the struggle for social rights and economic citizenship will continue.

Notes 1 A version of this paper was published in International Review of Modern Sociology, vol. 33, Special Issue 2007, pp. 77–104. 2 The ICFTU changed its name in 2006 to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). 3 In the region, they are known as the Maghreb countries. 4 Morocco does, however, have large phosphate reserves, and thus foreign exchange receipts do come, in part, from natural resource exports.

Global restructuring and women's economic citizenship


5 These would include the ITUC (formerly the ICFTU) and Public Services International (PSI), both of which have women in high-ranking positions. As of January 2009, at ITUC, Mamounata Cissé is one of two deputy general secretaries (the general secretary is Guy Ryder); its first president is Sharan Burrow, a wellknown Australian feminist. The president of PSI is Ylva Thorn, and the deputy general secretary is Nora Wintour. 6 This is not the case in North Africa, where French as well as Arabic are used in universities. 7 The Gulf sheikhdoms – Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in particular – are exceptions, and they appear to be the most globalized in the region. High levels of immigrant labor, petrodollar investments in construction, retail, banking, education, and tourism, and the expansion of Arabic-language media, are all indicators of the Gulf countries’ integration in and contribution to globalization processes. Elsewhere, the growth of multinational telecommunications enterprises (MTEs) – such as the Egypt-based Orascom holding group – is also a sign of MENA involvement in globalization. Yet the region remains less integrated, and less diversified, than other semi-peripheral regions. 8 Many of those in domestic service jobs take care of the children of middle class women in the professions, as do imported domestic workers in the Gulf countries, Lebanon, and Jordan. 9 Women’s formal sector employment remains low in the Islamic Republic of Iran, although women have sought to increase their social participation by engaging in all manner of informal economic activity and forming a myriad of small nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). 10 Similarly, research on Turkey reveals the retrenchment effects of enterprise restructuring and privatization, especially in female-intensive industrial sectors. Women workers were disproportionately affected by the privatization of the tobacco company, TEKEL. Thus, a de-feminization appears to have occurred in Turkey, at least at some enterprises (see Gunluk-Senesen and Akduran 2006). 11 See Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR) and World Bank (2007), especially pp. 49–53. 12 See, for example, the August 2000 Tunisian government report to the UN CEDAW Committee and the 2002 follow-up report . See also “Tunisia 2006: meeting the challenges of the future,” in the International Herald Tribune Special Report on Tunisia, 9 June 2006, p. 11, especially the item: “Women play key role in Tunisia’s development.” 13 The share of young adults in the working-age population averaged 45 percent between 1950 and 2000 and peaked in 1980 at 47 percent (World Bank 2003: 17). 14 See ILO’s “International labor standards” (accessed March 2009). 15 See, for example, interview with Souad Charid, UGTA official (accessed June 2009). 16 For a broader discussion of the problem, see MacKinnon (1979); Uggen and Blackstone (2004). In Egypt, sexual harassment at the workplace and in public spaces has become a serious problem, prompting the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR), among other organizations, to focus on legal measures and cultural changes to combat it. See ECWR’s October 2008 newsletter (accessed March 2009). 17 For information on the UGTA and on activities related to women workers, see (accessed March 2009).



18 See the ICFTU’s 2005 interview with Souad Charid, UGTA official, (accessed March 2009). An English-language version is available at (accessed June 2009). Further information is available from the Resource Center, Women’s Land Link Africa (accessed June 2009). 19 See the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Global Population Policy Update, Issue 59–16 December 2005 (accessed March 2009). 20 See the Charid interview (accessed June 2009) and (accessed June 2009). 21 See Algeria-Watch (accessed June 2009). See also the US Department of State’s 2008 Human Rights Report on Algeria, section 5 (accessed June 2009). 22 See (accessed June 2009). 23 See Tanmia’s “virtual association” and documentation site (accessed February 2007). See also the 2007 “Shadow Report” submitted to the CEDAW Committee by ADFM

(accessed March 2009); and the ICFTU’s “Spotlight on Amal El-Amri, head of the Women’s Committee of the UMT” (accessed March 2009). 24 For information on the Moroccan unions, see the ICFTU website (accessed March 2009); the ITUC website (accessed March 2009); see also the CDT website (accessed March 2009) (site in Arabic). Some critics maintain that the unions remain “clannish” and are in need of modernization; see the 2005 blog (accessed June 2009).


Remittances, gender, and development Jonathan Bach1

Introduction A recent scholarly article on the subject of remittances concludes that they sustain wide transnational networks and offer “a pragmatic solution to the socio-economic consequence of dispersal” (Magee and Thompson 2006). A fitting description of the present, except that it was written about Irish migrants to New Zealand between 1864 and 1900! Migration and remittances are clearly not a new phenomenon: Magee and Thompson locate the first rapid rise of remittances in the 1870s, a consequence of growing emigrant wealth and the ease of international transfers. What is new today, however, is the scale, and the speed, with which migration has grown. In the first half of the 1960s, 2.8 million people moved from developing to high-income countries; by the last five years of the twentieth century, 13.6 million migrants of this nature were on the move; and overall, by the beginning of the twenty-first century, the World Bank estimated over 100 million migrant laborers worldwide and over 200 million people living in a country different from their birth (World Bank 2008). The amount of remittances generated by these migrants is also unprecedented: In 1990 migrants were estimated to have remitted $31.2 billion, by 2005 it increased more than fivefold to $166.9 billion, to $240 billion in 2007, and to $305 billion in 2008 (Ratha et al. 2007; World Bank 2009). The real number is much higher, because official estimates are based on reported transactions that exclude abundant informal transfers of money. The lion’s share of the money, approximately 70 percent, goes to developing countries, making them perhaps the most significant source of external financing for much of the developing word. Even with poor data for total amounts, remittances command a larger share of gross domestic product (GDP) and foreign exchange reserves than overseas development assistance, official capital flows, or private non-foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, and are equivalent to 90 percent of FDI (Ratha 2003). It is hardly surprising that there is considerable development potential ascribed to a phenomenon that creates the second largest source of foreign currency earnings for developing countries behind FDI. For one-third of developing



countries, remittances are even greater than all capital flows combined (Ratha 2003). Like any phenomenon of tremendous scale, it is tempting to oversimplify and regard remittances as a self-sustaining alternative to the pitfalls and politics of official development aid and the vagaries of investment. The promise is high for poverty reduction and economic development, but remittances are connected to the international political economy in all its labyrinthine dimensions: they are structurally intertwined with the often perverse logic of supply and demand for labor; global shifts in consumption and income distribution; the politics of immigration and integration; migrant vulnerability due to pervasive xenophobia, racism, and sexism; and highly unregulated systems of labor provision, money transfer, working conditions, and social welfare. Whether as senders or receivers of remittances, women are directly impacted by all aspects of the remittance phenomenon. Gender is a foundational, crosscutting issue present in all of the political economic dimensions of remittances, as well as analytically discrete. Good data specific to gender and remittances remain rare, though attention is increasing. In many ways remittances are seen as positive for the “gender gap” in the home countries, because data show that communities that receive remittances have higher numbers of girls in school, less child labor, improved health for girls, and positively adjusted fertility rates, in addition to more entrepreneurial activities for women (Ozden and Maurice 2007). Beyond the indicators, however, there are deep social transformations set in motion by remittances, including wrenching changes in family structure and gender roles. While much of the remittance literature focuses on the role of women as remittance recipients or the impact of remittances on women in the home country, women are also increasingly working abroad and sending remittances back to the men or family at home. Often women migrants are without their families and in intimate contact only with other women migrants abroad, resulting in new perspectives on women’s roles and work. Women migrants who are senders rather than receivers remain an under-studied category, and the social and cultural impact connected to shifting roles of women as migrants is even harder to quantify than is remittance sending or spending behavior. This chapter provides an overview of some of the major issues concerning gender and remittances. I begin with a more detailed look at remittances as a new development policy and then sound a cautionary note about the progressive promise of remittances under conditions of both economic growth and crisis. This leads to a discussion of gender and remittances in which I argue for a shift from viewing gender largely within an economic calculus debated at the level of macro-economic policy to a discussion of remittances as part of the reorganizing of global labor, and with it, social relations and politics.

Remittances, gender, and development


Sighting remittances Remittances as a new development policy As remittances have soared, there have been two major attendant discursive shifts in development policy and in state responses to migration. The first shift appears in the significant hopes that the development community places on remittances to alleviate poverty and reduce inequality – what Devish Kapur (2005) describes as “The New Development Mantra.” This phrase captures the enthusiasm that many developing countries and policymakers have recently discovered for migrant flows. This enthusiasm is based on several distinctive qualities of remittances. First, though individual workers may face highly unstable employment, the tremendous volume of overall remittances makes their flow stable; in the language of economics, remittances are countercyclical and a countervailing resource flow. This means that the money keeps flowing in times of financial crisis, war, and natural disaster, and that remittances are not hostage to private capital flows that can be capricious and uncontrollable (Brown 2006: 56). Even with the severe economic downturn of 2008–9, as I will discuss later, this countercyclical nature of remittances remains significant. The development community is particularly drawn to the potentially beneficial ways in which remittances can contribute directly to economic development and social insurance. Remittances provide a range of investments that contribute to GDP, including financing consumption, small enterprises, and capital investments. As such, they are seen as having a direct impact on improving local livelihoods through increased employment, better infrastructure, and increased living standards. The World Bank (2006a) estimates that the share of people living in poverty could decrease by 3.5 percent if each individual migrant were to increase international remittances by 10 percent. Unlike supply-side solutions, remittances are thought to reduce poverty with little effect on income inequality. In Guatemala, according to Richard Adams (2006: 3), remittances amount to over 60 percent of income for the poorest 10 percent, and have reduced the level and depth of poverty by 1.6 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively. Finally, remittances provide social insurance and opportunity for families and communities where the government cannot or will not do so. With more than 10 percent of remittances spent on education and health, remittances arguably enable greater levels of literacy and reduce infant mortality (Córdova 2006: 3). Accordingly, governments can now incorporate remittances in their growth projections, especially, though not only, in countries where remittances make up a substantial portion of GDP. According to the World Bank, in 2007 there were 26 countries where remittances accounted for more than 10 percent (and as much as 36 percent) of GDP. Even where the percentage of GDP is low, sometimes the dollar amount can be massive. In India, China, and Mexico, the top remittance-receiving countries, official remittances accounted



for an inflow of more than $25 billion into each country (Ratha and Xu 2008). A further quality is that all this money, which governments have come to count on, does not create national debt. Remittances are “unrequited transfers” because, as Devish Kapur (2005: 7) explains, the sender does not ask for repayment of principal or interest, as would happen if a country incurred debt, and there is no problem of profit repatriation as there is when countries rely on equity flow for hard currency. As states eagerly pursue external finance via remittances, we see a second major discursive shift located at the state level: Developing countries find remittances very attractive, especially those countries where export-led growth has proved elusive after having been forced to abandon import substitution and domestic “hot-housing” of infant industries under pressure from trade agreements and the Washington Consensus (Gammage 2006). New rhetoric and institutions are emerging built around the state’s newfound fondness for the small sums sent back by individual workers abroad. Emigrants become viewed no longer, as Neil Ruiz (2006: 11) puts it, “as lost labor, but as a potential source of savings and foreign exchange, and safety valve for easing unemployment.” Accordingly, states look for new ways to capitalize on remittances as a major and stable source of foreign currency earnings by exporting their labor as state policy. For example, the Philippines have come to view migrants as a vital source of the external finance necessary for servicing debt and importing oil. With remittance flows being the second largest source of foreign currency earnings for developing countries behind FDI (Ratha 2003), it is no wonder that states have come to see migrant workers themselves as an “export” and seek to facilitate the export of the “product.” Thus, states create bureaucratic institutions, including entire ministries, to manage financial and macro-economic aspects of labor migration, from recruiting and training to surveillance and diplomatic protection of workers. These forms of assistance – combined with the domestic institutions and services, government campaigns to promote strong cultural, social, and economic ties between the home country and those abroad, and a growing civil society infrastructure for migrants – result in an evolving transnational interpretation of national culture and history (Hernandez and Coutin 2006; Bach and Solomon 2008). Emigration is being reframed by states as in the national interest. Remittances as a double-edged sword On the face of it, remittances seem eminently capable of reducing inequality and promoting development. The list of “good” things remittances can do is long, from supplementing national savings to freeing resources for education and health care by stimulating consumption. While remittances do possess the positive attributes that garner so much attention in the development community, celebration must be tempered by caution. There are negative spirals as well, even without a global downturn. These include situations

Remittances, gender, and development


where the cost of educating migrants cannot be recouped through remittances, where “brain drain” outstrips “brain gain” when out-migration increases and worsens already high unemployment and low production, and countries’ dependence on external sources of income increases (Brown 2006: 67; Davis 2006). Governments are increasingly relying on remittances to provide goods and services that would otherwise fall to them. This is not necessarily negative, especially where the government is unable to provide the services in the first place. Devish Kapur and David Singer (2006) show empirically how an increase in remittances is associated with a decrease in government spending. As they explain, we can “view both government spending and remittances as Keynesian stimuli with multiplier effects; however, government spending carries the additional costs of increased taxes or deficit financing, whereas remittances trigger no additional costs” (Kapur and Singer 2006: 16). Governments could avail themselves of this “breathing room” (Kapur and Singer 2006: 16) to focus more efficiently on areas of greater need or existing strengths. Yet, by the same token, governments can be tempted to use remittances as an excuse to avoid investment in infrastructure, education, or social programs, thereby exacerbating rather than decreasing domestic inequalities. This raises questions not only about government responsibility, but also about political participation where remittance recipients might feel less inclined to place demands on their government (Gonzales-Acosta 2008). Encouraged by the promise of reduced government spending, states seek myriad schemes to formalize and control the massive inflows of remittances in order to profit from them. There are limits to effectively formalizing the transfer mechanisms. Informal mechanisms often work best, although they run afoul of attempts to minimize money laundering and terrorist financing (Maimbo and Passas 2004). The balance between low-fee, informal transfers and national security and regulations is a difficult one, and developing innovative financial mechanisms to “bank the unbanked” remains a central challenge (Orozco 2006a). One of the most widely touted features of remittances is their aggregate dependability in the face of natural disasters, war, and economic downturn. The global economic crisis of 2008–9 provides a novel testing ground for this aspect of remittances, though initially most assumptions seem to hold. In 2009, remittances are down at least 5 to 8 percent over 2008, from a total of $305 billion to $290 billion, according to the World Bank (2009). Yet, remittances still outpace both official development aid and private capital flows, both of which also decline in an economic crisis. The rate of remittances is likely to slow, but the volume remains almost at record levels (World Bank 2009). As Dilip Ratha (2009) outlines, the optimism about the resilience of remittances comes primarily from the large cumulative number of migrants who are already in place during any downturn. Short-term decreases in migration affect remittances less than the legacy of years of migration.



Furthermore, remittances constitute a relatively small percentage of migrants’ income overall, and since family needs tend to trump other forms of spending, remittances are considered likely to keep flowing in a downturn, albeit at reduced rates. Even those migrants who return home are likely to bring with them their savings, thereby making up in the short-term for the loss of their remittances. Yet, this optimism is predicated on an economic downturn of limited duration. A worst-case scenario would be a decrease in migration caused by a prolonged global economic crisis lasting a decade or more, combined with a highly unstable currency market and increasingly strict immigration laws (Ratha 2009). Migrants are inextricably tied to national migration policies, which themselves are tied to popular sentiment and economic conditions. National policies can significantly constrain or expand remittances. Taking a positive view, Stuart Brown (2006: 57) notes that “as little as a 3 [percent] increase in temporary visas in developed countries could raise world incomes by almost $16 billion per year,” and this does not even “include further income gains through remittances.” But the reverse is also true. The slowdown in the United States (US) economy, coupled with a much more stringent enforcement of anti-immigrant laws and a tightening of the border, brought about a dramatic reduction in remittances from Mexican workers in the US, which had been growing at double digits until 2007. In 2008, when the financial crisis broke, the effects were immediate: remittances to Mexico dropped 3.6 percent in 2008 – their first ever recorded decline (Millman 2009). It is somewhat misleading, however, to treat remittances only as aggregate numbers. Remittance flows also do not affect every country the same way, or every region within a country, or men and women within the same community or family, and these differences are exacerbated in a global economic downturn. The biggest recipient countries are not the most reliant on remittances, so that even though India, China, and Mexico top the list of recipients, it is Tajikistan, Moldova, and Tonga where remittances form the largest share of GDP (Ratha and Xu 2008). In Latin America, which receives about 27 percent of all the remittances to developing countries (about $40 billion in 2004), Pablo Acosta et al. (2006: 985) have shown how the impact of remittances on inequality varies so much by country and region that, despite World Bank research to the contrary, Acosta et al. cannot say that remittances have a significant inequality-reducing effect, even though “for each percentage point increase in the share of remittances to GDP, the fraction of the population living in poverty is reduced by about 0.4 percent.”2 Remittances sent between countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), or so-called South-South remittances, have been hardest hit by the global financial crisis. India, South Africa, Russia, and Malaysia top the World Bank’s list of countries poised to experience dramatic decreases in remittances up to and beyond 5 percent (Ratha 2009) as migrants return home. Migrants in developed countries, conversely, are more likely to weather the economic crisis in place.

Remittances, gender, and development


The impact of economic downturn also varies by sector: contract workers in construction, trade, and industry tend to fare the worst, though certain fields such as health care are considered relatively impervious. Undocumented migrants, perhaps counter-intuitively, are regarded as better positioned than might be imagined, because their labor is cheaper, making them more appealing to employers seeking to cut wages and benefits (Tolstokorova 2009). Fiscal stimulus packages that support public infrastructure are generally considered to spur remittances (Ratha 2009). On par, then, the literature concurs that remittances will continue at significant levels in a global economic downturn, though individual sectors will experience traumatic swings, such as Chinese workers in the service industry, whose remittances during the lunar New Year in 2009 fell 20 percent (Millman 2009).

Sites of gender and remittances The gender dimension of remittances echoes the promises and pitfalls of the overall debate about remittances’ ability to reduce poverty and inequality. Within the development literature, however, research on the specific impact of remittances on women is still small and fragmented, leaving a false impression that migration is primarily a male phenomenon, despite the significant changes in the last half-century in the gender composition of migration. Not only does increased migration by itself bring with it increased remittance flows with clear impact on the conditions of women as receivers, but also the absolute number of women abroad has increased tremendously. The United Nations (UN) estimates that women have been nearly half the number of migrants since 1960, a percentage which remains consistent: in 2006, some 49.6 percent of international migrants – 94.5 million – were women (UNFPA 2006). In many countries, women make up a much higher percentage of international migrants, such as the Philippines, where in 2003 a full 73 percent of work contracts abroad were given to women (Ramírez et al. 2005: 4). This rise in women migrants is notable not only because of absolute numbers but also because of type: more and more women are migrating not to accompany or join family members, but to earn money to send back to their families (Morrison et al. 2007; Paiewonsky 2007). The reasons for this are manifold. On the “pull” side, the demand for women in the traditional “caregiving” professions has increased in the North, where populations are almost uniformly both declining and aging steeply, creating a growing market for homecare helpers, domestic workers, and nurses. This “global care chain” (Ehrenreich and Hochschild 2003; Van Eyck 2004; Peréz Orozco 2007) embeds women in an international political economy that reinforces, rather than weakens, class and race stratification, and leads to serious shortages of women professionals in their home countries – 85 percent of Filipino nurses work abroad, while a nursing deficit in the West ensures continued demand (Choy 2003; UNFPA 2006: 25, 27). This transference of “reproductive” work into the world of global production leads, as Ramirez et al. (2005: 9) write, to



a marketplace for purchasing work that women perform for free in their home countries, with the result that “migration has become a private solution to a public problem for both women from poor countries and their employers in rich countries.”3 In electronics and textile factories, young women are infamously sought after as line workers due to their eyesight, dexterity, and presumed docility (Iglesias Prieto 1997; Méndez 2005; Ngai 2005). In some factories, women constitute 70 to 90 percent of the workforce (UNFPA 2006: 28). While much of the migration of women to factories takes place in the developing economies of Latin America and Asia, where export-led growth is pursued vigorously by states, there is also a noted increase of women migrating to Europe for work both in domestic labor and factories. Former colonial empires provide one avenue for this pull towards Europe, while the end of the Cold War and the expansion of the European Union (EU) have increased the number of women emigrating from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to the West (Schrover et al. 2007). Overall, “pulled” by the various demands and opportunities of the rich countries, women from developing countries migrate for a variety of reasons, falling loosely into the following categories: family (joining or finding spouses); domestic labor (maids, nannies, child-care servants); sex work (including, of course, trafficked women who are lured unwittingly into prostitution); entertainment and hospitality (clubs, restaurants, hotels); professional jobs (often nurses, doctors, but also skilled office workers and all manner of professional occupations); trading and entrepreneurship (usually through small businesses, such as pushcarts or kiosks); and factory work (UNFPA 2006). On the “push” side, in the women’s countries of origins, there are also many competing reasons for the increased mobility of women across borders and into the job categories noted above. These include a general trend towards marriage later in life, a reduction in the risks of migration, a higher tolerance of women engaging in risky behavior, and a shift from migrating to join family members to migrating for economic opportunity (Moya 2007). In the process of pursuing economic opportunity, new networks are formed that ease future migration, and female migration becomes a form of family investment, in effect altering the patriarchal contract that often excluded women from earning wages. There is a marked increase in the number of women who migrate without family members (though women mostly migrate together with other women rather than completely alone) (Donato and Patterson 2004). Going abroad has in some cases become both socially acceptable and desirable. Since women are regarded as better than men at maintaining connections with the home country, some states, such as Mexico and the Philippines, explicitly target women to enhance and maintain the flow of remittances (Fitzgerald 2009). In the emerging literature on the gendered behavior of remittance senders, we find basic contours emerging. As more women become migrants, the wage

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differential between male and female wages persists, with women continuing to earn less than men earn. Accordingly, women remit lower total amounts. However, the generally received wisdom is that women remit a higher proportion of their earnings than men.4 In a study of remittance senders from 18 countries, it was found that this generalization can be broken down further depending on the intended purpose of the money. For example, women send more money for food and clothing, while men send more money for settling loans or running businesses (Orozco et al. 2006: 15). The focus on familyoriented issues among women remittance senders is considered “altruistic” behavior in the literature, as opposed to “self-interest” in male remittance patterns, although these terms themselves are heavily weighted and far from unproblematic (Stark 1999; Poirine 2006). Manuel Orozco et al.’s (2006: 20–21) findings suggest that women do act more “altruistically” – especially Latinas and African women – and that this is tied to the data showing that women remit to a wide array of family members, while men send more money only to their wives, and that women tend to remit more consistently and for longer periods. Because women make up two-thirds of remittance recipients, and because women-led households are considerably larger than male-led households, much of the existing literature examines how women use remittances in the home country (Orozco 2006b: 3). Are they directed primarily to consumption of goods and services, or to investment in existing or new businesses, agriculture, or infrastructure? How does gender impact the allocation of remittances and the structure of the household? A study of households in Mexico and the Dominican Republic by Mariano Sana and Douglas Massey (2005) hints broadly at the relation between gender roles and the construction of global flows of migration and remittances. Sana and Massey found that, while Mexico conformed to the predictions of a leading theory called the “New Economics of Labor Migration” (NELM) that sees migration as the attempt of households to overcome market failures (Taylor 1999), the Dominican Republic yielded dramatically different results. Remittances in Mexico were closely linked to investment, while in the Dominican Republic they were linked to family maintenance. The difference, Sana and Massey hypothesize, stems both from the type of migration (temporary versus settlement) and the gendered roles assigned to family members. For example, in the Dominican Republic, as in most countries, having a male household member abroad is the best predictor of remittances, but female household members abroad are less reliable as a predictor. But Sana and Massey find that Dominican women abroad are “a striking negative predictor of remittances” (2006: 523). They hypothesize that Dominican females abroad tend “to favor settlement over return” and thus do not channel investment back home. Yet, paradoxically, when looking at a subset of the data, daughters are stronger predictors of remittances than sons in the Dominican Republic, the opposite of what the authors find in Mexico,



leading them to hypothesize that “whereas Mexican sons are expected to be loyal remitters, Dominican men are perceived as less reliable, and remittances from daughters assume greater importance” (Sana and Massey 2006: 523). This, then, has another effect, since “sons’ remittances are associated with heritable assets whereas daughters’ remittances are more important for parents’ welfare and support” (Sana and Massey 2006: 523).5 The focus on production and consumption in the majority of the literature keeps the discussion about remittances at the macro-economic level, and risks privileging production over consumption in a way that reinforces traditional gender stereotypes. The “household” becomes reinforced as a feminine domain that, as Peréz Orozco and Paiewonsky (2007: 10) note, risks “visualizing households as homogeneous and harmonious units, devoid of power struggles and internal inequalities in the distribution of benefits.” Similarly, in her study of Indonesian domestic workers, Rachel Silvey (2004: 147, 149) traces how the Indonesian state “promoted a vision of the household that linked it directly to the production of the nation” and now connects this vision to the transnational sphere, where “the household is implicitly constructed as the scale within and for which women’s ‘global’ work and ‘international’ labor protection is required.” This, she claims, reinforces the view that social reproduction is women’s work. The development potential of remittances can be further overstated for women due to high barriers to credit and the small scale of investment that usually falls into gendered businesses, such as hair salons. Peréz Orozco and Paiewonsky (2007: 9–11) note that the privileging of women as remittance recipients can lead to their instrumentalization, which denies their agency and displaces collective responsibility for family and community onto their shoulders. The flip side of the instrumentalization of women as remittance recipients is the triple burden of the migrant women abroad, who, as Carlota Ramirez et al. point out (2005: 29), adds the support of family members back home to the double burden of women as workers and caregivers in the host country. In cases of domestic work, women run their employer’s household on site and their own at a distance – the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) (2006: 25) estimates that women domestic workers use 70 percent of their unpaid time to care for others’ family members in a situation marked by irony and perversity: “These women provide love and affection to their employer’s children in exchange for earnings that can improve the quality of life of their own children – whom they sometimes never see for many years.” Social remittances and narratives of modernity What the focus on production and consumption also overlooks is the symbolic and cultural capital of remittances, or what Peggy Levitt (1998) has called “social remittances.” Social remittances refer to the ensemble of cultural, social, and behavioral ingredients that construct identity, and

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undergo transformation in the movement back and forth between the origin and host countries. This shifts the discussion of remittances from the economic and development discourse to the realm of transnational studies. This includes the transnational social space of the family, especially parent-child relationships, but goes beyond treating the household as an individual unit, and embeds remittances in a fruitful discussion of the transnational flow of ideas and practices.6 In a study on social remittances among the 9,500 Thai women living in the Netherlands, Panitee Suksomboon (2007: 6) shows how Thai women who marry Dutch husbands engage in “impression management” back home by de-emphasizing difficulties and exaggerating successes for the home audience. Arriving back home for regular visits sporting fine clothes, bedecked with jewelry, carrying money to spend lavishly (often borrowed from lenders) and tales of the good life, they enhance the misconceptions of Europe as an upwardly mobile dreamland. This “deception,” concludes Suksomboon, has multiple effects on the local culture: social and economic disparities arise between families with and without migrant members, and economic competition rises among families with international migration (see Kunz, this volume). Further, “[t]he image of economic success from overseas income … serves only to strengthen the already high opinion non-migrants in Thai society have of living abroad” and furthers the cycle of migration (Suksomboon 2007: 6). As more Thai women seek cross-cultural marriages through social networks, Thai villages gain representation in a local community in the Netherlands, and transnational women make up higher percentages of villages back in Thailand (Suksomboon 2007: 6). It is difficult to normatively or quantifiably assess the gendered impact of migration and remittances in this non-quantitative realm of transnational associations and identities, yet these are inextricably embedded in the phenomenon. Remittances are much more than the transfer of money, the creation of opportunities that come with poverty reduction, or the risks that come with the reification of patriarchal divisions of labor on a global scale. Remittances trace and spur shifts in self-understanding and geographies of belonging, as marginalized communities become inexorably intertwined with global urban centers across great reaches of time and space. In the process, the relation between senders and receivers becomes a space for negotiation, reproduction, and transformation of established gender roles (Wong 2006). Deirdre McKay (2005: 90), in an exploration of the “remittance landscapes” of an agricultural village in the Philippines that has experienced a high degree of female emigration, shows eloquently how cultural norms, ecological dynamics, and practices of livelihood undergo fundamental shifts due to the migration of village women to the global labor market. In the village of Haliap, studied by McKay, land use practices changed significantly (cash crops of beans came to replace subsistence rice paddies), in part to obtain cultural capital consonant with narratives of modernization (2005: 97). As the value of labor changed, due to increased education and the



lure of working abroad, hiring laborers for cash became both more prestigious and practical than subsistence farming (McKay 2005: 98). As might be predicted, some women channel remittance monies into acquiring property rights, yet the larger picture shows a more complicated transition to new economic identities premised on a cash economy. This new identity is based not only on the new experience of traveling abroad for women, but also changes the identity of “the men left at home who envision a modernity where they ‘play’ the market by investing in small-scale commercial agriculture” (McKay 2005: 96). McKay’s ethnographic case study shows in detail how “Nardo [the husband] used Gloria’s [the wife’s] remittances to become self-employed as a producer of a commercial crop, yet his class transformation depends on Gloria’s networks overseas and the support of her family” (2005: 96). For the wife’s part, sending money back from abroad (in Gloria’s case, Singapore) became part of her identity as “adventurous, capable and ‘modern’” (McKay 2005: 95), and connected her with other women migrants who, together, negotiated “new, locally recognized forms of femininity through overseas work – a new ‘modern’ femininity that incorporates an idea of female self-actualization through travel” and worldliness, often leading to multiple contracts abroad that lasted for years. Thus, even more than the actual amounts of remittances or the precise allocations of them to consumption or production, McKay points out how remittances enable a farreaching discourse of female migration as performing a new juxtaposition of “modern” and “feminine” (McKay 2005: 98).

Conclusion: resisting remittance orthodoxies? Through new discourses and translocal geographies, remittances recalibrate ways of being. They are a symptom and a cause of global restructuring, and as such, cannot be reduced to a question of trade-offs. Shifts in subjectivity and social status are powerful determinants in sustaining migration, even where the search for money is the catalyst. The case of Nepal is instructive here. Data are just starting to be collected by the Nepal Institute for Development Studies (NIDS) on the women migrants who make up between 10 and 20 percent of the country’s labor migration (Adhikari et al. 2006).7 The women are mostly over the age of 20, barely educated, from large families in poor hillside regions, who go to work disproportionately in India, Hong Kong, the US, and the UK, often as domestic workers, for over three and a half years on average. They face enormous obstacles, from paternalistic, discriminatory Nepalese labor policies that prohibit certain female work “in women’s interests” to abuse abroad (one well-publicized case ended in death in the Gulf countries in 1997), to being forced to pay bribes when entering and exiting the country, to having their money stolen after coming home, and to serious family problems upon return reported by 25 percent of women surveyed.

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Yet despite, or because of, the dislocations caused by working abroad, the majority of Nepalese women returnees (59 percent) want to go abroad again, and a vast majority (90 percent) subjectively judged their situation after migration to be “significantly improved” in all indicators.8 Despite being poor, 65 percent of the women identified themselves as middle class, suggesting that going abroad impacts self-understandings of class identity in rural communities. And, in a country where only 4.4 percent of agricultural land is held by women (and, of this, the vast majority consists of less than one hectare), migrant women accumulated assets that increased their independence and gave them more control over land and other valuable commodities. With more and more women sending remittances, and despite all the gains in personal income, there is the great risk that they will end up supplementing and subsidizing governments that will increasingly rely on their revenues while perpetuating patriarchal structures at home and projecting them transnationally. Thus, there is no reason why the relation between gender and remittances should be an a priori empowering one – trafficking and sex work are as much a part of migrant labor as are housemaids and factory workers. Women’s gains in independence, identity, and agency can easily be offset by workplace discrimination, family burdens, and emotional stress, and entrenched patriarchal expectations that turn many modern female migrants into indentured servants or slaves. The global financial crisis also raises new barriers for women migrants. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) (2009), women’s unemployment is expected to rise faster than males’ (6.5 percent for women versus 6.1 percent for men in 2009). The earnings gap will, at best, remain at about 22 percent. Women in the textile, retail, food processing, and electronic sectors are at increased risk of being laid off and shifting to the informal sector, as was the case during the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98. Already, more women work in the informal and agricultural sector than men, making them more vulnerable than men to worsening employment conditions.9 Thus, the global financial crisis may further reduce the potential for positive developmental and social transformation. To make gender an integral part of the discussion on migration and remittances, there must be an effort to supplement an economic calculus debated at the level of macro-economic policy, with its narrow focus on the behavior of senders and spenders, with a discussion of remittances as part of the reorganizing of global labor. This requires a discussion not only of the changing global political economy in which labor is embedded (Yeates 2005; Conway 2006), but also of the transformations of subjectivity and identity all along the remittance chain. This is methodologically risky, because it stretches the concept of remittances to include social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions. The challenge is to find analytical openings that can both structurally and empirically link, rather than isolate, these inextricably interrelated dimensions.



Notes 1 The author would like to thank Lily Ling, Edward Gonzalez-Acosta, Katinka Eikelenboom, and Tianle Chang. An early version of this chapter was presented at the conference on “Exchanging Change: Gender, Migration and Remittances,” United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW)/New School Graduate Program in International Affairs, in New York, NY, on 12 September 2006. 2 On the question of income inequality, see also Valerie Koechlin and Gianmarco León (2006), where they show that remittances sent by individuals tend to increase income inequality, while those sent through community or network organizations tend to reduce income inequality. Sarah Bracking (2003) notes how remittances can lead to asset price inflation, increasing the costs of consumption for families without remittance income. 3 See the contributions in this volume by Suzanne Bergeron and by Amy Lind, who both point to how recent policy shifts in development inculcate neoliberal subjectivities that result, at no cost to the state, in women working harder for pay and men increasing their caretaking roles at home. 4 Manuel Orozco (2006b) estimates women’s and men’s remittances at 16 percent and 20 percent of income, respectively, while other sources, such as UNINSTRAW and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) (UNFPA 2006) show much higher rates, such as Bangladeshi women workers in the Middle East who remit an average of 72 percent of their wages. In Nepal, women send 47 percent of their income home in the form of remittances, and save about 61 percent of their income (Adhikari et al. 2006). 5 The Dominican Republic is one of the best-studied cases for gender and remittances. See, for example, Garcia (2006); García and Paiewonsky (2006). 6 The literature on transnationalism and migration is perhaps the most pioneering in grappling with structural shifts in which remittances are embedded (Itzigsohn 2000; Levitt and Nyberg-Sørensen 2004; Levitt and Schiller 2004). In addition to Peggy Levitt’s notion of symbolic remittances, Luin Goldring (2004) coins the term “political remittances” in referring to the impact of remittances on political identity, and notes other “extra-economic” modifications of the term to try to express the broader impact of remittances. 7 All figures on Nepal in the next two paragraphs are from Adhikari et al. (2006). 8 These include “improvements in economic condition, social life, skills and experience, social relations, legal status and personal capacities.” The study goes on to note that “[t]he self-confidence of migrants also seemed to have increased. The reasons they gave for this were ‘experience of the outside world’ and ‘new knowledge and skills’” (Adhikari et al. 2006: 16). 9 This data is presented and discussed in “Remittances, recession, women” (2009). See also ILO (2009).


Women’s work unbound Philippine development and global restructuring1 Pauline Gardiner Barber

Introduction: globalization, gender, and migration Global restructuring scenarios include capital’s relentless quest for productive compliant labor, on the one hand, and the proliferation of new sites and forms of consumption, on the other. Proponents of the benefits of globalization and neoliberal monetary strategies sometimes confuse production and consumption to argue from evidence of either new forms of employment, or new modes of consumption in particular locations, that globalization diminishes global inequalities. Critical feminist scholarship challenges these interpretations through analysis of the gendered results of apparent change. In a proliferating literature,2 interdisciplinary migration research comprises one significant component of the analysis of the gendered affects of globalization. A common theme in this literature is the persistent inequalities and stratification dynamics underlying contemporary migration flows within and between different regions of the world (Sassen 1998 and 2000; Castles 2007; Portes and DeWind 2007; Piper 2008a). Stratification between nations is registered in the flows of capital and people within the global political economy, historically marking out certain nations or regions as migrant-sending, others as migrant-receiving.3 Stratification also structures particular migration flows in terms of class, age, ethnicity, racialization, and cultural difference, always differentiated by gender. Within nations and regions there are flows and counter-flows with shifts in the direction of movement relative to the ebbs and flows of capital and production, national and regional economic policies, and the intensification of border security regimes. Post-9/11 securitization of border policies is accompanied by contradictory processes of invisibilization and marketization of women in migration and citizenship policies (Dobrowolsky 2007). These processes are tied to the feminization of global migration. With women comprising almost half of all global migrants, Stephen Castles and Mark Miller (2003) rank feminization as one of the major features of international migration. Trends in the feminization of migration (ILO 2003) have been researched by feminist scholars for several decades (see Donato et al. 2006; Kofman 1999). Sometimes feminization references a quantitative shift in the gender composition of a particular



migration flow. On the global stage, however, while the gender balance is variable context by context, women typically constitute a significant portion of any national flow (see Bach, this volume). Thus, feminization can also refer to the higher incidence generally of women as independent migrants and the significance of their economic contributions as employees and family providers. Feminization research therefore challenges previous patriarchal conceptualizations of women migrants as “dependents,” a facet of women’s invisibilization. Further, feminization can be linked to global restructuring scenarios in developing countries whereby structural adjustment policies and the imposition of austerity measures have contributed to the greater economic vulnerability of significant numbers of people (Ramirez, Dominguez, and Morais 2005). Migration provides one avenue in women’s search for economic resources. As this chapter shows, Philippine migration reflects feminization in all of this complexity, quantitatively, and qualitatively. One recent study of gendered stratification and polarization in migration notes feminization of a particular migration flow can result from male unemployment or underemployment in the countries of origin, a process which may, in turn, lead men to seek employment in feminized areas such as nursing and/or caregiving.4 Where women are in skilled and professional streams, they may represent feminized sectors of their particular occupations (Piper 2008a). Further, marketization, associated with neoliberalism, privileges certain kinds of skills and economically resourceful migrants, even as it de-skills and de-values others, typically to the detriment of women from the Global South. For example, the significant number of women migrants, including Filipinas, who work as caregivers continue to struggle for rights as workers and citizens in many parts of the world (Pratt 2004; Stasuilis and Bakan 2005; Barber 2008a; Piper 2008b; Zontini 2008). Invisibilization is an apt characteristic for their work and their political struggles. A further paradox, as Castles (2007) notes, is that in many cases, state efforts to better manage migration prove to be ineffective, though as will be demonstrated below, policies certainly do have consequences for migrants’ lives. Mode of entry (for example, with or without documents) and types of labor contracts (temporary or renewable) on offer to migrants from various parts of the world, regardless of skill sets, are further aspects of stratification and polarization dynamics. But for those exceptional cases involving professional and highly skilled women migrants who are able to find properly remunerated employment in their fields (not to be taken for granted), typically, gender is associated with intensified inequalities for women throughout the migration and settlement processes. As has been well documented, this is partly for structural reasons tied to labor markets which racialize women who are ethnically and culturally different, as well as the lesser value applied to women’s gendered work and skill sets (see Chang and Ling, this volume). As noted, for women migrants in domestic service jobs, the situation is particularly troublesome because of the multiple possibilities for exploitation and

Women's work unbound


reduced access to citizenship rights (Anderson 2000; Hondagneu-Sotelo 2001; Parreñas 2001; Stasiulis and Bakan 2005; Barber 2006; Briones 2008). This chapter draws on 15 years of ethnographic research on gendered livelihood practices in the Philippines to illustrate the persistent contradictions, continuities, and changes associated with reliance upon migration as a key component of the nation’s political economy. The second half of the chapter analyzes the gender and class complexities, and the economic agency of Philippine women who work in global caregiving and service labor markets. But it is not simply a rehearsing of victimizing discourse about commoditized domestic labor – arguably a preoccupation in earlier moments of feminist scholarship about women’s migration (see Briones 2008). It is also an account of the nimbleness and flexibility of Philippine migrants in the twenty-first century and a call for greater theoretical and methodological nuance in analyzing the social and cultural relations of production and social reproduction (class and consumption) in global and local labor markets.

Neoliberalism and its disguises Many migrants from the Global South have experienced neoliberalism as participants in the latest iteration of the so-called new international division of labor represented in flexible and geographically dispersed production arrangements, including those reliant upon migrant labor. Robin Cohen (2006) argues that despite the spread of an almost “evangelical” form of neoliberalism, the exploitative conditions experienced by many migrant workers are little altered from those present at the origins of global capitalism.5 This analysis parallels arguments emphasizing the historical antecedents and structural dependencies underlying current migration (Wolf 1982), complicating the discourse that we are living in an “age of migration,” with unprecedented numbers of people on the move (Castles and Miller 2003; Brettell and Hollifield 2008). Nonetheless, despite continuities in migration flows and the failure of economic development policies to curb migration from countries where there is a longstanding dependence upon migration, the Philippines being a case in point (Gonzalez 1998), it is mistaken to imagine migrant sending cultures and the decisions of individual migrants as relatively unchanging. Rather, statistical models of migration’s contours and flows actually disguise migrants’ strategic resourcefulness. So while contemporary migratory paths are comprised of networks of migrants from particular countries headed to similar labor markets in a process that can become self-sustaining even when conditions change (Massey et al. 2002; Massey 2004), the social, economic, and political complexities within migrant sending communities – and their transnational sites of connection – require research. Such pathways are sustained, at least in part, by recruitment industries in labor export countries, but also because migration can become part of a culturally approved livelihood in depressed economies. This is true for the Philippines (Barber 2006) and for Mexico (Rothstein 2009;



Kunz, this volume). Much has been written about the changing geographies of contemporary capitalism and restructuring scenarios, particularly with regards to the manipulation of time and space (for example, Harvey 1989 and 2005), which allows innovations (both technical and regulatory) in capital’s abilities to source suitably skilled, compliant, and appropriately priced wage labor in ever-more sophisticated ways (Collins 2003; Narotzky and Smith 2006). Here, I will demonstrate that migrants are also innovative in mustering the necessary social and economic resources to secure the appropriate documents (or, in the absence of documents, whatever is required) for admission to foreign labor markets (Barber 2008b).

Feminization, global care chains, and social reproduction As Western countries streamline immigration policies to attract the right kinds of immigrants to address labor shortages and demographic needs (Boyd and Pikkov 2008; Kofman 2008), competition has intensified for highly skilled workers. However, there remains a need for relatively unskilled and semi-skilled labor in areas marked by labor shortages due to population decline, economic growth, or a combination of the two (Cohen 2006; Castles 2007). We see these trends come together in labor markets where women’s entry into the paid labor force has created a demand for women’s gendered jobs in socially reproductive work, also called global care work. Basically, following a socialist feminist interpretation, the concept of social reproduction refers to the sustaining of life and labor in particular contexts. Theoretically the concept exposes the fundamental interconnectedness of so-called “productive work,” involving wages, and unremunerated household labor, typically gendered as “women’s work,” performed on a daily basis on behalf of family and kin (Kuhn and Wolpe 1978; Molyneux 1979; Young, Wolkowitz, and McCullgah 1981).6 Such work is taken for granted and, as noted, mostly invisible. So global care work involves caring for other people for wages be it in homes (as commoditized domestic labor) or in institutional contexts (for example, nurseries and nursing homes). Such work has been analyzed by feminist scholars to demystify the ideological assumptions that gender is feminine, biologically more suited to women than to men, and racialized in its assignment to women from poorer countries (Anderson 2000; Hondagneu-Sotelo 2001). Perniciously, in the case of the Philippines, racialization is accompanied by cultural arguments about the nurturing qualities associated with ideologies of Philippine femininity (Barber 2004; Parreñas 2001). It bears repeating that decades of feminist debates across the disciplines have recorded the fundamental cultural, social, and economic value of women’s unpaid household labor. To better link restructuring dynamics and transnational value transfers in global political economy, some recent literature on commoditized social reproduction performed by migrant women employs the concept of “global care chains” (see Yeates 2004 and 2005; Ramirez, Dominguez, and

Women's work unbound


Morais 2005). Within global care chains there is a “transfer of care” as women shift their social reproduction work from their own kin to the marketplace, there to be purchased as devalued labor by better resourced households elsewhere in the world. Hence global restructuring contributes to a “global care deficit” evidenced in migrant women’s countries of origins and in the labor markets in the countries to which they migrate. As caring labor is gendered female (except where male strength is required) and remains typically associated with women’s natural aptitudes, it is considered unskilled. The care deficit is a significant driving factor in the feminization of global migration (Katz 2001; Ehrenreich and Hochschild 2003). It is also instrumental in structuring, stratifying, and polarizing gendered global migration flows.

Philippine migration in perspective Historically, Philippine migration is linked to the global spread of capitalism.7 As seafarers and agricultural workers, Filipino migrants have been travelling to global labor markets from the mid-nineteenth century. Joaquin Gonzales (1998) identifies three waves of migration. After the shift from Spanish to US colonization, from 1900 to the early 1940s, Filipinos were recruited to work as indentured labor in Hawaii’s sugar plantations. Elsewhere in the US, they worked in agriculture, food processing, service work, and in the navy. Within the Philippines, the colonial rulers introduced an English-language-based educational system which continues to distinguish Filipinos from most other Asian migrants, particularly in countries where English is a first or second language. A second phase of migration occurred after independence was granted in 1946, lasting to the early 1970s. This period saw a more classdiversified stream of Filipinos departing for the US, including military personnel and their families, medical professionals, and skilled technical workers. There was also migration to various regional contract labor markets at this time, a process that accelerated during the political and economic instabilities precipitated by the Marcos administration’s mismanagement.8 By 1972, when martial law was declared, there had been a major increase in applications for work abroad. By the mid-1970s, the increases in the price of oil compounded political and economic insecurities, and a third wave of migration saw Filipinos become more visible, and more researched, in global labor markets. As has been the case elsewhere, the Marcos administration also understood the political advantages of overseas migration as a means of defusing social unrest resulting from high rates of poverty and landlessness. During this period migration’s central role in Philippine political economy is cemented. Stella Go (2002) notes four trends shaping Philippine international migration: the majority of migrants leave the Philippines for temporary work rather than residence abroad; Asia predominates over the Middle East as the primary work destination for Filipinos in the 1980s and 1990s; at this time, male-dominated migration is surpassed by feminized streams; and, associated with this, there is a shift in the composition of migrant skills from production,



transport, and construction to service workers, particularly domestic workers. By 2002, Filipinos were recorded as working in approximately 180 countries. Yet within the Philippines, during the period from 1994–2001, there was a decline in the number of employed Filipinos, with more people receiving jobs overseas than there were new jobs created locally. As a result of what Walden Bello (2004) describes as a state of “permanent economic crisis,” generalized underemployment and youth unemployment are also characteristic of Philippine labor markets. Today, Filipinos are among the most mobile of labor forces in the world, ranked third after China and India as the top three source countries for international migrants (IOM 2005). In 2006, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) processed contracts for a record high of over one million Filipinos, deployed in foreign labor markets both on land and at sea, working in 179 countries.9 On a daily basis, approximately 3,000 people leave the country, 30 percent of whom are destined for gendered jobs in “household service employment,” as it is now called.10 Following a pattern of feminized migration first evident in the mid-1980s, 60 percent of migrants taking up new contracts abroad in 2006 were women.11 In that same year, remittances received from Filipinos living overseas were reported by the Central Bank of the Philippines to be over US$12 billion, the largest single item of the gross domestic product (GDP), roughly 12 percent. Debate continues over whether migration remittances constitute productive investment (Baggio 2008) and whether remittances lead to more economically secure livelihoods given the economic costs, often producing indebtedness, and raised expectations of consumption on the part of family members. A further issue of national debate is concern over the transnational parenting of migrants’ children who experience prolonged periods of separation from one, and sometimes both, parents (Parreñas 2005; Barber 2008a; Laurie 2008).

Marketing and “skill” In addition to intensified efforts to regularize recruitment and standardize the migratory border-crossing exchanges of people and monetary flows, Philippine labor export policies (since 2005) now include overseas marketing campaigns intended to open up new labor markets and raise the annual number of migrant workers abroad. One consequence from national reliance on labor export is that migration, development, and citizenship policy debates are a national preoccupation, made all the more acute because of the numbers of women involved and the significance of familial ties and discourse in Philippine daily life (see Parreñas 2005). Hence it can be argued, gendered labor migration, primarily based upon women’s commoditized domestic labor has reshaped Philippine political economy, its development trajectories, and social realities. Nonetheless, the lure of overseas employment involves migrants with a wide variety of skills and migration aspirations and can direct

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the educational and vocational aspirations for Filipinos of varying class backgrounds. Skills are often devalued, as is the case for women with tertiarylevel training (for example as teachers, midwives, and nurses), who work in global service. But they may be over-rated for migrants who have acquired credentials from unreliable educational institutions established to take advantage of global migration trends. Many skilled migrants are also willing to deliberately de-skill themselves in order to secure overseas employment, despite growing national concerns over labor shortages in the Philippines.12 Health-related occupations are perhaps the most obvious and well described example of the skewed class effects of skilled labor export, best viewed through a transnational lens. The Philippines has become a major exporter of nurses to the global economy (Aiken et al. 2004), with over 70 percent of all Filipino nursing graduates finding work abroad (Bach 2003). In anticipation of nursing emigration which commenced in the 1960s, there has been a surplus of nurses produced for overseas market. However, growing demand, mainly in the UK, Ireland, and the US, has been accompanied by a proliferation of Philippine nursing schools and a decline in the quality of nursing education. This is evidenced by a significant drop in pass rates from 80 to 90 percent of all students writing the board exams in the 1970s and 1980s, to below 61 percent in 1994 onwards (Tan et al. 2004). In 2007, only 43 percent of board examinees passed. There are also nursing shortages within the Philippines, where around 50 percent of Filipinos lack access to healthcare, with only 32 percent of deaths reported to be “medically attended” as recently as 2006 (Tan 2007). The latest development in the exodus of health professionals involves the de-skilling/re-skilling of medical doctors (MDs) who obtain nursing credentials and leave for work abroad. While Filipino physicians have migrated to the US since the 1960s and the Middle East since the 1970s, they have done so to work as doctors. Since 2000, more than 3,500 trained MDs have left the country to work as nurses and, in 2004, an estimated 4,000 physicians were registered in nursing schools across the country (Tan et al. 2004). More women than men attend the nation’s 36 medical schools, only seven of which are public. The physicians leaving for nursing work abroad range from new graduates in their mid-20s to experienced doctors in their 60s. This example of the flexibility of Filipino migrants and the nimbleness of migrationoriented institutions poses a looming healthcare crisis that calls for bilateral policy interventions (Tan et al. 2004). It also reveals the gendered class inflections of migration. Medical professionals, especially doctors, are considered highly skilled, yet because of their disadvantaged political economy, Philippine doctors are electing in significant numbers to work as nurses abroad where their wages are higher than as MDs in the Philippines. Similarly, the downgrading of Philippine nursing education may condition how nursing skills are regarded abroad, and qualified nurses may be compelled to de-skill to enter global service work as caregivers, rather than as nurses (Stasiulis and Bakan 2005). Typically, but not exclusively, these workers



are women.13 I have no gender breakdown of the statistics recording the exodus of doctors, but we might assume, following the cultural adaptation to women’s migration, this occurs in proportion to the predominance of women medical students.

Gendering transnationalism Much has been written about how Philippine women migrants represent themselves and are represented in global labor markets at “home” and abroad (for example, Chin 1997; Chang and Ling, this volume; Constable 1997), through prescriptive cultural idioms associated with Spanish and US colonization (Rafael 2000). Discourses of familial loyalty and duty, reinforced by religion, are pervasive and anticipated in global labor markets (Macklin 1994; Margold 1995; Bakan and Stasiulis 1997); for example, the idea of the Filipina as “naturally nurturing.” Philippine popular culture endlessly rehearses these discourses, which become performative scripts when women market themselves for work abroad (Barber 2008a). It is noteworthy that labor export policies have remained a major component of Philippine development scenarios, even as new forms of capital relocate to the Philippines in search of well-educated, skilled labor “cheapened” by global restructuring scenarios.14 Striking also is that regardless of labor market context, and migrants’ skills and class positions, subordinating performances (of racialized gender and class subservience) are required of migrants by institutional gatekeepers at the many borders that workers cross on their journeys to work abroad.15 Resistance by migrants can be individualized relative to the labor process and/or collective in relationship to migration politics (Barber 2008a; Piper 2008b; Zontini 2008). Migration politics can also involve transnational conversations (Pratt 2004), but the political obstacles to change are deeply entrenched. Colonial political economy and its cultural manifestations are thus unbound from Philippine geographies to be re-inscribed in new global labor markets. Immigrant receiving countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand encourage research on the fate of immigrants and their capacity to socially integrate, and to demonstrate civic attachment.16 This issue is taken up in reworked debates over expressive citizenship versus “multiculturalism” found in Europe and the US, where new technologies of citizenship, in Benedict Anderson’s (1983) sense, include the instruction of immigrants in national customs (Kofman 2008). Canada’s discourses on multiculturalism are more longstanding, although, as I have argued elsewhere, these too have shifted towards a more disciplining than welcoming discourse (Barber 2006), with increased “securitization” of national borders (Pratt 2005; Dobrowolsky 2007; Gilbert 2007). While a focus upon gender and citizenship is critical to feminist consideration of global migration and restructuring, transnational perspectives on migrants’ journeys to work is also necessary. But transnationalism should move beyond policy analysis or

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assertions about interconnections and flux, to examine the economies and cultures of migrants’ “home” communities and trace migrations’ effects on the ground. Transnational discourse has a tendency to model migration through bounded “container” metaphors and methodologies relative to nation-states (Wimmer and Glick Schiller 2003). As we question gendered immigration outcomes and scenarios, we need to consider how emigration is altering local and national political, economic, and social priorities, and how these factors produce and reproduce inequalities in labor export countries. So, in attending to global processes, we also need to situate our work in local sites where migrants leave and arrive; to keep in view hometown, household, and individuals’ scenarios in the “gendered geographies of power” in migrants’ lives (Mahler and Pessar 2006). The remainder of the discussion details women’s migration and the “class effects” of migration to balance structural accounts of Philippine dependency and migrant agency. Through an analysis of one woman’s migration history, the chapter explores the ambivalence that characterizes migration. This goes against the grain of statistical accounts of women’s participation in global commoditized domestic labor markets. Such ambivalence is, I have suggested elsewhere, Janus-like. The Janus metaphor conveys a simultaneous optic to the migration process (Barber 2002). To look forward is to anticipate migration’s promise, both material and experiential. Many migrants anticipate their journey with the same desire for adventure as other kinds of travelers, and most will speak to this regardless of how difficult their experiences were. The other optic recalls migrants’ fears, the stresses of adjustment, acute loneliness and homesickness, and a labor process entailing tedious work and long hours, with the ever-present risk of employer abuse. Abdelmalek Sayad (2004) captures this perspective in his wonderful work on complicity and suffering amongst Algerian migrant men. For Filipinos, the suffering is embodied both individually and in national political discourse. In sum, the chapter highlights persistent inequalities, the gendered class effects that are sustained in Philippine migration despite the ever-changing economic capacities and capabilities of migrants and their flexibility and adaptability. This entails the linking of production and consumption scenarios involved in the unbounding of women’s work, and the spaces of their work and citizenships.17 In recalling the Janus metaphor, the chapter also highlights the complex articulations of migrant agency in accord with the structuring of global migration.

Maria’s story I first met Maria Perez in the early 1990s, an encounter that directed my attention, both theoretically and methodologically, towards consideration of the class effects of the then relatively new Philippine dependence upon women’s commoditized domestic labor. At this time, the largest group of Filipinas abroad worked on two-year contracts, often sequentially, in Hong Kong.



As well as performing the “dirty work” (Anderson 2000) for the more prosperous households, they replaced the domestic labor of Hong Kong women in the emergent middle class being drawn into the newly industrializing economy (Constable 1997). My meeting with Maria was meaningful. I was bunked down in a Marcos-era, grim, concrete building called a “training center” located in a poor coastal village bordering the sugar haciendas outside of Dumaguete on the island of Negros. The center served as my home base while I completed research for an environmental project, including an assessment of gender and livelihood patterns in coastal hamlets, or barangays (Barber 2005). It soon became apparent that migration of a single loyal family member abroad, typically a woman, provided the highest level of economic security, but, even with this, household economies were precarious at best. On the day I met Maria, some excited children arrived to report that another Canadian woman had arrived in the barangay and was staying nearby. The visitor was Maria, a Canadian citizen who was then around 40 years old. Born in the barangay, she had returned to deal with a family emergency related to the personal circumstances of her 22-year-old son. As she explained to me, for economic reasons, it is conventional for young couples to move in with family when they decide to settle down. She worried that her son’s girlfriend might deliberately become pregnant, encouraged by her family, as a means of securing access to Maria’s remittances. It was a bittersweet concern. She was the first woman in the barangay to work abroad in domestic service at a time when it was considered shameful. To quote Maria: Domestic work was frowned upon. It was a matter of pride. It’s a low status job. Now so many do it and its accepted. I ignored criticism and did what I had to do. What use is pride if people are hungry. Now, when I come home, people ask me for advice and even high school graduates cannot get jobs here. To get a job in government you need compadres. Its not what but who you know. But today also, more girls are keen on education and there is a shift in values. The young generation doesn’t respect elders’ values any more. This is a new thing. It’s because of TV [there were very few televisions in the barangay in 1993, and most were in the households of migrants]. Also some young ones travel overseas for work and they tell their friends about values they see overseas. Remittances funded her son’s university education, but, to Maria’s disappointment, he dropped out after one year. He was, she said, “too interested in girls.” And television was a bad influence for him as well: “It’s made him lazy and he wants more things.” With this comment, Maria drew the connection between migration remittances and her family’s increased consumption expectations. This expectation is something that most migrants factor into planning their return journeys “home,” since it significantly increases travel expenses. It is also indicative of the class dynamics of migration – that

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kin anticipate some improvement in their material circumstances. Even modest consumption becomes conspicuous when neighbors are poor. As noted below, with each journey, expectations increase. Struggling to raise her son in a context of widespread poverty and estranged from the child’s father, Maria had left the barangay nearly 20 years ago. She said: “my relatives were very poor so I decided then that it was my role to help my family.” As noted, assuming this burden of familial support is one of the facilitating cultural practices underlying women’s migration and is spoken of in most women’s migration histories. It is also widely referenced in the literature. Maria’s son remained behind in the care of grandparents; but her sisters and their children live on the same family plot in adjacent houses, creating an extensive kinship network for the sharing of childcare. Maria also participated in transnational parenting through letter writing and occasional phone calls, a further feature of women’s work unbound, recalibrated across time zones to a global geography. Cellular technologies now enable greater contact between women and their children, but, as late as the 1990s, private land lines were scarce. “Calling home” for migrants meant elaborate arrangements, including carefully timed calls to/from the outdoor public phone in the town square (see Barber 2008a). In 1968, a typhoon destroyed many houses in the barangay, including Maria’s, so this was a particularly difficult period in the family’s history. As is the case in many coastal households all over the world, there were diminishing returns. The household’s livelihood activity was based on fisheries. Most men went fishing, either in their own small boats (banca) or with nets set in the lagoon. Some worked collectively with hand-held nets. In addition to raising livestock, women marketed the fish catch, managed the household budget, and negotiated debts with fish brokers (sukis) in the daily struggle for sufficient cash for household provisions. “Fishing households worked harder and harder for less and less” was an economic fact reported by Maria and reinforced in my research. In the 1960s, houses exposed to the sea were constructed from local materials combining wooden posts and thatching. Today, with just a little knowledge of local migration histories, it is evident that concrete houses of varying size represent economic support from the labor diaspora, and can be analyzed and ranked both in terms of the means of migrants working abroad and the value of the currencies where the remittances originate. The largest house in the area was built for the parents of a women, the same age as Maria, who married a European. Maria’s Canadian dollars have enabled her parents to construct a comfortable, medium-sized, two-level house, which is one of the better homes in the immediate vicinity. But, when Maria left, there were no concrete houses. Her first stop was Manila. With a grade six education, she was qualified for retail employment, her first choice, because it seemed “more clean” than some other possibilities. But the pay was poor and the hours long. Next, she tried factory work, utilizing skills she had developed as a teenager, when she turned her hand to sewing on an old treadle machine for extra cash. A few local



women worked as seamstresses for wealthy hacienda families and she had been trained by one of them. However, she soon tired of the harsh conditions of the factory piecework system. The deciding factor in her decision to quit work in the textile factory was the poor condition of the equipment, which kept breaking down. It was the sewers who suffered the economic consequences of this. So began Maria’s career in domestic service. She worked in a sequence of postings, punctuated with visits to her son, domestic travel within the Philippines, then and now, being available at various levels of pricing. Speed, comfort and, unfortunately, passenger safety were then, and remain, a function of cost. Learning of opportunities for work in Hong Kong from friends (by utilizing “social capital networks”), Maria secured a contract. The period was marked by intense “homesickness.” Separation from her son was the most difficult aspect, but she took pride in the savings she sent home. Despite the relatively long hours, Maria considered herself fortunate to have employers who were less controlling than is often the case. She found that the work afforded the opportunity for personal reflection and a physical freedom not possible in comparable jobs, for example, in institutions, where routines are more closely scrutinized. Despite the many reports of employer abuse in the literature, which contributes to the typecasting of the domestic worker as victim, Maria did not feel, in hindsight, particularly exploited during her service in Hong Kong. As she told me, “in Hong Kong, domestic workers have rights.” Also, it is the “dream” of many Filipinas in Hong Kong to secure employment with foreign (non-Chinese) employers because, as rumor has it, workers in such households are less subject to harassment and often work shorter hours. Nicole Constable’s (1997) ethnography contains an interesting discussion of this contrast, which, through invidious comparison, suggests class differences and perhaps racism on the part of some of the migrant women. My research also identified incidences of worker abuse in European households in Hong Kong. But this was not Maria’s experience. After the termination of one of her two-year contracts and the mandatory period of return to the Philippines, Maria was assisted by friends to secure further employment in Hong Kong, this time with a Canadian couple, parents of a one-year-old child. Maria remained with this family as the number of children increased to four. Upon completion of her male employer’s Hong Kong contract, the family pleaded with Maria to accompany them to Canada. Again, the notion that domestic workers, “caregivers” in official Canadian citizenship discourse, are part of the family is ideologically longstanding and problematic in terms of emotionally exploitative elements arising from the particular nature of commoditized caregiving (Macklin 1994; Anderson 2000; Stasiulis and Bakan 2005). Maria was conflicted; the thought of being so far away from her son was agonizing, but the offer was excellent, “too good to refuse.” Her entry to Canada, under the predecessor to the current live-in caregivers program, provided a path to Canadian residency and eventual citizenship. While Maria found it difficult to leave the employ of

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the family with whom she travelled to Canada, she did so when she became eligible to apply for permanent Canadian residency. This changed the nature of her employment contract, allowing her more free time, privacy, and the motivation to commence night classes to upgrade her credentials. Her goal was to obtain work in an institution providing care for the elderly, a decision measured by the availability of employment benefits and the existence of labor standards. As we shall see below, this burgeoning industry relies on the type of caregiving labor to which Filipinos are considered to be particularly well adapted, an idea often communicated in discourses ripe in cultural stereotypes (Macklin 1994; Bakan and Stasiulis 1997). In a common pattern of staged familial migration, when Maria launched her Canadian career as a permanent resident, she secured employment for her sister with her initial Canadian employers.

Consumption and class effects Because Maria entered Canada with “private sponsorship” from Hong Kong, she had more disposable income than many compatriots because she did not have to cover the costs of Philippine document processing, training sessions, and recruitment fees and services. These features of the entrenched Philippine migration industry produce high levels of migrant indebtedness, sometimes to family members (often with their own migration histories), moneylenders called “5/6ers” (borrow 5, pay back 6), and friends. As I learned while conducting research in Hong Kong, squabbles over money are a common feature of social life in the labor diaspora, mainly because migrants carry high levels of debt. There are also constant requests to send money home and sometimes to attend to family emergencies, often because the possibility of remittances introduces new consumption patterns, as we have seen in the mention of TV’s enticements in Maria’s story. Cell phones now provide instant access to family members abroad, speeding up the rate of requests and causing concern in the formal banking sector. Profits in this sector are lost to informal banking channels and more flexible companies (like Western Union), which can locate agencies in informal enterprises in small communities, including in small convenience stores called sari sari stores, typically run out of an extension to a house as a livelihood initiative managed by women. For those workers returning home, as overseas contract workers are required to do, often in two- or three-year cycles, there are high expectations of the returnee. Family and friends expect the homecoming to include generous gift-giving (pasa lubong). So returnees (balik bayans) must plan their gifts months in advance. Increasingly, in addition to the more practical items, such as soap and other toiletry items, canned meats, and foreign chocolates, the expectations are for brand-label clothing items or perhaps electronic goods. Changes in the scale and modernized scope of the retail industry in Philippine provincial centers, such as Dumaguete and Iloilo in the Western Visayas, also



reflect the local significance of remittance spending. Dumaguete’s first multilevel department store with an escalator was opened in the early 1990s. Manila’s vast shopping malls now cater to Manila’s working and middle classes, which include the dependents of overseas workers. The business and expatriate elites have graduated to more upscale venues, for example, in Legaspi Village Green Belt, mirroring exclusive brand-name malls found in centers of affluence worldwide.

Comparisons and continuities Maria’s comparisons between her work “in service” and public sector waged employment are interesting. Regarding herself as relatively lucky, in comparison with some of her friends, she draws a contrast between her experience of generally “fair treatment” in both private and public service work. Numbers of her Filipino friends, now resident in Canada, have been less fortunate, particularly in employment in private homes: “Hurtful words” are not uncommon, and some have been subjected to behaviors that even Maria, who is perhaps overly generous in such matters, acknowledges to be racist. Because the sector in which she now works is low-waged, she finds life more stressful than in domestic service. She is solely responsible for her rent and bill payments and has to work 12-hour shifts in order to keep up with demands for remittances and to meet her own needs. She takes on extra hours, sometimes double shifts, because she is saving for a larger apartment. An additional service she provides to friends is instruction in budgeting: “many Filipinos have problems with their income tax,” and managing the claims on their income from family members back in the Philippines is also challenging (Lewis Watts 2005). At our first meeting in 1993, plans were underway to sponsor her son’s immigration to Canada, where she hoped to persuade him to return to university. Realizing these plans and continuing her support for her relatives in Bais – “what she can, when she can” – consumed all her resources and energy. Reflecting then on the changes in her Philippine home community, she recalled that, 20 years ago, things were much worse. Previously, there was no electricity, and the communal well with an outdoor pump provided the only source of fresh water. There were also salinity problems, still not resolved. In 1993, approximately one-fifth of households in the barangay with which I became most familiar received occasional remittances from abroad, mostly from women, and several houses had TV sets, causing them to be popular visiting places. Maria expressed concern about households she knew where children were being raised without women. One of her friends, whom she met in Hong Kong, was working hard to educate her children. The friend committed suicide when she learned that her husband was having an affair with another woman, and her 16-year-old daughter, who was supposed to study at university, had become pregnant. Maria said: “my friend just didn’t think life was worth living anymore.” Amongst the many cases of hardships

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experienced while working abroad, this is one of the most severe I heard about. Maria’s story of resilience, strategizing, and successes, if retrospectively construed in positive terms in the excitement of the interview context, is not uncommon. With very few exceptions, the approximately 60 women interviewed in my research have assessed their work abroad, even with all its hardships, as relatively empowering on a personal level. This is regardless of whether or not their debt loads, and, sometimes, sheer bad luck, have left them no farther ahead economically. For this reason, despite their initial desire for one or two contract cycles, many women engage in a circular migration process.

Ambivalent agency Maria’s story is, however, best understood as characterized by ambivalence. When in Canada, she broods over her family back in the Philippines. In 1993, she told me that she hoped to return to the Philippines when she retired. But, should her son settle with her in Canada, she imagined her life would become easier. During a further visit to Bais in 2002, I was disappointed to learn that I had just missed Maria by two days. Her family provided me with a sketch of events in the intervening years. Maria’s son had, indeed, travelled to Canada, but he was unhappy there. He felt socially isolated and constrained in his everyday routines, missing his friends and the greater freedom of movement he had known in the Philippines. So, after a period of struggle with his mother, he returned home and was living with a girlfriend in Manila. Maria’s 2002 journey was to reconcile herself to his decision and to spend time with her aging parents. She was also researching options for family property arrangements should she follow through with her plan for a Philippine retirement. This plan, as is true for other members of the diaspora, including medical and other professionals, is typically acknowledged as idealistic when discussion turns to the comparative provision of healthcare in countries like Canada. But the dream is common and, for many, inspirational. It is also a debate that carries over to the next generation in cases like Maria’s, where migrants become emigrants, and their children must position themselves in the new global site of Filipino identity. Emily Ignacio’s (2005) book on internet postings by diasporic Filipinos debates the complexities of identity formation and long-distance nationalism (Glick Schiller and Fouron 2001). Her innovative study, positioned from a Filipino-American vantage point, reveals wide diversity in the assumption of Filipino (Pinoy) ethnic identities and the logic that produces essentializing claims to a “homeland” identity amongst expatriate populations. But it is also possible to read the web-based discussion as expressions of emigrant ambivalence and, sometimes, suffering. Here also, in Philippine cyberspace, the ideal of the homecoming and the healing of the tortured colonized nation (Bello 2004; Rafael 2000) remain vital. But, as Stuart Hall cautions, homelands are subject to changing conditions in a continual interplaying of history, culture, and power



(1990: 225). And, as seen here, Philippine economic progress now seems tied to deterritorialized gendered labor markets, whose material promise is hard to refuse, given relative wage rates, underemployment, and unemployment in Philippine labor markets.

“Brand Filipino” During a field trip to the Philippines in 2005, I was struck by the greater visibility and apparent sophistication in the migration recruitment industry. I was also engaged, without prompting, in more conversations than ever before, by a broader range of strangers (including under-employed male cab drivers and hotel staff) about the possibilities for their emigration to Canada. This coincided with the more vigorous efforts by the Philippine state to open up new labor markets and also with new possibilities for work in Canada associated with an expansion of the temporary foreign worker program. Canadian immigration policy has also recently shifted to allow provincial governments to select designated types of immigrants to nominate for entrance to Canada under Provincial Nominee Programs, or PNPs (Barber 2008b). The policy changes address concerns over delays in visa processing (up to five years for skilled workers) and enable provinces to tackle demographic and labor market deficits. The temporary foreign worker program has a significant Philippine profile, initially through the live-in caregiver visa program, and more recently through the recruitment of workers for a wide variety of occupations where labor market assessments have proven there is a shortage of qualified Canadians for the available jobs. The number of Filipino workers entering as temporary workers has increased dramatically. In 2004, there were only 390 Filipinos who arrived in Canada who were not caregivers. By 2005, there were 1,380 Filipinos arriving for temporary work, and 3,728 came in 2007. Filipinos are also major applicants to PNPs, partly through the marketing efforts of “brand Filipino” on the part of the Philippines, but also because Canadian employers are eager to employ them, so much so that some PNPs allow temporary foreign workers to re-enter the country on this permanent route to citizenship. But it is also the case that Filipinos are adept at recognizing and fitting into available global market slots, which they learn about through their social capital networks and from the ever-expanding, sometimes unscrupulous, recruitment sector. Paradoxically, the routinization of labor export policy was in part firmed up in the Philippines by local and diasporic political activism, encouraging the state to become more involved in advocating migrant rights and regulating migration related industries (Barber 2004). Such regulatory efforts take us well beyond the idea of migration as a temporary development measure, envisaged during the Marcos years. Of course, the Marcos administration could not have foreseen the gendered complexities of migration in the twentyfirst century. But there are historical antecedents to the contemporary scale of

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women’s commoditized live-in domestic service work, culturally framed by classed discourses offering the ideological position that “helpers” were members of the families they resided with and worked for. Such historical practices, it can be argued, set the scene for contemporary Philippine labor markets in private and public commoditized domestic service. Domestically, live-in caregiving is exemplified in the institutionalization in middle-class households of live-in “nannies” (ya yas). In 2005, I learned that it is becoming much more difficult for middle-class women to recruit working class women willing to work as ya yas. Wages for these nannies were then reported to range from between as little as 1,000 to 10,000 pesos per month, supplemented by room, food, and occasional gifts. (Pesos converted then at 32 to one US dollar). Compare this with the P23,100 then paid to maids in Hong Kong, reduced from P25,859 in 2003 because of a recession, a situation actively contested by Hong Kong migrant support groups, and we begin to see the material logic that underlies contemporary women’s labor migration. We can also understand why enterprising recruitment agencies can entice would-be migrants into training programs promising to qualify them for caregiving work abroad. Advertisements for such programs promise new markets for Filipino caregivers in countries like Canada, a situation that appears finely attuned to demographic concerns about the declining birth rates and aging populations underscoring debates in immigrant receiving countries. Again, the economic rewards are significant but the personal and national costs are incalculable.

Conclusion In research on commoditized domestic labor, most of the literature discussing Philippine women focuses on the tension between the protracted and multifaceted nature of the labor process and its emotional toll. Debates also cover the exploitative structural conditions of political economy and the cultural and religious frameworks that condition Filipinos (women and, less frequently, men) for service work. My contribution to these debates has been to stretch the frames of reference towards a greater balance between structure and agency, and to incorporate a consideration of the classed complexities of Philippine labor export. I have also encouraged consideration of the multiplicity of subjective positions taken up by women migrants who are not well served if their lives are cast only in terms of their victimization in the global political economy; hence the appropriateness of the Janus metaphor. Further, I build my case for these arguments through a multi-sited, transnational ethnographic perspective which tracks migrants on their journeys whilst maintaining contact with their communities of origin. Contemporary Philippine migration vividly expresses the complex gendered inequalities associated with the impositions of modernity in the global economy; Filipinas symbolize these inequalities as they position themselves “at home, in homes, in the world” (paraphrasing Aguilar 1997). The conditionality



of their struggles remains constrained by the failure of the political system to convince both Filipinos and international agencies promoting neoliberalism that they have modernized their political economy. Old cultural practices of patronage, sometimes beneficial, even if imbalanced, but also blatantly corrupt and violent, continue to define Philippine social and political realities, regardless of class context and religious faith. It is this complex social and cultural fabric of obligations, commitments, and expectations that defines life at home and spills over into the diaspora. We can say Filipinos are perhaps hyper-modern global citizens, but not at the expense of their engagement with their own histories. Surely, this is the very tension between global and local commitments that was referenced by global theorists like Eric Wolf (1982) and Benedict Anderson (1983). The former cautioned against underestimating the impact of social fields of power dispersed over time and space; the latter reminds us about the potency of imagined national communities and the technologies that sustain them. I have attempted to gender these processed through a transnational analysis of Philippine women’s service work in the global economy, including Philippine geographies and histories.

Notes 1 I thank Marianne H. Marchand and Anne Sisson Runyan for including me in this volume and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for two awards funding the research discussed here. The most recent award, “Performed Subordination: Global Migration and New Economic Subjectivities” (2006), is in collaboration with Belinda Leach of Guelph University. Our project compares Philippine and Caribbean migration histories and modes of entry to Canada. 2 One recent review describes the literature as “a veritable tidal wave” (Donato et al. 2006: 7). 3 These patterns and pathways are reversible over an extended period of time, but uncommonly so; for example, the return migration and circular migratory pathways between Canada and Hong Kong. Aihwa Ong (1999 and 2006) refers to flexible and neoliberal citizenship practices to characterize this class related phenomenon. Further examples can be seen in the European context as a result of the expansion of EU borders (Kofman 2008). 4 Approximately 10 percent of caregivers entering Canada are male (Barber 2008b). 5 Cohen further identifies some conceptual muddles in how the concept of “the new international division of labor” has been applied, mostly to do with how measures of the migration of capital have been used to assess changes in the division of labor with misleading results. However, he also critiques the concept for its historical insensitivity, identifying four conceptual phases to the changing international division of labor: mercantile, industrial, imperial, and transnational (Cohen 2006: 161). 6 It is worthwhile to review early feminist debates over productive and reproductive labor. In brief, the feminist debates over the value of women’s labor centered on two main fronts; the domestic labor debates focusing on industrial societies, and the anthropological studies comparing work in a variety of productive arrangements, including subsistence farming and fishing households. In both cases, the critiques showed how conventional Marxist writing in the disciplines tended to conflate biological reproduction and social reproduction, on the one hand, and to separate productive and (socially) reproductive labor, on the other. Following Marx,

Women's work unbound

7 8 9 10



13 14 15 16


feminist conceptualizations of social reproduction enable an analysis of the value capital extracts from labor through the wage bargain. The costs of social reproduction can be analytically factored into an analysis of wage rates in particular labor markets; how much it costs to maintain a healthy labor force in a particular place given the cost of living. What other tasks are essential to livelihoods in particular places and who performs them? Since wages are not to be eaten, how are they converted into the necessities of life, and by whom? As Jane Collins (2003) notes in her analysis of the gendered labor in the apparel industry, global capital has proven resourceful in “reading” gendered cultural understandings of work and wages to maximize its profits and reduce costs, including wages. One way to do this is to employ younger female workers living in patriarchal families where the costs of socially reproducing (and disciplining) their labor are borne within the household, with large inputs of women’s invisible labor. This is the complex terrain for analyzing social reproduction connecting household and factory divisions of labor and reviewing the contributions of global household service workers. Some sections of my overview of Philippine migration generally, and the flow to Canada in particular, also appear in Barber (2008b). This administration lasted from 1965 until Marcos was forced to resign in 1986. See POEA Overseas Employment Statistics. Online. Available at HTTP: (accessed 17 April 2008). A note on terminology is called for. Filipinos refer to migrants who work in household service work abroad as “domestic helpers,” or “DHs” for short. They are also referred to as “maids” and “nannies” in the literature, depending upon the context the researcher is describing. In Canada, they are known as “caregivers,” which is the type of temporary foreign worker visa required for entrance to the country. After two years of full-time employment as live-in caregivers, which can be with different employers spread over a three-year period, but always with live-in work, they are eligible to apply for permanent residence to remain in Canada. In 2008, the POEA website generically referred to “household service workers,” a term which is showing up more regularly in public discourse about overseas workers. I was told by an academic colleague that this terminology change conveys more dignity to the Philippine global labor force. While the Philippines made a relatively early contribution to the feminization of migration, it is now the case that despite relative regional variations, female migration globally is comparable in scale to male migration (see, for example, Donato et al. 2006; ILO 2003). An article in the Philippine Star (7 February 2008) cited Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) statistics from a survey of over 5,800 firms, revealing that 22.9 percent of companies experienced problems filling positions in skillintensive positions in a range of vital occupational categories. The article notes that DOLE attributes the labor shortages to overseas employment. See note 4. We tend not to hear about this trend in the literature on migration, hence my argument here about the importance of multi-sited, multi-local research. Hence the Canadian Social Services and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded research project with Belinda Leach described in note 1. These concerns are displayed throughout the international Metropolis network dialogues. This project was established by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to create research and policy dialogues between academics, policymakers, and immigrant service providers. It has an international and national profile. In 2007, a third phase of the project’s five university-based Canadian Centers of Excellence was funded, and policy directives were issued to researchers and affiliates. At this time, the project’s organizational structure was more tightly



orchestrated around national policy objectives, and affiliates involved in Metropolis sponsored activities were instructed to more specifically address these objectives. Research domains at the centers were also renamed and “harmonized” to encourage more conformity. For example, all centers include a Citizenship and Social, Cultural and Civic Integration Domain, a title which defines policy research themes. Some researchers within the project have expressed concern over a perceived instrumentality and centralization of research opportunities but report that they value the project’s networks and international dialogues. Most have retained their affiliation with the project, which provides access to migration related resources including research funding. 17 The choice of unbound deliberately references the important early contribution of anthropologists Linda Basch, Nina Glick Schiller, and Cristina Szanton Blanc (1994) to interdisciplinary debates on transnationalism.


The “making women productive” strategy Uncovering gendered sightings, sites, and resistances to global restructuring in rural Mexico Rahel Kunz “I think that these productive projects are women’s contribution as a counterpart to remittances, so that apart from receiving remittances from their spouses, they also produce.” (Mexican government official, personal interview, April 2005) “The empowerment of women is smart economics.” (World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick, 11 April 2008)

Introduction1 The “making women productive” strategy is back. The framing of women’s role in development in terms of efficiency and effectiveness – a framing that has its roots in the 1980s – has once again come to dominate the agenda, both within the international community and in the Mexican context. The manifestation of the “making women productive” strategy in the Mexican context has to be understood against the backdrop of processes of global and regional neoliberal restructuring, which have led to a fundamental reorganization of the Mexican political economy. The modernization and restructuring of the Mexican economy meant a complete transformation of agricultural and industrial production oriented towards export. The restructuring of the Mexican state was influenced by two generations of SAPs that transformed the social sector, with wide-ranging implications for welfare and poverty reduction policies. The consequences of this restructuring are multi-fold: agricultural crisis; growing pressure on labor to become more mobile and flexible, resulting in migration; decreasing social welfare provisions by the state; and growing inequality and poverty. The rural population has been hit particularly hard, and the rural crisis extended to the cities through growing rural – urban migration, but also resulted in an increase in mainly male and undocumented international migration. Thus, Mexican communities have experienced profound demographic, socio-economic, and cultural transformations that are deeply gendered. Situated within this context, the



“making women productive” strategy takes on specific forms, emphasizing the duty of women to get involved in income-generating work as a counterpart to the remittances sent by their migrant spouses. The aim of this chapter is to analyze the sightings, sites, and resistances of the “making women productive” strategy as a dimension of global restructuring, focusing on the Mexican context. This involves analyzing the assumptions of the “making women productive” discourse, examining the different forms and localities in which it manifests itself, and tracing the various forms of resistance and empowerment that it generates. I argue that, in the context of global restructuring, there has been a resurgence of the discourse of “making women productive,” which in the Mexican context involves a complex combination of disciplining, resistance, and empowerment. This chapter draws on in-depth interviews and participant observation undertaken during recurrent periods of fieldwork research in two rural Mexican communities between 2005 and 2008: Los Pilares, a mestizo2 community in the state of Tlaxcala, and San Lorenzo, an Indigenous community of the Purépecha region in the state of Michoacán.3 These two rural Mexican communities are of similar size, and characterized by a relatively high rate of poverty, a high degree of illiteracy, and a general lack of basic infrastructure and services. Both communities have a high rate of mainly male and undocumented emigration to the US, as is generally still the case for rural Mexico (World Bank n.d.). The international migration of Mexican women (either independently or to join their spouses) has increased considerably over the last decade, but generally represents only a small, albeit growing, percentage of emigrants from rural communities. This means that a significant number of households live on remittances,4 either as a complementary or single source of income. Within both communities, there are efforts under way to link migration to development, that is, to harness migration and remittances for some project which would contribute to the development of the community (see Kunz 2008 and forthcoming). While San Lorenzo is situated in Michoacán, a state with a long tradition of migration and a considerable number of migrants in the US, Los Pilares is located in Tlaxcala, a state that has only recently joined international migration flows, but has a long internal migration tradition. The chapter proceeds as follows: the next section outlines the analytical framework; section three traces the manifestations of global restructuring in Mexico; section four explores the sighting of “making women productive” in the Mexican context and its embeddedness in the global context; and section five examines its implications for rural Mexican communities, identifying sites and resistances.

The gendered disciplinary power of the “making women productive” strategy Based on the literature on the gendered dimensions of global restructuring processes, we can identify three key challenges for the analysis of the

The “making women productive” strategy


“making women productive” strategy (Davids and Van Driel 2005; Introduction to this volume). The first challenge is to link the ideational with the material dimensions, which means exploring how the sighting of this strategy is linked to specific sites, which, in turn, have concrete material implications for people’s lives and forms of resistance. Second, the global – local divide needs to be bridged in order to analyze how the strategy plays out in different localities, and how they are interrelated. The existing literature shows how difficult this is: Often, the local dimension of global restructuring is left out, and global processes are discussed without reference to the local realities of the people whose lives are affected by, and who simultaneously affect, these processes. Alternatively, globalization is considered a threatening, allencompassing force that determines the local. Yet another type of research focuses primarily on the local level, often failing to link detailed local insights to the broader picture of global restructuring (Ferguson 2006: 2–3). Analyzing the “making women productive” strategy requires examining how its manifestations in the context of rural Mexico are embedded in, and interact with, global processes. The third challenge is to examine the implications of the “making women productive” strategy without falling into the trap of conceiving them in simplistic, dichotomous ways as either completely disempowering or fully empowering for women. Rather, we need a careful analysis of the ways in which this strategy plays out in specific localities, and how it works in ways that are simultaneously empowering and disempowering. I suggest that a Foucauldian-inspired gender analysis can successfully deal with these challenges.5 The first ingredient of this analytical framework is Michel Foucault’s understanding of the global – local nexus: No “local centre,” no “pattern of transformation” could function if, through a series of sequences, it did not eventually enter into an over-all strategy. And inversely, no strategy could achieve comprehensive effects if it did not gain support form precise and tenuous relations serving, not as its point of application or final outcome, but as its prop and anchor point. There is no discontinuity between them, as if one were dealing with two different levels (one microscopic and the other macroscopic); but neither is there homogeneity (as if the one were only the enlarged projection or the miniaturization of the other); rather, one must conceive of the double conditioning of a strategy by the specificity of possible tactics, and of tactics by the strategic envelope that makes them work. (Foucault 1980: 99–100, emphasis added) This conceptualization of the global – local nexus is helpful to bridge the global – local divide that plagues many studies of global restructuring because it emphasizes the interaction of the two “spheres” and avoids a simplistic and disempowering conceptualization of the global as determining the local. Thus, this chapter analyzes how the specific local tactics of the “making women productive” strategy are embedded in a broader (global) envelope.



A Foucauldian approach also allows us to analyze the relations between the ideational and the material dimensions, that is, the sightings and the sites of global restructuring.6 Finally, Foucault’s notion of disciplinary power, combined with his understanding of resistance, is helpful to understand the implications of the “making women productive” strategy. According to Foucault, disciplinary power works at the level of the body and acts to increase the docility and utility of individuals. Thus, it is “centered on the body as a machine: its disciplining, the optimization of its capabilities, the extortion of its forces, the parallel increase of its usefulness and its docility, its integration into systems of efficient and economic controls” (Foucault 1980: 139). Through disciplinary power, individuals become subject to management. Disciplinary power operates through various mechanisms, such as normalization – which acts to define norms as the standard against which individuals’ behavior is to be judged, establishing limits of accepted behavior, rewarding compliance, and punishing non-compliance – or self-disciplining, whereby individuals police themselves and interiorize these norms of behavior (Foucault 1979: 170, 177). Yet, disciplinary power not only influences people’s behavior, but also people’s ways of thinking and being, contributing to the creation of new subjectivities. Using a combination of insights from a Foucauldian power analysis and postcolonial feminist insights (Marchand and Parpart 1995), we can reveal how the “making women productive” strategy contributes to (re)produce gendered neoliberal subjectivities, such as responsible entrepreneurial subjects. Although resistance is admittedly rather under-theorized in Foucault’s writings (Fraser 1989; Hartsock 1990), Foucault emphasizes that “where there is power, there is resistance” (Foucault 1980: 95–96), and focuses on the close link between the exercise of power and forms of resistance. Hence, power produces resistance, and sites of resistance are context-specific and “present everywhere in the power network” (Foucault 1980: 95–96). This opens up a vast space for recognizing various forms of resistance strategies located in different sites, and emphasizes the need for context-specific analyzes. Using an analytical framework that combines the above Foucauldian concepts with a gender lens,7 this chapter analyzes how the “making women productive” strategy acts to discipline women in rural Mexican communities, and the ways in which women resist this disciplinary power and find spaces for their empowerment.

Processes of global restructuring in Mexico The specific form that the “making women productive” strategy takes in the context of Mexico has to be understood against the background of processes of restructuring. A number of developments since the 1980s prompted a fundamental reorganization of the Mexican state and economy: the debt crisis

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starting in 1982; the ensuing two generations of SAPs imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank; the intensified regional integration through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); and the peso crisis in 1994–95. The restructuring of the Mexican economy involved a complete transformation of agricultural and industrial production oriented towards export, the reduction in government spending on agricultural development in the context of SAPs, the abrupt opening of markets through NAFTA, and the reform of agrarian legislation regulating land ownership, which effectively privatized state-protected communal land rights and opened the way for the commercialization of agricultural land8 (Hellmann 1997; Calva 2004: 25; Bartra 2005). The restructuring of agriculture resulted in a rural crisis. In the last 15 years, there has been an increase in rural poverty; two-thirds of people in extreme poverty live in rural areas9 (Bartra 2005: 23). By contrast, the agro-industrial sector in Mexico has become very competitive. Neoliberal (economic and political) restructuring meant less protection for peasants, which, in turn, led to an increase in landless peasants, a drop in prices of agricultural goods and increasing dependency on food imports, an increase in rural – urban and international migration, and a general undermining of traditional ways of living for the rural population (Bartra 2005: 23). It also has far-reaching impacts on the demographic, economic, and social fabric of rural communities and households, as I address later in this chapter. The restructuring of the Mexican state engendered a transformation of welfare and poverty reduction policies. Broadly speaking, it has led to a shift from broad models of universal social welfare towards individually targeted, neoliberal, poverty reduction initiatives (Hellmann 1997; Luccisano 2002). The latter consist of a combination of cash transfers to the poor, and the promotion of income-generating “productive projects” and microfinance initiatives. Subsidies for many products were eliminated or became selective. Existing literature shows how life in rural Mexican communities has been transformed due to this restructuring of the Mexican political economy and the effects of increasing emigration (Dinerman 1982: 69ff; Massey et al. 1990; Bassols and Oehmichen Bazán 2000; Suárez and Zapata 2004; Marchand et al. 2007). Los Pilares and San Lorenzo have undergone similar transformations. At the level of the community, we can identify a transformation of the demographic composition. Although rural migration is still predominantly male, in both communities there has been an increase in the percentages of women, children, and elderly people, a common trend in most (rural) Mexican communities with high emigration rates (Massey et al. 1990). Migration and remittances have also transformed access in the home communities to resources, such as water, land, housing, motor vehicles, nutrition, and clothing, which has led to increased inequalities between and within Mexican communities.10 This has implications for the growth and development of communities and regions.11 This growing inequality between communities and households also results in transformations of social and cultural



dynamics, new forms of social hierarchies, and conflicts in the communities of origin. The restructuring of the Mexican political economy and emigration have also led to a fundamental transformation of family arrangements and the conditions of social reproduction (see Bergeron, this volume; HondagneuSotelo 1994; Mummert 1999 and 2003; Vega Briones 2003; Nabor 2004; Marchand et al. 2006).12 New patterns of family structures both disrupt and co-exist with traditional patterns. Thus, for example, male emigration creates a situation of (temporary) break-up of the family – from several months to several years. Thereby, women and children have been “abandoned” or left in the care of other family members, and/or men have started leading “double lives.”13 This is often described in terms of the “disintegration of the family,” understood as the dominant patriarchal heterosexual family (see Lind, this volume), which is replaced by other family arrangements, such as femaleheaded households or increasing reliance on the extended family. This (temporary) disintegration can be experienced as both disempowering and empowering: Some women and children from the two communities under study reported feeling lonely, angry, or depressed, whereas other respondents emphasized the benefits of remittances, and saw this situation as an opportunity for their personal development, increased responsibility, and liberty (Kunz forthcoming). It is well documented in the literature, and it was confirmed in my fieldwork research, that, as a result of the emigration of male family members, increasingly women, children, and the elderly take on the double burden of both productive and reproductive work (see Hondagneu-Sotelo 1994; Mummert 1999 and 2003; Oehmichen Bazán 2000; Vega Briones 2003; Marchand et al. 2006). Women and children take on tasks traditionally performed by men, such as administering resources, performing administrative tasks, and work associated with livestock and agriculture. Although during the absence of migrant men, more work and responsibility fall on women’s and children’s shoulders, upon their return, some migrant men reportedly take on a larger share of the social reproduction work. However, in many cases, “things go back to normal” when migrants return, and sometimes traditional gender roles are even reinforced (see Kunz forthcoming). The emergence of the “making women productive” strategy in Mexico has to be understood against the backdrop of these transformations: the restructuring of agriculture; the shift towards a neoliberal welfare model; increasing international migration and socio-economic transformations; and changing conditions of social reproduction. The next section analyzes the forms that “making women productive” takes within the international community and in the Mexican context.

Sighting “making women productive” A “making women productive” discourse has re-emerged: once again, women are being portrayed as a motor for growth and as a safe investment. A look at

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the changing representation of women in development (WID) discourse14 shows that, while traditionally women were ignored in development discourse and left out of development policies, early feminist approaches to development portrayed women mainly in their reproductive roles, as beneficiaries of development, if included in it, and as a population group with specific needs (Kabeer 1994: 5–6). By the late 1980s, development agencies began to view women as “agents of development,” based on the idea that women’s “potential had been underutilized under welfare-oriented approaches” (Kabeer 1994: 8). The argument was that the inclusion of women in development projects would lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness, and women were given recognition as “nimble fingers” for production and “microentrepreneurs” (Kabeer 1994: 8). As a direct consequence of policies aimed at integrating women into productive work, the dominant concerns in feminist and policy-making circles about women in development in the 1990s was encapsulated in the concept of the “triple burden” – the problem of women being responsible for reproductive, productive, and community work. With the advent of the new millennium, the familiar “making women productive” discourse re-emerged in more heightened ways within the international community (Eyben 2008), as illustrated in the following examples. In April 2006, the editors of The Economist wrote: Forget China, India and the internet: economic growth is driven by women … Governments, too, should embrace the potential of women. Women complain (rightly) of centuries of exploitation. Yet, to an economist, women are not exploited enough: they are the world’s most underutilized resource; getting more of them into work is part of the solution to many economic woes, including shrinking populations and poverty. (The Economist 2006) Later that year, the World Bank published its Gender Action Plan for 2007–10, entitled “Gender Equality as Smart Economics” (World Bank 2006b). In 2007, the G8 Summit Declaration on Growth and Responsibility in Africa stated: “The G8 emphasize the importance of the political and economic empowerment of women as a contribution to sustainable growth and responsible government” (G8 2007: 29). The same year, a High-level Conference on Women’s Empowerment as Smart Economics was organized by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, focusing on the implementation of the World Bank Gender Action Plan.15 Announcing its new policy for gender equality in 2007, the Department for International Development (DFID) published Gender Equality: At the Heart of Development, in which it states: “DFID’s experience – backed by worldwide evidence – shows that investing in women with low incomes results in significant social and economic benefits for everyone” (DFID 2007: 13). At the 2008 “Ways to Bridge Gender Gaps” Conference (during the IMF/World Bank Spring Meeting), World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick



reiterated this insight; and the same year, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) published a discussion paper on gender equality, entitled “Financing Gender Equality is Financing Development” (UNIFEM 2008). Such discourse began with feminist efforts to shift economic resources into women’s hands, based on (liberal) feminist views that the integration of women into labor and financial markets would lead to their empowerment. The “making women productive” strategy has co-opted these efforts in order to legitimize the instrumentalization of women for economic growth, whereby poor women become seen as a sound economic investment. This serves as a legitimating tool for policies that target women with productive initiatives. A major driving force behind this discourse is micro-finance policy, which is assumed to be the anti-poverty and the empowerment strategy for poor women.16 Micro-finance initiatives are based on the assumption that women are made productive by giving them access to small amounts of credit, bringing empowerment and development to women, their families, and communities. In the Mexican context, the “making women productive” discourse is very prominent. As my interviews with Mexican government officials and rural community members show, the discourse takes a specific form: it is based on a dichotomy opposing remittance-senders with remittance-receivers. Though often presented as gender-neutral, a closer look at this dichotomy reveals that it is deeply gendered, associating men with active migrant heroes sending remittances, and women with remittance-receivers waiting passively at home. The representation of migrant men as heroes emerged during the 1990s, as the Mexican state started to recognize the economic and political importance of Mexican migrants (Durand 2005). As a result, the representation of migrants shifted from traitors towards heroes of the Mexican nation, which culminated during the sexenio of Vicente Fox, who referred to Mexican migrant workers as the «23 millones de héroes, de queridos paisanos y paisanas, 23 millones de Mexicanos que viven y trabajan en los Estados Unidos»17 (Fox 2001). In his speech, Fox recognized migrants’ efforts, thanked them for the remittances they send, and encouraged them to continue their economic transfers. This is linked to an optimistic attitude towards the development potential of remittances, whereby remittances are generally represented as a “force for good” or a “motor for development,” and their positive characteristics are emphasized. However, after 9/11, and with the increasing securitization of migration, the representation of migrants has taken yet another turn: While the Mexican government continues to portray migrants as heroes, there is a tendency, particularly in the US and by other receiving governments, to perceive migrants, instead, as potential terrorists. In order to encourage migrants to keep sending remittances and to promote the productive investment of remittances, a number of institutions and programs were established by the Mexican government. As I have argued elsewhere, this is part of a broader Global Remittance Trend, that is, global

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efforts aiming at linking migration to development and at harnessing remittances and diaspora resources for development initiatives (Kunz 2008; see Bach, this volume). In the Mexican context, this has involved an explicit government strategy to “court migrants,” starting during the Salinas presidency (1988–94) and culminating during the Fox presidency (2000–2006) (Guarnizo and Smith 1998; Goldring 2002). It consists of both discursive elements – such as praising migrants for their courage and giving them public recognition – and institutional elements – such as facilitating remittance transfers, establishing institutions and programs to offer services for migrants, and laws permitting double nationality (Goldring 2002: 66). The remittance-sending migrant hero has received much attention, and much has been written about the shift in discourse and the courting strategy that privileges him (see, for example, Goldring 2002; Burgess 2005; Durand 2005; Gómez Arnau and Trigueros n.d.). However, the other side of the dichotomy – the “unproductive passive woman remittance-receiver” – has received much less attention. This side of the dichotomy is composed of two mutually-reinforcing constructs: women portrayed as passive remittancereceivers (who do not do anything “productive” while waiting at home for the money to arrive) and, therefore, women portrayed as being in need of the promotion of their involvement in productive work. Both assume that women generally do not perform “productive” work, and that social reproduction work is not “productive.” Getting involved in “productive projects,” it is argued, will allow women to generate income, escape poverty, and bring development to their families and communities. Thus, there has been a move towards more heightened discourse on “making women productive,” particularly in international and national policy-making circles. The “unproductive woman” stereotype has been reinforced not only implicitly through the remittance-receiver stereotype, but also explicitly in official statements and government policies. Thus, the representation of women as “unproductive” is itself reproduced through the main Mexican anti-poverty program OPORTUNIDADES (formerly called PROGRESA).18 This program specifically targets women as its beneficiaries from small cash transfers. The underlying idea is to give women small sums of money, based on the assumption that women spend money more efficiently and for the benefit of the household, so that they can lift themselves and their households out of poverty (Luccisano 2002). A program functionary has been heard to say to the women beneficiaries of the project: “Señoras, you must remember that the money you receive from the government is not a pagos (payment), these transfers are apoyos (supports) given to you by the government. These monies are not pagos because you do not work” (quoted in Luccisano 2006: 77). This quote shows how the prevalent gender-biased assumptions that social reproduction activities do not count as work – that is, they are not seen as productive – and that women “do not work” are reproduced through this program. It further devalues social reproduction work by reinforcing the idea that such work is not worth remuneration. The ideas that not earning income



means that one’s activities do not contribute to production, and that social reproduction work is “not real work” because it is unpaid in most cases, and, therefore, not productive, are still very present in Mexican discourse. This reopens old feminist debates about the definition of “productive,” and the significance of social reproduction work to the functioning of the (global) economy (see Elson 1989; Bakker and Gill 2003; Hoskyns and Ray 2007). The representation of women as unproductive remittance-receivers was also reflected in my own interviews of Mexican government officials. As one official stated: Yo creo que el rol de la mujer es muy importante, porque, esta dentro del sector productivo, no, o sea, no es lo mismo que tu, si vivieras aquí en México y tuvieras un esposo que se fuera a EEUU, te esta mandando dinero, digamos 500 dólares al mes, pero tu no hagas nada, no, osea, nada mas recibes el dinero, y ya, no? … bueno si comes y te vistes y llevas a los niños a la escuela, pero no estas haciendo nada de productivo, nada más estas recibiendo el dinero, no, entonces yo creo que esto [estos proyectos productivos] es el complemento que ellas realizan, que a parte que reciben el dinero de sus esposos como remesas, tu también estas produciendo … hay una complementariedad entre mujeres y hombres.19 (Mexican government official, personal interview, April 2005) This statement reflects the underlying dichotomy between migrant men as remittance-senders and non-migrant, “non-productive” women as passively waiting at home for remittances to arrive. It also underscores the assumption that women should get involved in “productive” activities. Importantly, women’s involvement in income-generating projects is portrayed as their duty, as their “counterpart” to the remittances that their migrant spouses send. This duty of the individual woman remittance-receiver is then extended to the women in the community more generally, who are supposed to earn “counterpart” income as well. Despite the specific forms that the “making women productive” discourse take in the Mexican context, the general Mexican discourse and the discourse within the international development community share such common assumptions. Women are made responsible for lifting themselves, their families, and even their communities out of poverty. This is located within the neoliberal assumption that individuals are responsible for their own poverty, and the state needs to empower them to lift themselves out of poverty (Luccisano 2006). As demonstrated by the “making women productive” discourse, this is a deeply gendered assumption. As a result, women’s empowerment is no longer an end in itself, but becomes a means to the end of economic growth (Eyben 2008). Furthermore, women’s empowerment is conceived of mainly in economic terms.20 Thereby, “making markets work for women” and “empowering women to compete in markets” become the key policy objectives (World Bank 2006b: 4). Thus, women are expected to

The “making women productive” strategy


increase a country’s gross national product (GNP), while development actors largely ignore the fundamental gender inequalities associated with the unpaid work of household maintenance and care on which market economies depend. Such economic empowerment, it is argued, gives women greater bargaining power to demand transformations of traditional household roles and decision-making dynamics. This completely ignores the issues of the “triple burden” for women and the new forms of gender discrimination emerging through women’s integration in productive work and/or access to financial markets. As outlined in this section, the “making women productive” discourse observed in the Mexican context is embedded in a global discourse. The underlying assumptions are the same, but within the Mexican context, the discourse takes a specific form, anchored in the gendered remittance-receiver versus remittance-sender dichotomy. Thus, it has its own specific dynamics and legitimating mechanisms, and is reproduced through specific institutions and policies. Needless to say, confronting the stereotype of the “unproductive woman remittance-receiver” through comparing it to the lived realities in rural Mexican communities reveals a striking discrepancy: most non-migrant Mexican women are neither passive nor remittance-receivers. Moreover, there is often a considerable time-lag before remittances arrive, and sometimes they never arrive or quickly dry up. In addition, the out-migration of a family member is usually linked to considerable expenses, which have to be reimbursed. Furthermore, rural women do not just “eat and dress and bring the kids to school,” but take on the totality of biological and social reproduction tasks while also engaging in income-generating and community activities. In addition, they also face increasing social pressure within the community and the extended family, making it harder to perform their multiple tasks. Its shaky empirical foundation notwithstanding, this gendered dichotomy and the “making women productive” strategy have very real implications in various sites.

The gendered sites of the “making women productive” strategy This section maps the different forms of women’s integration into “productive work” in the two rural Mexican communities under study, in order to analyze how the “making women productive” strategy acts as a disciplinary power to integrate women into “productive” work and to turn them into docile market producers, while simultaneously producing spaces for resistance and empowerment. Disciplining works through a number of mechanisms. The dichotomy between the remittance-sender migrant hero and the unproductive remittancereceiving woman acts to normalize behavior, through making it socially unacceptable to “just receive remittances.” Instead, women remittancereceivers are expected to invest their remittances productively, rather than just using them for consumption, and to “become productive” by generating



income themselves, in order to fulfill their “duty” to earn a counterpart income to supplement remittances. Many of my interviews suggest that there is a strongly felt pressure among women in Los Pilares and San Lorenzo not to use their remittances for consumption only and to “become productive” themselves. Women who “just receive remittances” without generating income fail to conform to the norm and are stigmatized as “lazy” (flojas) and unproductive. Señora Eva, for example, told me with disdain in her voice: «Las mujeres que tienen su esposo en EEUU se vuelven más flojas! Porque cuando esta el marido, tienen que trabajar, pero después ya no se preocupen porque el marido les manda y ya no hacen nada»21 (Señora Eva, Los Pilares, personal interview, 26 May 2005). This mirrors the official discourse within the Mexican context that portrays women remittance-receivers as unproductive, yet it goes even further, labeling them as “lazy.” This acts to discipline non-migrant women and also leads to self-disciplining. Thus, women are pushed into becoming “productive,” or at least keeping busy all day, to show that they are not “lazy.” Thus, for example, a number of women in Los Pilares emphasized in interviews how busy they were, and Señora Maria, who lives in a big house built with remittances, kept cleaning all the rooms, even those she did not use. The self-disciplining has gone so far that some women decide not to use the remittances they receive or to use only a small part of them, and instead start generating the income necessary for the survival of their households. After her spouse left for the US, Señora Adriana started producing cheese from the milk of her cows and selling it in the local market. During the six years that her spouse spent working in the US, she only used a small part of the remittances that he sent her, and survived with three children living off the revenue from her cheese sales and the subsistence produce from their farm: «Los seis años que él estaba allá me giraba dinero, pero este dinero, yo no lo tocaba yo, aunque me lo metió al banco. [ … ] Vivimos nada más con el producto de los quesos»22 (Señora Adriana, Los Pilares, personal interview, 2 June 2005). This demonstrates self-disciplining, whereby non-migrant women change their behavior to conform to the new norm of not spending remittances on consumption and, instead, generating their own income. In Los Pilares and San Lorenzo, there are three main forms of “productive work” in which women have increasingly become involved. These are mainly informal or independent forms of work, given that jobs in the formal labor market are extremely scarce, particularly in rural areas, and women rarely get such jobs. First, many women have started generating income through agricultural products, such as selling cheese or tortillas on the local market. Other women have bought livestock to sell the meat, or started selling sweets or beauty or nutritional products to other members of the community. Second, a number of women who managed to get micro-credits and/or receive remittances have set up small shops. These shops, oftentimes located in the entrance of their houses, are mostly so-called abarrotes,23 but also tortillerías,

The “making women productive” strategy


papelerías, hairdressers, or games stores. Such micro-businesses allow women to generate income, while at the same time taking care of the household and children, who often help out with the work in the shop. In this way, remittances enable women to increase their income and establish a micro-business, but they also contribute to increasing the workload of the non-migrant members of the household. Finally, in a number of communities, migration-linked development projects have been established, aimed at getting women involved in productive work. In San Lorenzo, for example, there is a women-only productive project under way that builds on the tradition of women manufacturing handicrafts. This project aims at promoting and marketing the artesanías with traditional embroidery, through establishing a strategic alliance between women from the community and (women) migrants in the US. The idea is that (women) migrants in the US participate, through the promotion and commercialization of the artesanías, in order to provide an income for the women in the community, and to some extent for themselves. The project has gone through different stages, has faced many obstacles, and its success and future remain uncertain, but it is a telling example of the “making women productive” policy in Mexico. These three forms of “productive” work act to discipline women in a number of ways. Women who get involved in income-generating work face an increasing workload.24 Many respondents told me that since they had gotten involved in income-generating work, they had to change their daily schedule in order to juggle the triple burden. Thus, women are disciplined into managing their time more efficiently, as Señora Maria Luz, who participates in the “productive project” in San Lorenzo, noted: «Antes tenía yo más tiempo. Ahora, si quiero ir al taller me tengo que levantar temprano en la mañana y me tengo que apurar para terminar todo, llevar los niños a la escuela, hacer a comer, limpiar, todo … Me cansa mucho»25 (Señora Maria Luz, San Lorenzo, personal interview, 10 June 2005). My respondents noted that they experience this increased workload as a burden, and some reported feeling stressed by the increased workload and responsibility, as Señora Cecilia reports: «Cuando el se fue yo sentía todo el peso en cima »26 (Señora Cecilia, Los Pilares, personal interview, 10 May 2006). Some women were unable to manage their workload and to resolve the tension between social reproduction and production activities. Other women managed to renegotiate social reproduction work in the household, either by getting their spouses involved (if they had not migrated or had since returned), or by delegating some work to their children or the extended family. Getting involved in productive work also means that women adopt the language and logic of the market and are disciplined into market behavior. Women participating in the project in San Lorenzo, for example, reported feeling this discipline of the market: Nos tenemos que someter a lo que quiere el mercado. El mercado manda. Apenas empezamos el camino, más adelante nos va a decir


Sites el mercado lo que quiere, cuáles colores, cuáles formas, [ … ] es una lastima porque así se pierden las tradiciones, pero así es27 (Señora Andrea, San Lorenzo, personal interview, 11 April 2006)

This illustrates how the women start orienting their choices and behavior towards the demands of the market. The market is perceived of in terms of an all-powerful force that commands, like Adam Smith’s “invisible hand.” Furthermore, the women perceive a tension between their traditions and “what the market wants,” with the market prevailing. Their disciplining into market logic has created increased individualism and competition among women. Thus, for example, all the women selling cheese from one community become competitors in the market. In the productive project in San Lorenzo, there is competition between the different participants to make the prettiest artesanías for the cheapest price. This disciplining into market logic is also expressed in the following reply by Señora Clara from San Lorenzo when asked about the transformations that the project had brought for her: Para mi, esta todo, económico y derechos, que todos tenemos el derecho de vender, no solamente los que tienen puestos, que nosotros también tenemos a donde vender, [ … ] que tenemos el derecho de ir a otras partes, no nada más aquí en México, también en otras países, y que nos den el derecho de vender a otros países28 (Señora Clara, San Lorenzo, personal interview, 14 June 2005, emphases added) Interestingly, Señora Clara emphasizes the right to sell, and does not mention political or social rights, thus reproducing the discourse of the project that is based on a notion of empowerment largely limited to its economic dimension. Her statement mirrors the ways in which the women within this project – and within the “making women productive” discourse more generally – are represented, that is, as subjects with market rights, with the right to produce and sell. Political and social rights are marginalized or expected to flow automatically from economic rights. Moreover, the disciplinary power of the “making women productive” strategy also contributes to creating an entrepreneurial culture among women and the neoliberal entrepreneurial subject. Thus, disciplining not only works to change people’s behavior, but also transforms their ways of thinking and feeling, and their beliefs and desires. Neoliberal subjects are no longer citizens with claims directed towards the state, but self-enterprising citizen-subjects, each “an entrepreneur of his or her self” (Rose 1999: 142). The “active individual” conducts “his or her life, and that of his or her family, as a kind of enterprise, seeking to enhance and capitalize on existence itself through calculated acts and investments” (Rose 1999: 164). This new subject manages her own needs, is empowered to make self-interested choices, and becomes

The “making women productive” strategy


responsible for advancing her own well-being through these choices. Thereby, the rights of the neoliberal subject are conceptualized in market terms: the emphasis is on the right to have access to markets and consumer rights, rather than political rights (Luccisano 2002: 40). Thus, whereas migrants become responsible for the well-being of their families and the development of their home communities, non-migrant women are responsible for social reproduction work and for producing a counterpart to remittances in order to also contribute to the development of their family and community. However, there is an important gender difference between the two forms of neoliberal subjectivities. Entrepreneurial migrant (men) often earn certain political rights in return for sending remittances, such as the right to dual citizenship or the opportunities to voice their needs and concerns in meetings with Mexican government representatives. However, the subjectivity of the woman producer “at home” seems to be the one of a market citizen without political rights (Luccisano 2002: 43). Women’s inclusion into productive work focuses mainly on the economic aspects of empowerment, leaving out their political rights. Yet, there are a number of ways in which women have resisted the disciplinary power of the “making women productive” strategy, or empowered themselves through this strategy.29 It goes beyond the scope of this chapter to give a detailed account of these forms of resistance and empowerment, so the aim is rather to provide a few examples that illustrate how women are not passive victims of the disciplinary power of the “making women productive” strategy, but actively resist and take advantage of this strategy. Within the productive project in San Lorenzo, participants used a number of techniques to subvert30 and appropriate the project for themselves. Some women subverted the purpose of the project money which was supposed to be invested “productively.” They participated in the project long enough to benefit from the project workshops where women were paid for their participation; and, as soon as the workshops were finished and the women were expected to work by themselves, they left the project. Señora Teresa, for example, whose spouse migrated to the US and had stopped sending her remittances, used the money from the workshop to buy food and clothes for her baby. She was then excluded from the project, but the money had helped her bridge a difficult moment. Señora Vanessa decided to use the money that she earned from the initial workshop in order to pay for the expenses related to her emigration: with the money that was supposed to be invested in material for artesanías, she managed to emigrate with her daughter in order to join her spouse in the US. This subverts the project rationale, which aims to get women to produce a counterpart to remittances and to invest the money they earn for the well-being of their family and the development of the community. It also undermines the purpose of the project, which is to provide women with an alternative to migration. Other women took advantage of the project in order to increase their mobility and to travel. Restricted mobility was mentioned as a key area of gender discrimination in both communities: there is a strong tradition for



women to stay inside the house, and women often only leave their houses to go to local shops, the market, or to collect the monthly cash transfer from the OPORTUNIDADES program in the nearby city. Yet, entering productive work often requires increased mobility. Whereas this is less the case for women who open a small shop, especially in their house, other forms of productive work require more mobility, such as going to sell products in the market or participating in ferias as part of the project in San Lorenzo. Thus, women’s involvement in productive work demands that they negotiate increased mobility within the household and, to some extent, also within the community. The “making women productive” strategy assumes that through the integration of women into productive work they will automatically be empowered to reverse traditional gender discrimination and to negotiate increased mobility and decision-making power in the household. This is certainly the case for some women. Señora Anna, for example, used the project activities and frequent trips, such as to ferias or project reunions in the state capital Morelia, to visit her daughters who were studying there: «A mi el proyecto me sirve mucho, me da la posibilidad de ir a ver mis hijas en Morelia»31 (Señora Anna, San Lorenzo, personal interview, 9 May 2006). Hence, she did not get involved in income generation, but increased her mobility and got money through the project to travel. Yet, this was not the case for other women who were prevented by their spouses or the extended family to participate in the productive project because it would have required them to spend more time outside their houses. Moreover, their involvement in income-generating work also created space for social interaction between women. Women who go to sell their products in the market have more opportunities to speak to other women and spend time with other women selling products. Project participants in San Lorenzo meet up regularly for work and discussions. These meetings provide the women with an opportunity to exchange ideas, discuss personal problems, and give each other advice. Señora Antonia, who had not seen her daughter since she got married and was not allowed to leave the house, discussed her problem with the other women: «No la dejan salir, la muchacha, tampoco para fiestas,» no sale! Y la mama no puede hacer nada, si la madre dice algo, la hija va a tener problemas y se puede separar la pareja y esto es terrible»32 (Señora Antonia, San Lorenzo, personal interview, 15 April 2006). The other women in the group came up with the idea that the mother could bring her daughter some fruit or vegetables to her house, in order to get a chance to see her. Finally, my interviews show how women have used the efficiency argument underlying the “making women productive” discourse to convince their spouses and extended family of the usefulness of their productive work, and to negotiate increased mobility and decision-making participation in the household. In the context of the productive project in San Lorenzo, women have used the argument to convince their spouses that if they are allowed to participate in the project they would generate income for the household. In some cases, the women in the project never actually managed to generate

The “making women productive” strategy


income, but they did manage to use the discourse to empower themselves in a number of ways. Señora Flor, for example, used the efficiency argument to get involved in the project in order to increase her mobility and to transform her patio into a workplace for the women in the project to work together. After one year in the project, she had not generated income through her products, but she felt empowered through her new activities, the newly gained mobility and space to spend time with other women, and the new skills she had learned: [Y]o ahora me siento más realizada, con más conocimientos, [ … ] este proyecto a mi me ayuda a crecer, y sobre todo con la familia, ya hay más comunicación, siempre había comunicación, pero a veces no me entendieron, y ahora ya no, mi esposo también ahora me anima, y me acompaña a los lugares que tengo que ir, el me llevo hasta Uruapan, y ya es como hay más comunicación entre nosotros, el machismo ya no hay tanto.33 (Señora Flor, San Lorenzo, personal interview, 13 April 2006)

Conclusion This chapter has focused on one particular aspect of global restructuring, the “making women productive” strategy, and the ways in which it is anchored in one specific locality: rural Mexico. The analysis has revealed the sightings of this strategy within the international community and in the context of Mexico, its disciplinary power in various sites, and the multiple forms of resistance and empowerment it generates. The disciplinary power of the “making women productive” strategy pushes women to discipline themselves and each other to not “just receive remittances,” but start generating income; and it operates to discipline women into managing their time more efficiently and adopting market logic and behavior. Moreover, the disciplinary power of the “making women productive” strategy also contributes to creating neoliberal entrepreneurial subjects, illustrating the bodily sites of restructuring. The “making women productive” strategy has complex and contradictory implications for the lives of rural Mexican women. It operates as a disciplinary power to integrate women into productive work and to produce docile market producers. Yet, women are not “passive victims” of this disciplinary power: they have devised a variety of tactics to resist and take advantage of this strategy in order to increase their well-being, mobility, and decision-making power within the family and the community. This illustrates how the “making women productive” strategy, and processes of global restructuring more generally, create complex and contradictory outcomes. On the one hand, they put women “out of place” and allow them to conquer new spaces, which can be experienced as empowering, but can simultaneously expose women to increased violence and social pressure. On the other hand,



they also act to “keep women in place” through disciplining women into “market producers without political rights” and through the (re)production of old and new gender hierarchies.

Notes 1 I would like to thank the editors of this volume, Marianne H. Marchand and Anne Sisson Runyan, and the participants of the 2008 International Studies Association (ISA) panel for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this chapter. 2 Mestizo is a Spanish term that was used during the Spanish Empire to refer to people of mixed European and Indigenous origin in Latin America. The term continues to be used today to refer to the majority of the population of Latin America. 3 To guarantee anonymity for the respondents, their real names will not be mentioned and pseudonyms will be used throughout this chapter. 4 The term “remittances” commonly refers to the part of earnings that migrants send back to their families or communities of origin. 5 It goes beyond the scope of this chapter to engage with the debate on whether and how Foucault’s insights can be useful for, or combined with, feminist analyses. But see, for example, Diamond and Quinby (1988); Nicholson (1990); McNay (1992); Ramazanoglu (1993); Marchand and Parpart (1995); Hekman (1996). 6 Foucault systematically links these dimensions in his own work, such as in his analysis of the emergence of the nineteenth century prison system in Discipline and Punish (1979), which examines the relations between the emergence of the institutions of the prison system, a specific understanding of punishment, and specific forms of power involved. 7 As defined by V. Spike Peterson and Anne Sisson Runyan (1993: 1), the analytical tool of the gender lens enables us “to ‘see’ how the world is shaped by gendered concepts, practices, and institutions.” 8 Under the presidency of Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988–94), Article 27 of the Mexican constitution – which established the right of the Mexican nation to its land and natural resources, and restored communally-held land property (ejidos) to peasants who had been dispossessed before the revolution – was reformed to liberalize and privatize ejidos. This has to be understood against the backdrop of a growing regionalization process, whereby Mexico was under pressure to liberalize ejidos to allow for their commodification in preparation for NAFTA negotiations (Hellman 1994: 53). The ejido reform meant that three million Campesino families lost their protection from labor markets and “open land” (Luccisano 2002: 77). 9 The Mexican economic development model of Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) already neglected the rural areas, but the debt crisis in the 1980s worsened the situation, and a major blow was dealt to these areas by the NAFTA treaty and the US Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, which increased US agricultural subsidies, making it difficult for the Mexican agriculture sector to compete with US products (Calva 2004: 23). 10 Communities situated in traditional migration states, such as Michoacán, are likely to have a higher percentage of migrants and, thus, the influx of remittances is more significant. Households with migrant members are more likely to receive remittances and, therefore, often have a higher income than non-migrant households. 11 This is not to argue that previously there was no inequality in Mexico, but rather that restructuring processes and the migration phenomenon have significantly increased inequalities.

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12 Social reproduction refers to all activities necessary to reproduce and maintain social human beings, including biological reproduction and social provisioning involving subsistence work, care, education, as well as emotional and affective services and activities to reproduce culture (Bakker and Gill 2003: 4, 32; Hoskyns and Rai 2007: 298). 13 This refers to situations where migrant men maintain two families, one in the home community and another in the US. 14 For an overview of the different representations in development theory and practice, see Kabeer (1994: 5) or Visvanathan (1997: 20). 15 For further information on the German gender conference, see: (accessed 1 February 2009). 16 Thus, for example, the Microcredit Summit Campaign aims to “reach the poorest” and “empower women.” See (accessed 1 February 2009). 17 Translation: “23 million heroes, beloved Mexican men and women, 23 million Mexicans who live and work in the US.” 18 For more information on OPORTUNIDADES, see (accessed 1 February 2009). For a detailed analysis of this program see, for example, Luccisano (2002 and 2006). 19 Translation: “I think women’s role is very important because now they are doing productive work, it’s not the same … imagine, if you lived in Mexico and your spouse went to the US and sent you remittances, let’s say $500 a month, but you wouldn’t do anything, you just receive the money and that’s it, no? Well, ok, you eat, you dress and you bring the kids to school, but you don’t do anything productive, you just receive the money, yes? So, I think that these productive projects are women’s contribution as a counterpart to remittances, so that apart from receiving remittances from their spouses, they also produce.” 20 For a detailed discussion of the more general assumptions underlying WID theories, see Kabeer (1994: 11ff.). 21 Translation: “The women who have their spouse in the US become lazier! Because when their spouse is here, they have to work, but after he leaves they don’t care because their spouse sends them money and they just don’t do anything anymore.” 22 Translation: “During the six years that he was in the US he sent me money, but I didn’t touch this money, even though he put the money in a bank account for me! [ … ] We just lived on the income from the cheese that I produced.” 23 An abarrote is a small neighborhood shop that sells almost everything. 24 For a more detailed discussion of the implications of this increasing workload, see Kunz (forthcoming). 25 Translation: “Before, I had more time. Now, if I want to go to the workshop, I need to get up early in the morning and hurry up in order to finish everything, bring the kids to school, prepare food, clean, everything … It is very tiring.” 26 Translation: “When he left, I felt all the weight on my shoulders.” 27 Translation: “We need to submit ourselves to what the market wants. The market commands. We have just started on our path, but further on, the market will tell us what it wants, which colors, which forms, [ … ] it’s a shame, because this is how traditions get lost, but it’s just the way it is.” 28 Translation: “In my view, [in this project] there is everything, both economic and rights, that we all have the right to sell, not only those who have market stands, that we also have a place where to sell, that we have the right to go to other places, not only here in Mexico, but also to other countries, that they give us the right to sell in other countries.”



29 There is an extensive feminist literature on resistance and empowerment and an ongoing debate about the definition of these concepts. See, for example, Moser (1989); Townsend et al. (1990); Kabeer (1994); Afshar and Alikhan (1997); Mayoux (1998); and Parpart, Rai, and Staudt (2002). It goes beyond the scope of this chapter to engage with this debate. 30 As understood in this chapter, subversion is a form of resistance that refers to activities that disrupt the functioning or undermine the purpose and effects of disciplinary power. 31 Translation: “This project is very useful for me; it gives me the possibility to go to see my daughters in Morelia.” 32 Translation: “They don’t let her go out, the girl, not even for fiestas, she doesn’t go out! And the mother cannot do anything, if the mother complains, the daughter will have problems and sometimes the couple even breaks up and that’s terrible.” 33 Translation: “I feel more fulfilled, and I have more knowledge, [ … ] this project has helped me to grow, and mostly in the family, there is more communication now, we always communicated, but sometimes they didn’t understand me, but now my spouse also encourages me, and he accompanies me to the places I have to go, he takes me to Uruapan, and it’s like there’s more communication between us, and there’s less machismo.”

Part III


In Part III, our attention is drawn most directly to the politics of resistance in the context of global restructuring. As we argued in the Introduction, dominant accounts tend to present globalization as an inevitable and overwhelming force, often leaving individuals and communities feeling disempowered. Yet, we also know that periods of profound change are prone to engender grass-roots and even transnational protest and mobilization. However, the previous sections remind us that global restructuring accommodates discourses and practices of “women’s empowerment” and “gender equity,” albeit against the background of and often grounded in neoliberalism. This makes feminist resistance all the more complicated in the current moment. The latest scholarship on transnational feminism and feminist antiglobalization activism raises new questions about and approaches to the issue of resistances. On the one hand, anti- or critical globalization movement politics are most often associated with the male-dominated and masculinist tactics of the “Battle for Seattle”-style protests (see Eschle 2005). This has invisibilized women’s local and transnational feminist, anti-racist, and queer movement struggles that are making the linkages between globalization and militarization in the form of “heteropatriarchal recolonization” (Alexander 2005) or empire. Such analytical linkages made by feminists have gained some recognition in critical globalization movement manifestos produced at successive World Social Forums (WSFs); however, a focus on large-scale protests tends to overemphasize organized and movement-based resistances, making other resistance strategies, including spontaneous or individual responses, less visible (Marchand 2003). On the other hand, women’s increasing centrality, both symbolically and materially, to global restructuring is not only animating a host of new interdisciplinary feminist scholarship on globalization (or empire), but also pointing to the necessity of de-linking feminist projects from the construction of neoliberal (and colonized and militarized) subjectivities among women (and men). It also points to the necessity of finding multiple points of resistance through examining how women and men are being restructured in their everyday lives to accommodate “the new imperialism.” We know, too, from Parts I and II that the ongoing changes represented by global restructuring create new, but not necessarily uncompromised, openings


Part III

for women’s resistance to ongoing and new oppressions. As Harvey observes (2003: 179), this moment of accumulation by dispossession has put at center stage what J.K. Gibson-Graham (the nom de plume of co-authors Julie Graham and Katherine Gibson) call “a new political imaginary” that is characterized by a “‘movement of movements’” (2006: xix). Far from the undifferentiated “multitude” hypothesized by Hardt and Negri (2000) as the counter-hegemonic force against Empire, this movement of movements is highly diverse, based on a range of identifications (gender, race, class, locality, culture, and so on), histories and traditions, and resistances to an array of differing manifestations of global capitalist accumulation. But, for GibsonGraham, it is not enough (although it constitutes a good start) for this movement of movements to posit and call for “post-capitalist politics.” Rather, the challenge at this juncture of the intensive biopolitics of restructuring is to develop “the arts of revolutionary self-cultivation” not only to address “those aspects of self that could be seen as accommodating and embodying capitalism,” but also to nurture “our oppositional and anticapitalist selves” (Gibson-Graham 2006: xxxv). They specifically ask: “What practices of thinking and feeling, what dispositions and attitudes, what capacities can we cultivate to displace the familiar mode of being of the anticapitalist subject, with its negative and stymied positioning?” (GibsonGraham 2006: xxxv). Just as Gibson-Graham point to a range of precapitalist and non-capitalist economic activities going on in a multiplicity of locations through which the values of “community economies” are being or can be performed and cultivated, the contributors to this volume emphasize that women’s and feminist resistances to the “scattered” but interlinked “hegemonies” of global restructuring take multiple forms, ranging from discursive deconstructions and materialist critiques of international, national, and local policy making to individual and collective negotiations and mobilizations, that are part of the oppositional (and hopeful) “re-subjectivation” projects Gibson-Graham recommend. In addition, it is also important to critically reflect on the NGO-ization of (global/local) civil society, something which neoliberal restructuring, with its anti-state discourse, has fostered since the early 1990s. The challenge is to analyze which resistances are only, in the words of Robert Cox (1981), “problem-solving,” that is, accepting of neoliberal premises in trying to remedy problems created by neoliberal restructuring, and which resistances are problem-posing or a challenge to the actual premises on which neoliberal restructuring and empire have been constructed. In the contributions by Kathleen Staudt (Chapter 9), Laura Parisi (Chapter 10), and Gillian Youngs (Chapter 11), we are directed to three sites of feminist resistance: the campaign against femicide/feminicidio in the MexicanUS border region; the pan-indigenous women’s movements’ critique of the governmentalization of global feminism; and cyberfeminism. None of these sites of resistance are uncompromised or uncontested, but all feature aspects of the cultivation (or preservation) of post-capitalist or anti-neoliberal/



anti-imperial imaginaries, subjectivities, and practices. These sites also provide further sightings of the intimate/global nexus, exposing its violence, while also re-orienting its trajectory. In her examination of violence against women on the Mexican side of the US-Mexico border, Staudt reminds us that resistance to restructuring can take both laudable and perverse forms. On the one hand, some working-class men whose patriarchal power, authority, and earning power have been usurped by global capital have opted to direct their “weapons of the weak” at their intimate partners, making for high rates of domestic violence. On the other hand, cross-border (and even wider international) campaigns against the infamous femicide (with its attendant and sensationalized mutilations) of largely young maquila workers at the border, while collective and laudable activism, tend to obscure the everyday domestic violence visited upon women on both sides of the border. This relative inattention to everyday domestic violence, and the lack of shelters, services, and trustworthy police forces to which Mexican women in the border region who experience domestic violence could otherwise turn, leaves few and generally individualist and risky avenues for these women to resist it. Resist it they do, according to self-reports, but, as Staudt points out, border “security” does not extend to the women in the borderlands. Still, the very collective research practice in which Staudt engages to document domestic violence in Cuidad Juarez and to bring women into conversation about resistance strategies constitutes a cultivation of oppositional subjectivities to the ongoing (both episodic and everyday) violence of restructuring. Parisi contrasts the “human rights approach to development” (HRAD) and gender mainstreaming that were both enshrined in the Beijing Platform for Action (BPA) with the Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women (BDIW) that especially contests these elements of the BPA. As Parisi demonstrates, a range of critical feminist globalization scholars have criticized the new merger of “human rights with markets” or “liberal democratization with neoliberal economics,” seeing it as a governmentalization strategy whereby global governance and state apparatuses reduce their efforts at addressing the problems of social inequalities, human rights violations, and non-democratic practices to management of “sound” economies along neoliberal lines and production of neoliberal citizens who have few or no claims on the state. Such critics also have observed the “blunting” and “channeling” of more radical claims made on behalf of women’s human rights and feminist anti-or critical globalization movements and NGOs when these are “integrated” into official documents and policies. Indigenous women have been particularly vocal in challenging this neoliberal regime that, among other things, is implicated in the refusal of key Western settler states (the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia) to sign and/or ratify the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But they go further in their critique of the HRAD generally, and women’s human rights and gender mainstreaming specifically, charging that these policies and practices deny the inextricability both of individual and


Part III

collective rights and of women’s and indigenous rights, and assume that mere market access equals empowerment, when it is restructuring itself that further marginalizes indigenous peoples, their knowledge, cultures, and lands. They put forward, instead, a non- or anti-neoliberal conception of rights, advocating the restructuring of rights to privilege those rights that sustain collective self-determination, social equity, and “‘life projects,’” preserve human care and intimacy, and advance intimacy with and care of the natural world. Youngs examines feminist advances in the use of cyberspace to enhance “horizontal” communication and advocacy. Although deeply implicated in a host of digital divides, corporate and male control, the purveying of digitized violence, social isolation, and 24/7 work availability that subject individual subjectivities to ever more intense neoliberal discipline and surveillance, information and communication technologies (ICTs), as products of restructuring, have been appropriated by feminists worldwide to provide unmediated, accessible, and even intimate spaces for resistance politics. Far from homogenizing feminist identities and politics, interactive ICTs enable differences and contestations to flourish, as a far greater diversity of voices can get online than can get on a plane for face-to-face encounters. As Youngs argues, cyberfeminism recognizes cybercitizenship as a right in the twenty-first century, where participation in the “socio-spatial” world is a prerequisite for the building of new and renewed political communities to resist the enclosures and destruction of intimate and global lifeworlds. As a result, issues of access continue to be a major concern of cyberfeminism. Thus, we see in these cases, and in the volume as a whole, the development of what some commentators have called the “Women, Culture, and Development (WCD) paradigm,” which is “centered on women”; invests “culture and human agency with as much significance as political economy”; and honors the “red” (of older socialist feminism and contemporary social justice movements), the “green” (of environmental sustainability), the “black” (of racial justice), and the “purple” (of gender and sexuality justice) (Bhavnani, Foran, and Talcott 2005: 324). In this vein, resisting and redirecting global restructuring involves the re-appropriation of meanings of social processes and movements, as well as the re-articulation of subjectivities and identities. When this occurs, resistance practices become proactive rather than reactive.


Globalization and gender at border sites Femicide and domestic violence in Ciudad Juárez Kathleen Staudt

Introduction Global restructuring is highly visible at international border sites that are potential magnets for capital and labor. Borders sites are places where the global meets the local, permitting grounded, contextualized knowledge and action. Borders are also locales wherein nationalized, often militarized conceptions of “border security” are practiced in this twenty-first century era of officially declared Wars on Drugs, Terror, and Crime, both Mexico and US-style declarations. Violence against women and/or gender-based violence rarely figure into national declarations of security. Over a forty-year period, the governments of Mexico and the US pursued policies that fostered the growth of foreign-owned, export-processing industries (called maquiladoras in Mexico) and labor to work therein. One such site is the transnational, metropolitan region of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas, on which this chapter focuses through a gender lens. Powerful interests on both sides of the border have built and sustained the “Maquiladora Model” of development, with its long female-dominant – though more recently gender-balanced, yet gender-differentiated – workforce, wherein women workers occupy the lower-paid jobs (Kopinak 2004; Lugo 2008). Global restructuring changes gender conceptions, including masculinities, along with perception and experiences of threat, entitlement, and rights among women and men. Coincidentally or not, since 1993, Ciudad Juárez has suffered an infamous reputation as the site of over 500 murders of women and girls, known as femicide,1 one-third of which involved the sexualized torture of rape and mutilation. My sightings in this chapter take up feminist lenses that focus on the various ways that people activate and resist border crossing, globalized production at borders, and trade along with their associated violence. National security strategies activate “hard” power, including militarization, fences or walls, and criminalization, in contrast to what Nye (2005) calls “soft power.” The US, in its Secure Fence Act of 2006, added 670 miles to the existing 100 miles of wall at this 2,000-mile border that separates the US and Mexico. Over the last 15 years, the US also tripled the number of Border Patrol



officers supplemented with technological equipment to keep out immigrants and crime (Staudt 2008b). Drawing on international feminist theories (Agathangelou and Ling 2004; highlighted in Staudt 2009b), border security policies signal a shift from the usually hegemonic masculine approach to a hyper-masculine approach to protect and secure the borderline. Anna Agathangelou and Lily Ling define common hegemony as a preference for super-imposed traditions that shape institutions, and hyper-masculinity as a reactionary stance that “arises when agents of hegemonic masculinity feel threatened or undermined, thereby needing to inflate, exaggerate, or otherwise distort their traditional masculinity” (2004: 519). Under President Calderón, Mexico posted more than 20,000 military troops to fight drug cartels, the largest numbers of which were posted in Ciudad Juárez during 2008–9. In 2008, some 1,600 mostly execution-style killings occurred, largely due to cartel – state and inter-cartel violence. Neither government satisfactorily addresses the everyday safety of women from gender-based violence, whether domestic violence or femicide. I also address the concept of resistance in this chapter, analyzing how resistance takes on peculiar gender dynamics. I seek both to connect globalization with violence against women and to examine gendered resistance that either challenges such violence or inflates such violence in backlash response to perceived threats to traditional masculinity. Thus, rather than applaud all resistance as noble or romantic, I unpack its various forms, whether direct or indirect, perverse or admirable. Drawing on transnational research over the last six years on violence against women and on activism surrounding violence, I offer a deeply grounded and contextualized interpretation of how the global meets the local at the globalized border. I argue that some men have resisted the way that global capital undermined their power, authority, and earning power relative to women. But their resistance is perverse and takes the form of violence against women, rather than against political and economic forces that are responsible for their relative powerlessness. Men face few risks for this criminal resistance, given Mexico’s ineffective law enforcement system wherein police act with impunity and mostly ignore crimes of violence against women (Staudt 2008a; see AI 2008). While women bear the brunt of this sort of men’s perverse resistance, they too resist and/or respond in a variety of ways that I group under four strategies: (1) negotiating individually with men; (2) self-medicated coping and/or exiting from dangerous relationships; (3) denouncing abusers to a flawed law enforcement system; and (4) collectively mobilizing against violence against women to work for regimes that respect human rights under the rule of law, on national and transnational bases. Each of these strategies carries risks. Borders offer mirror-like perspectives on people who, in the case of the US-Mexico border, share much in common: language, culture, relatives and friends, and interdependent economies. On the US side of the border, domestic violence and sexual assault are common; however, female murder rates in El Paso are low compared to the Mexico side, where activists refer to

Globalization and gender at border sites


female murder as femicide in Ciudad Juárez (Staudt 2008a: Ch. 1). As I argue elsewhere (Staudt 2008a and 2009a), institutional intervention in the spiral of domestic violence partially explains these different rates. Both local law enforcement and non-profit battered women’s shelters offer remedies, albeit flawed in many ways, that reduce murder rates. In accordance with this volume, my focus here is on the border as a site, offering feminist sightings of its gendered dynamics, and complicating gendered forms of resistance to both restructuring and femicide on the Mexican side of the border. This chapter is divided into three sections. First, I examine the concept of resistance, aiming to unpack the gendered analysis thereof and to argue that, for some men, resistance takes the form of violence against women in Mexico’s neocolonial global era. Then I contextualize and ground the site of this research at the global frontier of export-processing industrialization, Mexico’s northern border. Finally, I draw on original field research conducted since 2002, both from participant observation in the Bi-national Coalition Against Violence Toward Women at the Border and from survey research, as well as workshops conducted during 2004–5 in Ciudad Juárez. In that section, I discuss women’s different resistance strategies. I have lived, worked, taught, and researched at the US-Mexico border for over two decades. While border theorists make much of the “in-between-ness” (Bhabha 1994) and hybridized qualities of the region (Anzaldúa 1987), I contend that border regions are sites wherein gender patterns, dormant and less visible elsewhere in the interior of mainstream societies, become overt, obvious, and allow mirror-like contrasts. One of these patterns is violence against women, the most extreme form of which is femicide. Femicide has prompted extensive collective action, a noble form of resistance; but, less visible everyday domestic violence is partly the result, I argue, of men’s perverse resistance to neoliberal restructuring. In my research and workshops with a representative sample of women, one in four women reported experiences of physical violence, and one in ten reported sexual violence. Alas, these figures are all too common in many countries around the world, including the US. Thus, this chapter focuses on the minority of both women and men who are both targets and perpetrators of interpersonal violence in Mexico’s globalized northern border context. I emphasize that these are minority experiences, since domestic violence rates of “one in four” tell us that not all women experience physical violence, nor do all men perpetrate violence against women. Moreover, violence against women did not begin with globalization or neoliberalism; it has long been “normalized” as a relic of hegemonic masculinity in Mexico as well as in the US. Normalization “hides” such crime, therefore, making it difficult to trace exact rates of increase or decrease.

Resistance and its gender dimensions The exertion of power in anything but an open vacuum produces resistance. Political scientists were slow to develop this insight, tied as the mainstream



discipline was to the study of formal institutions and overt, easily countable proactive individual political behavior, such as voting and electoral campaigns. Moreover, mainstream political scientists studied phenomena that functioned to support whole political systems, rather than undermine or transform them. In his breakthrough analysis of the “weapons of the weak,” James Scott (1985 and 1990) identified everyday resistance as political action in the context of power domination. Beginning first with an analysis of peasant societies and then moving to a more sweeping analysis of the whole of society and history, Scott’s sightings of the “arts of resistance” included sabotage, playing ignorant, and a host of behaviors that less attentive political scientists failed to see. Those political scientists who studied large-scale movements seeking to undermine or transform political systems through revolution were relegated to the margins of the discipline, taking cues, instead, from anti-colonial and revolutionary writers in their analyses. But, like their mainstream counterparts, revolutionary-focused academics studied power and resistance in large systems rather than in smaller units, such as villages or households. However, feminist theorists have sought to unpack gender dynamics of power and resistance at both societal and household levels. Thus, they have complicated anti-colonial and revolutionary analyses by critiquing their failure to take seriously violence against women. The (neo)colonial setting – a setting that resembles Mexico’s northern border – provides a good place to search for more complicated readings of power and resistance. Men’s resistance to restructuring: masculinities under threat?2 Franz Fanon, psychiatrist from Martinique turned revolutionary in Algeria, wrote provocative critiques of the late colonial era in Africa and Asia in The Wretched of the Earth (1963), focusing on relatively powerless men and their struggles to resist the deeply entrenched French settler society. In this work and particularly in the longest essay therein, “Concerning Violence,” Fanon glorifies violence as cathartic, as did Jean-Paul Sartre in his preface to Fanon’s book, where he endorsed “man recreating himself” through “irrepressible violence” (1963: 21). Although Fanon acknowledges the feudal quality of gender relations here and there in his analysis, he is silent on gender-based violence and does not recognize that men’s targets of violence may be interpersonal female partners, because they are seemingly closer and easier for men to control than are the colonizing forces responsible for rendering many colonized men powerless or “impotent.” I focus on the word “impotent,” used frequently by Fanon in his analyses of psychiatric cases of men and violence, to interrogate them as cases of masculinity analysis. For example, in Fanon’s “Impotence in an Algerian following the rape of his wife” (1963: 254), a man suffered after his wife “confessed her dishonor to him” (1963: 257) rather than from the act of the rapist. Thus, in such scenarios, women are blamed instead of their attackers.

Globalization and gender at border sites


As a result, cathartic violence exercised by colonized men, in response to economic assaults on their manhood or physical assaults on “their” women by colonizers, may miss its more distant political targets and replace them with more convenient and opportune female targets nearby. Hannah Arendt also takes up impotence in her classic, On Violence (1959). She, too, ignores gender-based violence, but discusses how efforts to command obedience through violence offer no substitute for power, and that “impotence breeds violence” (Arendt 1959: 54). Consider her compelling concluding quote: “every decrease in power is an open invitation to violence” (Arendt 1959: 87). Although Arendt is concerned with whole political systems, rather than households, such a claim has resonance for explaining how a relative loss of male power can result in interpersonal violence against proximate women. More recently, feminist journalist Susan Faludi used the term “backlash” (the title of her 1991 book), to describe men’s resistance to and violence against women who gained opportunities, earnings, and rights during and after the US women’s rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s. For Faludi, Arendt, and Fanon, sightings of violence arose from changing power relations. As a result of privileged patriarchal legacies, some men may be threatened by a perceived or real loss of control over “their” women, whereas other (and, likely, fewer) men may be pathological misogynists, who resent or despise women regardless of their power positions relative to men. All of these characterizations of male violence as resistance to changing power dynamics, gender and otherwise, emerge in the discourse about femicide and domestic violence in Mexico generally, and in Ciudad Juárez in particular. Applying Fanon and Arendt to Mexico, we must ask whether gender power relations are changing in ways that render men less powerful than before and that provide women with resources, albeit usually marginal. Alas, historical studies are limited, and data is almost nonexistent; thus, it is difficult to compare violence over time with any precision. Feminists only began to study violence against women internationally as late as the 1980s. Even in the contemporary era, most domestic and sexual violence studies focus on women victims, as opposed to male perpetrators, with a few exceptions. However, one can glean from various philosophical, anthropological, and masculinity studies that a portion of men resent losing control over women and may use backlash resistance. Below I examine some of these studies focused on the Mexican context. The construction of masculinities in Mexico Let us begin with myths of origin, as anthropologist Peggy Sanday (1981) once did. Mexico’s origin story constitutes what Roger Bartra (1992) calls a “hegemonic” myth. Octavio Paz’s The Labyrinths of Solitude (1950), a flawed philosophical treatise credited as the definitive narration of Mexico’s “national character,” foregrounds the story of Malinche, the traidora



(traitress), who is held responsible for the ultimate Spanish conquest of Mexico, as the foundation myth of Mexico.3 Paz’s foregrounding and analysis of Malinche, and the words he uses to recount this story, seem to legitimize male rage and violence against women as an appropriate response to the wounds of conquest (and subsequent colonialism and neocolonialism), while his analysis of the Mexican psyche also smacks of Freudianism. Has Paz captured Mexico’s “national character,” customized Freud to explain the Mexican psyche, or tapped into gender power struggles? My answer is “yes” to all of the above. Another flawed source comes from anthropologist Oscar Lewis (1959, 1961, and 1964), who collected autobiographies during the 1940s and 1950s, using the new research technology of the times: tape recorders. His thick description of family life in central Mexico (from which many residents of the northern border come) illustrates different vantage points of different family members across generations undergoing constant change and flux associated with post-revolutionary changes and migrations. As I have concluded in my earlier careful re-reading of Lewis, “violence is so omnipresent as to be normal, yet remembered vividly” (Staudt 2008a: 38). Without broader, more representative research, however, evidence is inconclusive about the relationship between socio-economic upheaval and violence against women in Mexico. Other, more contemporary researchers address changing social constructions of masculinity in Mexico. Matthew Gutmann analyzed “what men say and do to be men [ser hombre]” (1996: 12) in the everyday life of Santo Domingo (in Mexico City). He critiques clichés about machismo, debunks stereotypes of women as submissive and self-sacrificing, and interprets men’s violence against women relative to men’s loss of control as women become more independent. Several feminist border theorists, who analyze Ciudad Juárez and its Maquiladora Model, allege that northern Mexico is different from the rest of the country in terms of masculinity constructions. Such theorists use strong language about threatened masculine identities, especially in men’s public enactments when around women. For example, Alejandro Lugo (2000: 73) speaks of “impugned masculinity” on the assembly lines of maquiladoras (also known as maquilas); Leslie Salzinger (2003: 159) points to “emasculation of men” by maquila managers under US managers evincing US-style hegemonic masculinities; Pablo Vila (2005: 132, 141) talks about Mexican men’s opposition to “bossy American women”; and Henry Selby (in Iglesias Prieto 1997) notes Mexican men’s retreat from the 1960s and 1970s agitation against political-economic forces that produced the Maquiladora Model in the first place. In the north, these feminist border scholars argue, (violent) Mexican masculinity is heightened in opposition to US versions of masculinity and changing gender power relations. Thus, global restructuring processes, so evident at the border, are implicated in disruptions and new constructions of Mexican masculinities, including the development of hyper-masculinity.

Globalization and gender at border sites


From this section, I conclude that the construction of masculinities varies across time and space globally, nationally, regionally, and locally, in response to changing political, economic, and social circumstances. Some men resist these changes and pursue “weapons of the weak,” as Scott described, some weapons of which target their intimate partners and/or women generally. For some men, the loss of control over their lives and over “their” women produces rage, resentment, and backlash in the form of violence against women. And those who run law enforcement institutions (among the most masculinist governmental institutions in many countries) do not prioritize investigating and prosecuting domestic violence and femicide. Neither the Mexican military nor US federal law enforcement, particularly the hypermasculinized Border Patrol, focus on gender conflicts arising from socioeconomic restructuring. Rather they fight “wars” on immigrants, drugs, and “terror” in efforts to “control” the border.

Mexico’s northern border: the site Ciudad Juárez, located in the great Chihuahua Desert region near the Río Bravo (known as the Rio Grande in the US), has a centuries-old history of settlement in the Paso del Norte region of Mexico, well before being named after the much beloved President Benito Juárez. Historians may gasp, but I will begin with the mid-1960s era, when the federal government’s Border Industrialization Program fostered the growth of maquiladoras, which were also spurred by changes in US customs regulations. Some might see this era as a pilot test for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, the US, and Mexico, which went into effect in 1994. In the first decade of export processing, young women represented approximately 80 percent of assembly-line factory workers. Social constructions of gender privileged the mobilization of young, supposedly docile workers so much so that job recruiters used the feminine form in advertisements: operadoras. The city was immortalized in Lorraine Gray’s documentary, The Global Assembly Line (1986), which featured US managers and promoters of the maquilas discussing “nimble fingers” and the former Ciudad Juárez’s Municipal President (or Mayor) stating that the city’s elite could no longer find maids, because of the dependence on a (young and low-income) female workforce in the maquiladoras. While women in the maquilas earned cash in the formal economy, authorizing access to health and social security benefits, meager pay was and continues to be the norm. Mexico’s minimum wage of US$4–5 daily is hardly enough to sustain an individual, much less a household. The wage has not kept up with inflation, the cost of living, and peso devaluations (Staudt and Vera 2006). Meanwhile, during the 1970s and 1980s, popular culture and even parts of the academy worried about unemployed men. Both the city and its maquiladora sector have grown enormously. Ciudad Juárez is home to more than 1.5 million people, over half of whom are



migrants, born outside the city in Mexico’s north-central states. The city contains Mexico’s largest maquiladora sector, becoming a model, for better or worse, with over 300 factories and a workforce that ranges from 200,000– 250,000 people. Currently, as noted above, Mexico’s minimum wage is equivalent to approximately US$4–5 daily, a few US cents higher than in other states of Mexico. Estimates of the average daily rate is “two minimum wages” or about US$8–10 daily, covering a range of skills from low to high in increasingly gender-segmented employment. Over the decades, women workers have become over-represented in the low-skill, low-pay categories (see Kopinak 2004). A salary of US$25–50 weekly is insufficient to exit dangerous relationships, and women in unpaid work in the home have few, if any, resources to exit dangerous relationships. Although more gender balance now characterizes the maquiladora workforce, women workers are still the majority, at 55–60 percent of the assembly-line workers. With one-fifth of a million total workforce, a percentage like that means that over 100,000 women are maquiladora workers at any given time. When adding up all the women who have worked in maquiladoras since the 1960s, the total represents enormous numbers of women who earned their own pay, however paltry the sums. Pay, even miserly amounts, nudges at gender power relational changes and possible perceptions of threat and gain. And figures like these add up to correspondingly large numbers of men who feel threatened with loss of control over “their” women, to the extent the backlash thesis rings true. Besides some men’s perceptions of working women as constituting threats at work and in the household, other social forces also bear on the levels of violence against women. I will comment on just two of them. The first is the media and the tone it has set for the characterization of women workers. In her research on maquiladoras, Salzinger (2003: Ch. 2) outlines the way the media characterized Mexican women in the early 1990s – especially those who were independent workers at the northern border – as sexualized and out of control. The second social force is the illegal drug industry, fueled by US drug consumption and by gun smuggling into Mexico. The international border is the gateway for land-based drug movements (Payan 2006). Not only is the drug industry violent, corroding the often complicit law enforcement agencies, but also drug use has spread in the city as well, forming a lethal combination. Annual homicide and femicide rates are among the highest in the country, with 200–300 men murdered annually (murder rates spiked in 2008) and 30 women annually. Unlike with femicide, however, men do not die deaths associated with rape, sexual torture, or domestic violence. This section has set the stage for analysis of the site. Global restructuring has affected work and gender constructions, for both men and women in northern Mexico. This context is tied to the global economy, with exploitive wages and an atmosphere of disposable, migrant labor. A lucrative and violent drug trade serves not only the voracious appetites of US consumers,

Globalization and gender at border sites


but also a growing addicted population in Mexico. In this cauldron, the infamy of femicide – woman-killing – became apparent from the mid-1990s onward.

Violence against women: responses and resistances During the mid- to late-1990s, growing awareness occurred about sexualized murders of women. The bodies of young women, the majority in their teens, were found dumped in the desert surrounding the marginalized communities at the periphery of the city of Ciudad Juárez. Many had been raped and burned, and some had their breasts or nipples cut off. In 2001, eight bodies had been disposed of in the city, at a cotton field across from the Asociación de Maquiladoras, A.C. (located inside the city). Besides the film, The Global Assembly Line, yet another documentary immortalizing the city and the infamous femicides in and around it: Lourdes Portillo’s Señorita Extraviada (2001), was produced in Spanish and English, and shown widely in both the US and Mexico. In the 1990s, mothers of murdered daughters began active resistance. They had been dismissed and ignored by the police, who, in some cases, lost reports and even the bones of their daughters. A groundswell of anti-violence activists, including mothers of the victims as well as human rights and feminist activists, began to count and document the numbers and names of victims and to organize around not only the murders, but also the lack of police response at the municipal and especially the state level (at which serious crimes are investigated and prosecuted). Law enforcement authorities are notorious nationwide, but Juarenses have little faith in the police who are widely believed to collaborate with the illegal drug industry and, perhaps, the murderers of women. Activist mothers invented effective symbols, such as black crosses on pink backgrounds, which they painted on main thoroughfares throughout the city on telephone polls and building facades. Activists received threats and, on occasion, got roughed up by the authorities or hired thugs. At great risk to their own safety, activists resisted a political system that had long tolerated violence against women as “normal,” as crimes of passion, or the fault of victims themselves for being out late or wearing certain kinds of clothing. They put pressure on society, politicians, and government to take femicide seriously, to investigate crimes, and to value women’s lives and safety. Bi-national, transnational, and cross-border activism also emerged. Activists organized dramatic solidarity marches on International Women’s Day, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, All Souls Day), and V-Day.4 Cross-border police cooperation had long existed over auto theft, so El Paso feminist and human rights activists asked publicly and repeatedly why governments can cooperate over stolen cars, but not murdered women. Activists pressed and embarrassed politicians in Mexico City, Chihuahua, and the city along with the industrial elite. At the University of California at Los Angeles,



“The Maquiladora Murders” international conference of 2003 drew over a thousand people. In fact, the victims have not all been maquiladora workers, although the globalized economy creates an atmosphere of disposable labor. Victims also worked in retail, service, other sectors, and in their homes. Of the total number of women murdered since 1993, approximately one in three of these murders fits the sexualized, perhaps serial-killer profile. Other murders involve domestic violence and opportunity killing, common in many places and countries. Speculative theories abound about the possible serial killers, ranging from a foreign Egyptian engineer with a sex offender record from the US, who later died in jail, to gang members he supposedly directed, to the police, “snuff” filmmakers, organ harvesters, drug traffickers, and “los juniors” (sons of the rich), who are untouchable – above the law, however weak the rule of law in Mexico. Little evidence exists to support these theories. That two of every three murders did not fit the serial-killer profile prompted me to conduct research and workshops on domestic violence in 2004–5. In collaboration with a large health non-governmental organization (NGO) in Ciudad Juárez, and with thanks to the Center for Border Health Research for supporting NGO professional staff, I was able to gather information from a large representative sample of 404 women aged 15–39 (see Staudt 2008a: Ch. 3). We sought information about awareness of violence, the incidence of domestic violence (physical, sexual, and verbal), the risks associated with violence (such as income, education, migrant status), and women’s strategies to deal with violence. The NGO also offered a series of three workshops to half of the sample, with which we compared the other half through beforeand-after questions to assess workshop effectiveness. In Mexico, scattered studies have been done on violence against women in particular cities. Also, a nationwide representative sample of women was sponsored by the national women’s machinery, Instituto de las Mujeres (InMUJERES), in conjunction with Mexico’s census bureau; but the analysts disaggregated data only to the state level, rather than further down to municipal levels like Ciudad Juárez. Having located no gender-disaggregated crime statistics in the city and the state of Chihuahua, rendering gender-based violence less visible, activists and researchers sought information to identify the scope of the problem. Numbers have the capacity to stimulate activism, policy, and implementation change. On the whole, women respondents and workshop participants mirrored the demographic characteristics of the city: approximately two-thirds had achieved primaria (grade 6 of education) or less, and lived in households earning the equivalent of US$100 weekly. Seven out of ten were born outside of Ciudad Juárez, and almost all lived in small homes, with three or fewer rooms. They reported security in their neighborhoods, but when asked what type, the security involved police patrols in a city with widespread mistrust of the police (approximately three-quarters of the sample reporting this).

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We documented widespread denunciation of violence against women, with women not only aware of laws and definitions of rape, but also cynical about men’s promises to change or use of alcohol as an excuse for their behavior. In analyzing results, we found that 27 percent reported experiences of physical violence, such as slapping, hitting, and beating (one-tenth within the last year). We also found that 11 percent reported sexual assaults, half of them by husbands or partners. To the extent that the sample is representative and that we can extrapolate to the whole city, approximately 100,000 women are at risk of violence by partners. Yet Ciudad Juárez, a city of 1.5 million people, has only one battered women’s shelter – Casa Amiga – that opened in 2005 with the capacity for ten families. In contrast, El Paso, a city half the size, has 32 shelters, three of which “specialize” in family violence – a problem that clearly is common on both sides of the border, and in both the US and Mexico more broadly. Domestic violence can lead to murder, equally deadly as serial killings from strangers. Yet, limited, routine social movement organizing had taken place around “ordinary” domestic violence. As a result of anti-femicide organizing, broader themes emerged among activists to include all forms of violence against women. However, as higher femicide figures emerged in other countries, such as Guatemala, transnational human rights activists moved toward these more dramatic spectacles than routine domestic violence. Persistent as well as sporadic resistance is crucial, but that activism falls mainly to local activists, some of whom have become disheartened, busy with everyday struggles to survive, or overwhelmed with pain about the loss of their loved ones. As for women’s strategies in response to violence, we asked questions about reactions to verbal, physical, or sexual violence, and the frequency of the following reactions and strategies in response to domestic violence. These are arranged from the most to least common, derived from a subsample of respondents who reported physical violence:          

Returning the attack Communicating with others about the attack Looking for help or shelter with parents or friends Initiating aggression in the discussion following an attack Denouncing officially the attack to the police Remaining calm and accepting the attack Leaving the house temporarily Terminating the relationship Asking his family or friends to intervene Looking for help or shelter in a support center

Individual resistance is evident in women’s responses. The most common strategy is aggression, that is, to return the attack, and fourth on the list is a delayed response, that is, to aggress in the discussion following an attack.



I cast no judgments on the wisdom of these strategies, and know nothing about their partners’ physical strength, but such strategies are risky. Women also tap their social capital, more difficult for recent migrants to do as their extended family and friends may still reside in distant places of origin. The second most common response is to communicate with others about the attack, and the third, to look for help or shelter with parents and friends. It is important to note that the least common strategy involves the search for help in public shelters or support centers. Casa Amiga, a nonprofit organization that has offered counseling and workshops for women and children, has been open since 1998, and raises funds from private sources. Only in 2005 was Casa Amiga able to raise enough money to open a shelter for ten families. As a result, women reported crossing the border for shelter when their partners threatened to kill them and dump their bodies in the desert. While such threats are more specific to this borderland, the epidemic of violence against women is worldwide and not unique to border areas. Less common strategies involve accepting the attack, leaving the house temporarily, and terminating the relationship. Again, I make no judgments on any of these, but they, too, are all risky strategies. In comparing women who have experienced physical violence with those who have not, I found that survivors had experienced far higher levels of verbal abuse. Verbal abuse undermines their wherewithal to exit a dangerous relationship. For most of the women in the survey, low income and education levels make exit difficult, especially if children are involved. Falling squarely in the middle of the list, some survivors resist through filing complaints with the police. In the larger sample, most women expressed distrust of the police and indicated they would not call if they experienced abuse. In many countries, domestic violence and rape are underreported crimes, in part because calls are delayed until there are multiple abuse experiences. Yet, with widespread awareness of police impunity in Ciudad Juárez, even suspected police collusion with multiple kinds of crimes, people are especially reluctant to engage with the authorities. Besides, if and when the case moves toward prosecution and the judge, the batterer may merely be assessed a fine, the size of which depends on the length of time that physical marks and bruises remain on the victim’s body. A small fine is levied for injuries that do not show more than two weeks, and the burden of payment may fall on the entire household. In Ciudad Juárez, there is no Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP), as this 26-week resocialization effort (with mixed results) is called in El Paso and other cities to the north. Thus, if and when an abuse survivor exits the relationship, the aggressor may move on to other women to become a serial batterer, without risk or accountability. Besides asking questions in the survey about strategies like those above, we also asked about feelings of sadness, whether sadness affected their everyday life, and whether they thought of taking their lives in the previous year. Higher figures emerged than I anticipated for all those questions. I cannot

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interpret the causes of such sadness, which undoubtedly emanate from multiple sources: migrants mourning for places of origins, economic distress, alienation in a dangerous large city, and violence, among others. But such sadness can corrode everyday life. We asked about substance (drugs and alcohol) use and abuse, which could indicate self-medication, but very few women reported such use: one-quarter used alcohol sometimes, and less than 2 percent used drugs. However, respondents reported high percentages of use by persons close to them, typically husbands, brothers, parents, or boyfriends; 79 percent of these used alcohol, and 28 percent used drugs. Future research should engage with men and their strategies of resistance: against women, against systems that disempower them, or against themselves with substance abuse and/or selfmedicating strategies. Violence against women is gendered social pathology, not simply a women’s issue. From this section, we can conclude that women both acquiesce to and resist violent surroundings, in both individual and collective ways. The strongest forms of resistance are found in women who denounce violence and organize collectively against it. But we must also acknowledge the quiet resistance that exists in households where less visible women respond to violence in multiple ways, despite the obstacles they face in a city with police impunity, massive poverty, and inadequate shelter space.

Concluding reflections In this chapter, I have utilized the themes of sites (at the Mexico-US border), sightings (lenses through which to understand violence against women), and resistances. The term, “resistance,” offers fuller and more comprehensive ways to interpret people’s reaction to power and their powerlessness. I have attempted to unpack the term and to draw on critics of neocolonialism (Fanon) and tyranny (Arendt) for clarification of how we might understand men’s resistance under conditions of global restructuring and changing gender power relations. Mexico’s northern border represents the epitome of the global economy, with its hundreds of foreign-owned factories and hundreds of thousands of assembly-line workers, the majority of them women. Although women workers are underpaid and exploited, they earn cash and some pose a perceived threat to their intimate partners and to misogynists during the three decades of dramatic economic changes in Ciudad Juárez’s industrializing city. In examining anthropological and so-called “national character” studies of Mexico, such as those of Paz, evidence is incomplete and inconclusive about the extent to which male control over women has been constant and universal. However, in examining data from a northern city of migrants, Ciudad Juárez – despite ugly and horrifying incidents of femicide – it is clear that domestic violence is especially extensive, experienced in a sizeable minority of households.



Resistance should be understood in gender-based ways. Women’s resistance can be analyzed as direct – such as collective organization against police impunity and as surviving in a violent household – and indirect – perhaps preparing support networks to exit dangerous relationships. Resistance also can be analyzed as either perverse or admirable, with an example of the former being a batterer who is angry at the system but beating an intimate partner, and the latter, a survivor seeking justice for other women. Resistance to the global economy and its miserable wages for the majority in Mexico cannot be taken out on women. As Arendt would say, obedience, not power, emanates from exercising this kind of coercive force. Resistance to globalization requires solidarity across gender lines to acquire well-being, and life-giving, accountable economic and political systems, rather than lifethreatening despair and violence instead. And, in the meantime, living wages, professional law enforcement, and shelters could save women’s lives. Governmental notions of “border security” hardly begin to address violence against women, whether the US or Mexico.

Notes 1 Because the bureaucratic term used in government – “homicide” – does not capture well the phenomenon of women-killing, especially sexualized killings that appear to entail misogynist motives and practices, feminists in different parts of the world have used the term femicide, or feminicidio. In Ciudad Juárez, activists have coined the term feminicidio to refer specifically to sexualized rape, torture, and mutilation murders that appear to be driven by a hatred of women. This term is not yet defined in the rule of law or in courts of law. There is some disagreement over whether the crime associated with men killing their intimate partners (what in the US is called “domestic violence homicide”) contains misogynist, sexualized motives and practices. 2 For a more detailed analysis of this section, see Staudt (2008a: Ch. 2). 3 See in-depth analysis of this in Staudt (2008a: Ch. 2) and Gloria Anzaldúa’s critique in Peña (2007: 16–17). 4 For extensive analysis of this activism, see Staudt (2008a: Ch. 4); on other NGOs, see Peña (2007).

10 Reclaiming spaces of resistance Women’s human rights and global restructuring Laura Parisi

It is crucial that progressive forces not assume the content and meaning of rights is simply given or established once and for all. Rather, they need to engage in what I … call the politics of rights interpretation. (Nancy Fraser in Fraser and Bedford 2008: 238)

Introduction After the 1980 United Nations (UN) Conference on Women in Copenhagen, one feminist activist succinctly summarized a central dilemma that continues to shape the discourses and strategies of women’s human rights activists: “We need to mobilize outside the establishment, to create somehow an independent pool of resources to protect us from co-optation, or if we must be co-opted, to demand a much higher price for our cooperation” (Izraeli in McIntosh et al. 1981: 784). This dilemma is nothing new – feminist activists have always been concerned with the trade-offs of working inside and outside of institutions and structures that they seek to transform. However, this tension takes on specific forms in particular periods of time depending on the issue at hand, such as suffrage rights, reproductive rights, violence against women, and so on. In this chapter, I will explore this tension in the context of global restructuring. Catherine Eschle (2004: 118) argues for feminist analyses which seek to understand “how other forms of power are constitutive of neoliberal economic developments,” and mainstream human rights, with its antecedents in liberalism, inalienability, and universality, constitute an axis of power in the ongoing reconfiguration of current political and economic systems. Eschle (2004: 118) notes that to analyze other “forms of power as globalized” in this way can reveal “ambiguities and contradictions,” and interrogating women’s human rights in the context of global restructuring does, indeed, reveal a significant contradiction. At the most basic level, feminist critiques of mainstream human rights (which have undergirded many feminist transnational networks) have been a form of resistance to neoliberal restructuring, but in another sense they have also been implicated



in and/or co-opted by the neoliberal project, which changes the nature of that resistance. My contextual starting point is the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and its resultant Platform for Action (BPA), since it is widely regarded as a critical juncture in the broadly (but not unproblematically) defined global women’s human rights movement.1 The BPA, though not without its critics, is often thought to be the penultimate achievement of feminist struggle and resistance. Indeed, Charlotte Bunch and Susana Fried (1996) argue that the BPA embodies the shift of women’s human rights from margin to center. In her reflections on this moment, Peggy Antrobus highlights the following: The analytic framework that formed the basis for approaches to the women’s rights discourse was based on new understandings of the link between women’s social and economic rights and our civic and political rights, as well as how cultural relativism affects the full range of women’s human rights. This integration of the development paradigm with the rights paradigm can be seen as one of the achievements of the global women’s movement. (2002: 104) Along with the mergers of the development and human rights paradigms, the other major policy shift to be fully articulated and adopted in the BPA2 is gender mainstreaming, which mandates that: Governments and other actors should promote an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes, so that, before decisions are taken, an analysis is made of the effects on women and men, respectively. (BPA 1995: paragraph 202) Gender mainstreaming has been simultaneously celebrated and derided since its inception, but is still considered to be a major achievement, since signatory governments of the BPA agreed, in principle, to adopt gender mainstreaming as a process to achieve the end goal of gender equality. The BPA definition also laid the groundwork for a more extensive articulation of it by international organizations, such as the UN and the World Bank, both of which have also officially adopted gender mainstreaming.3 Gender mainstreaming serves as a key policy process that links the human rights and development frames to produce the current manifestation of gender mainstreamed human rights. As such, the BPA is the fullest articulation of UN Decade on Women’s themes of “Peace-Equality-Development,”4 and extends the mandate of the 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The three objectives were, and still are, viewed as

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“internally interrelated and mutually reinforcing, so that the advancement of one contributes to the advancement of the others” (Pietilä and Vickers 1996: 49), and reflect the principle of what Dianne Otto (2001: 54) calls “structural indivisibility.” Structural indivisibility stresses “interconnections between the political, economic, environmental, and security priorities of the international order and violations of human rights” (Otto 2001: 54). This vision is somewhat different from Bunch’s (1990) emphasis on the necessary interconnectedness between political, civil, socio-economic, and cultural rights, in that it takes into account the systemic factors which link and influence the achievement of these rights. It is through the lens of structural indivisibility that I will analyze the relationship between dominant framings of women’s human rights, resistance, and global restructuring. This interrogation is imperative because, as Sheila Nair (2004: 254) argues, mainstream International Relations (IR) literature neglects the “impact of economic globalization on the creation and maintenance of an effective human rights framework,” and critical IR theorists are also guilty of having paid little attention to contradictions that are generated by this relationship, including the gendered, racialized, sexualized, and classed dimensions of these contradictions. Being attentive to the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, class, and so on, allows for an analysis that takes seriously the question of how the idea of human rights circulates and how this idea of human rights constitutes particular identities and attendant power relations, including that of global capital (Chowdhry 2004: 233–34). Women’s human rights circulate at and through multiple levels: international organizations, the state, transnational feminist networks (TFNs), and grassroots organizations. In thinking through these questions, I examine the relationship between women’s human rights, resistance, and global restructuring in several key areas: the human rights approach to development, gender mainstreaming, and Indigenous women’s resistance.

Sighting the sites of neoliberalism in women’s human rights discourse and practice The human rights approach to development (HRAD) One site where restructuring has taken place is through the merger of development and human rights discourses, now known as “the human rights approach to development” (HRAD). The basic premise of HRAD is that “human development is essential for realizing human rights, and human rights are essential for full human development” (UNDP 2000: 2), and as such, reconciles civil and political liberties with social and economic rights, thereby seemingly ending the long-standing bifurcation and hierarchy of the two types of rights.5 Human rights are both a means to and an end of development. However, as numerous scholars have discussed, HRAD has no singular form or intention, since the concepts of “rights” and “development”



are highly contested and interpreted in a variety of ways (Marks 2003; Cornwall and Nyamu-Musembi 2004; Alston 2005; Gready and Ensor 2005; Powell 2005; Tsikata 2007). However, for the purposes of this chapter, the dominant or hegemonic form of both “rights” and “development” is referenced. While there are many sources of and definitions of human rights, the Universal Declaration model is employed here as the embodiment of a conceptualization of human rights which has ideological antecedents in liberalism, and which serves as the central reference point for subsequent human rights treaties (Donnelly 2003). The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is premised on the following: the centrality of the autonomy of the individual; inalienability of rights; equality under the law; liberty for all; and state (non)intervention where necessary to ensure these rights (Donnelly 2003: 43–49). Development in this chapter is understood to be derived from Enlightenment narratives of progress and informed by the principles of economic neoliberalism that are directed towards the goals of economic growth, such as liberalized trade, deregulation, and the securitization of private property rights.6 According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), a “rights-based approach to development includes the following elements: express linkage to rights; accountability; empowerment; participation; non-discrimination and attention to vulnerable groups.” Andrea Cornwall and Celestine Nyamu-Musembi (2004: 1431) argue that, in practice, many HRAD approaches do not encompass all of these dimensions, but rather concentrate their efforts in only two directions that are not necessarily mutually exclusive: (1) a legalistic one, in which human rights are used as “standards against which development interventions might be assessed”; and (2) a more broad-based normative approach in which the “realization of human rights is seen as underpinning the entire development enterprise” (emphasis in original). Cornwall and Nyamu-Musembi suggest that the latter approach, with regard to rights and development, offers a normative framework for poverty reduction, which has been identified by the UN and the World Bank as a central concern. Since the BPA celebrates the merger of the human rights and development paradigms, it is important to consider the gendered implications of this paradigmatic shift. Some scholars, such as Marie Powell (2005: 613), argue that HRAD approaches can help bring CEDAW and the BPA into the “forefront of programming” and to develop indicators and benchmarks specifically linked to women’s rights, rather than gender equality rights, such as the Gender Development Index (GDI), which uses the male experience as the norm. The United Nations Development Fund for Women, or UNIFEM (2007), maps out, for example, how a development goal of ending violence against women can be concretely linked to CEDAW, and it emphasizes that, while legal remedies may be necessary, there should also be capacity building for states to go beyond just passing a law. Another is the recently released UN Secretary-General’s database on violence against women,7

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which includes a section on good and promising state practices in law, prevention, and services. However, although these may be positive implications of HRAD approaches for achieving women’s human rights with regard to violence, there are a number of other feminist concerns that have arisen in relation to HRAD that constitute resistance to this paradigm. First, Zehra Arat (2008) suggests that many provisions of CEDAW itself are also based on the measure of man, thereby limiting women’s human rights’ radical potential. Second, although women may be disproportionately affected by violence, the explicit connection to women ignores all those who are feminized by violence, including many racialized poor or queer-identified men. Events at the prisons in Abu Ghraib constituted egregious violations of human rights (of men, often by women), occurring while the Bush administration was claiming rights for the Iraqi people (Petchesky 2005; Richter-Monpetit 2007). At the same time, these events illustrated systemic violence as a function of the intersections of global economic, political, and cultural restructuring. Prior to the US invasion of Iraq, Iraq was a centrally planned economy, heavily reliant on its oil revenues. The US-led military invasion and subsequent occupation was justified under a variety of human rights and antiterrorism rubrics, or as Melanie Richter-Monpetit (2007: 44) calls it, the “save civilization itself” fantasy. “Saving civilization” also meant saving/preserving/ co-opting oil fields and related industries, the symbols of and access to power in the contemporary neoliberal period. The fantasy included disciplining all those who were perceived as a threat to Bush administration’s goals of “saving Iraq,” including prisoners at Abu Ghraib. After the US-led military invasion, the economic and political neoliberal restructuring of Iraq quickly ensued through the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority, dramatically – and violently – altering the economic, political, and cultural landscape of Iraq. As Cynthia Enloe (2007: 6) observes, “globalization depends on militarization whenever militarized ideas about national security come to be seen as central to creating or sustaining certain international relationships.” Abu Ghraib highlighted the gendered implications of structural violence fostered through and justified by militarized masculinity against Iraqi men. That the prisoners were “feminized” and, therefore, humiliated, silenced, and victimized, highlights a particular concern for women’s human rights activists with regards to victim narratives which are embedded in the restructuring process. Many feminists worry about the implications of the framing of women as primarily victims of violence in its various forms – systemic, structural, physical, and psychological. Ratna Kapur (2005: 99) argues that while “the victim subject … provides a shared location from which women from different cultural and social contexts can speak,” as well as “provides women with a subject that repudiates the atomized, decontextualized, and ahistorical subject of liberal rights discourse, while at the same time furnishing a unitary subject that enables women to makes claims based on a commonality of experience,” the end result is a conceptualization of



“women” that falls prey to gender essentialism, producing another type of “universal” subject that “resembles the uncomplicated subject of the liberal discourse, which cannot account for multi-layered existences and experiences” (2005: 99).8 In a related point, Suzanne Bergeron (2001: 995) argues that, when women are depicted as victims of globalization and feminists appeal to the state for “protection,” an unintended consequence can be that the state will move to adopt “the traditional masculine role of protecting women and families.” This result is ultimately contrary to many feminist goals for achieving rights, since it may limit women’s agency, and further points out the limitations of the “victimization” rhetoric in accomplishing such goals. There are other concerns as well. For example, in Engendering Development: Through Gender Equality in Rights, Resources, and Voice (2001), James Wolfensohn, the then-President of the World Bank, explains that the World Bank is concerned with two main issue areas in regard to gender and development (and, by extension, rights): (1) poverty, which perpetuates gender inequalities; and (2) the extent to which these resultant gender inequalities undermine or slow down development (2001: xi). If development is undermined, then so, too, are rights. In his stated goal, to promote gender equality in development, Wolfensohn does not question the current, neoliberal conceptualization of development itself, nor its presumed “benefits” (Parisi 2006). There is also an assumption “that progress in equalizing gender relations is underway as part of an inevitable and linear process of modernization and development; and that such progress is promoted principally by economic growth” (Molyneux and Razavi 2005: 985). Presumably, the “equalizing of gender relations” is also through rights mechanisms that states are able to achieve and enforce through the process of good governance and the “inevitable” strengthening of liberal democracy that comes as a result of that economic growth. This observation is important, given the current commitments to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Though the specific MDGs do not articulate a commitment to rights, the Millennium Declaration, from which the MDGs are derived, specifies commitments to human rights (including the human right to development) and to globalization. This can be read as the twin triumph and merger of liberal democratization (e.g, liberal conceptions of human rights) and neoliberal economics (e.g. development) in terms of restructuring in the post-Cold War era. Some feminists, in strategizing resistance, have recognized this linkage of human rights with markets as an opportunity to press for a refined, state-management approach, coupled with collective global governance, to mitigate the negative effects of the global economy. Yet, as Janine Brodie (2008) notes, this idea is based on the notion of social liberalism, which has been and continues to be, by varying degrees, in decline in the Global North. Social liberalism, the ideological underpinning of many social welfare states, is predicated on the principles that democratic states should regulate markets to provide the stability necessary to optimize the collective welfare of citizens, and prioritize the formal equality of citizens

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in such a way to as to allow all citizens to make claims to “a measure of equality, social security, and collective provision as a right of citizenship” (Brodie 2008: 150). The decline of social liberalism in the Global North over the last two decades has manifested itself in a variety of discursive and material ways, such as the deletion of the words “equality” and “advocacy” in Canada’s Commission on the Status of Women mandate (Brodie 2008); the refusal of the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada to sign and/or ratify the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; budget cuts in social welfare provisions of many OECD countries; and the financial collapse of the Icelandic government in 2008, which is now subject to International Monetary Fund (IMF) financial austerity measures. Given the power of the Global North in terms of circulating rights ideologies, it is unlikely that a model of social liberalism will emerge in the Global South, though there have been exceptions in some Latin American and South East Asian countries (Molyneux and Razavi 2005: 996). What has been ascendant, according to Brodie (2008: 160), is a model of neoliberal citizenship, in which “we are all invited to become enfranchised and empowered by the market, and to become self-sufficient … and citizentaxpayers.” This move is not surprising, given Maxine Molyneux and Shahra Razavi’s (2005: 998) observation that “good governance,” which is supposed to include embracing human rights, participation, and attention to social inequality, in the neoliberal context has primarily meant “‘sound’ management of the economy … and … expanding private property rights in order to support economic activity.” As a consequence, many social and economic rights are “no longer the responsibility of the state but have become commodities available by individual citizens in the marketplace” (Gideon 2006: 1280). Though the recent market downturn and global financial crisis destabilizes the neoliberal models of citizenship and “good governance” to some degree, much of the response to the crisis has also been couched in these models. For example, in the US, the Obama administration has focused on “economic stimulus” packages both for corporations and for individuals (to some degree) in order to stabilize the market. The norm of the neoliberal citizen as empowered by the market through private property rights still holds purchase elsewhere in the US economy. Recently, Kiva, an online micro-credit NGO based in San Francisco, that has historically provided loans for microcredit enterprises in the Global South, announced the introduction of a micro-credit program targeted towards US citizens, further underscoring the dominance of and investments in the ideal of the neoliberal citizen. Thus, a very narrow conceptualization of human rights is in play here, one that has become a substitute or proxy for a plethora of other human rights. This framing of rights does not allow for full critical engagement or resistance to the state if private property rights are prioritized in lieu of civil and political liberties, or other socio-economic and cultural rights. Given the centrality of the state in advancing human rights claims, the women’s human rights movement and its discourse have been and still are



deeply embedded in and reliant upon the state-centered model of human rights. This poses a dilemma for feminist resistance, since the state is located as both an abuser and protector of human rights. The solutions posed by many feminists to achieve gender equality within HRAD and gender mainstreaming approaches depend on the state to change its perspective, and consequently, its behavior. As a result, Louise Chappell (2000: 245) suggests that many feminists have moved to a middle ground with regard to the state, rejecting “earlier dichotomous accounts which treated the state as either inherently patriarchal and oppressive of women, or as gender neutral and able to enhance women’s participation,” but now favoring accounts which emphasize the “interaction between the state and gender, without privileging one or the other” (emphasis in original). This shift allows for a more complex rendering of how feminist activists shape states and how the state shapes feminist strategies by emphasizing the roles of both agents and structures (Chappell 2000: 245). By adopting this perspective, feminists can potentially identify existing opportunities, as well create new ones, to influence state behavior with regards to their goals concerning gender equality and mainstreaming, as well as policies derived from HRAD. It also allows for an analysis of the structural factors, such as the global economy, that may impede the ability of states to meet their human rights obligations. Jill Steans and Vafa Ahmadi (2005) argue that states have largely mastered the rhetoric of women’s human rights, but have done little to translate this rhetoric into effective action or the redistribution of resources. Furthermore, access to and influence over state policies is not uniform among women’s rights and human rights groups, and states are also subject to lobbying from other special interest groups (such as multinational corporations and international organizations), which may or may not be supportive of human rights-based initiatives (Rittich 2001: 97). In addition to these problems, as Chappell (2000: 246–47) notes, there is a historic disjuncture among women’s rights activists in the Global North and Global South, who have quite different views regarding the utility of achieving rights through the state, given the wide variation of states in terms of resources, effectiveness, and openness/ repressiveness. Despite varying feminist critiques of the state, under the HRAD paradigm, the state becomes the primary agent in promoting and implementing effective strategies to eradicate gender and other inequalities. Yet, implicit in this design is the assumption of an economically prosperous, democratic state or, at the very least, an effectual one that subscribes to a neoliberal economic agenda. Although the international covenants on human rights allow for “progressive realization” of human rights, this concept also hinges on the notion that states will consistently and persistently search for ways to reallocate resources to further the enjoyment of human rights. As Powell (2005: 610) argues, for HRAD to be effective as a mechanism to achieve women’s rights, progressive realization would have to be prioritized, as would gender equality within that realization. Her observation highlights the

Reclaiming spaces of resistance


necessity of taking seriously the ways in which the state contributes to gender inequality through its social policies and how the state “corrects” itself to conform to market priorities in the context global restructuring. Given that the BPA now operates as the dominant referent in international women’s rights law, and places responsibility with states to realize and protect women rights in the face of potential negative consequences of global restructuring (rather than challenging globalization itself), it appears that the “national-management framework” (Bergeron 2001: 993) is still the primary one in place in both the Global North and Global South, as an interactive site of resource allocation and resistance.9 Gender mainstreaming I also identify “gender mainstreaming” as a close corollary to or product of HRAD, because gender mainstreaming is the policy process by which gender concerns are addressed in HRAD. Since HRAD is informed by neoliberalism, proponents of gender and development (GAD) and women’s human rights paradigms have found themselves circumscribed by this discourse. The push for gender mainstreaming occurred simultaneously with HRAD in the Vienna Declaration on Human Rights (1993). This dialogue was further deepened and expanded upon during the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, where there was a conscious effort to shift from the “add women and stir” model of Women in Development (WID) to one that takes seriously the social construction of gender and the ideological power associated with it in terms of shaping women’s and men’s roles in the development and human rights regimes. This shift of moving from the UN Decade for Women’s frame of “sex” discrimination to “gender” inequality in the postUN Decade for Women was coupled with the push for “mainstreaming,” in which “gender issues at stages of policy-making and programme design and implementation” would be taken into account by states and international organizations (Baden and Goetz 1998: 20). In addition, in 1997, the UN also embarked on a system-wide initiative to mainstream human rights, effectively mainstreaming both gender and human rights. Thus, states as human rights duty bearers, now had legal obligations to further gender mainstreaming as part of the human right to development.10 Jennifer Chan-Tiberghien (2004: 460–1) identifies the shift in terminology as a move from the “women as equal to men” or equality discourse to a “gender-as-difference” discourse that emphasizes gender specific violations of rights and the disparities in achieving rights. The “gender-as-difference” discourse in the BPA frames these disparities as “the consequences of socially constructed gender roles rather than immutable biological differences” (BPA 1995: paragraph 28).11 Paragraph 10 of the UN Secretary-General’s 1996 Report on The Implementation of the Outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women also identifies gender analysis as critical to moving beyond “women as an isolated group” in order to examine how the relational



dynamic of socially constructed roles impacts the achievement of human rights and development. Despite its emphasis on “gender-as-difference,” as well as acknowledgement of the multiple barriers that women face due the intersections of multiple identities, the BPA also maintains a strong equality discourse (Otto 1996; Chan-Tiberghien 2004), which has resulted in the policy prescription that gender mainstreaming is a tool to achieve gender equality in terms of “rights, opportunities and responsibilities” (OSAGI n.d.). Feminists have been divided on the efficacy of gender mainstreaming. On the one hand, gender mainstreaming ensures that gender issues are continually on the agenda; but, on the other hand, it also gives public policymaking institutions the power to frame the issues in very specific ways to help “stabilize” the gender mainstreaming regime (Lacy 1985), presenting considerable challenges and dilemmas for feminist resistance and exposing limits of feminist transnational networks (FTNs).12 When faced with such a challenge, Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink’s work (1998: 12) predicts a “boomerang” effect between target actors and transnational networks, whereby such networks pursue alternative strategies when their actions are blocked by target actors. This prediction is based on a conflict model of agenda setting. Similarly, Jutta Joachim’s (2003) cyclical framework to explain the success of feminist transnational advocacy networks (TANs) in getting violence against women and reproductive rights and health issues on the global agenda is also premised on a conflict model that is decidedly optimistic about the ability of feminist TANs to prevail. However, neither approach takes into consideration what happens when TANs are brought into the policy process to neutralize their most radical claims. In the case of gender mainstreaming human rights and development, feminist visions of gender mainstreaming and women’s human rights have been co-opted by the very institutions that they have sought to transform. “Cooptation occurs if, in a system of power, the power holder intentionally extends some form of political participation to actors who pose a threat” (Lacy 1985: 83). Co-optation, according to Michael Lacy (1985) is supported by “blunting” and “channeling” effects in order maintain the legitimacy and power of dominant political institutions (1985: 91–93), such as the World Bank and the UN. In the case of women’s rights and gender equality, blunting simply means that the feminist transnational network political agenda is shifted and altered to fit the dominant norms of institutional structures. Channeling effects happen when women’s rights and empowerment activists, having accepted representation via global forums, either cease or decrease alternative forms of resistance and pick the path of least resistance by primarily participating within the official structures that they sought to change in the first place. Though feminist TANs had pushed for gender mainstreaming as a transformational process for deep institutional change that prioritizes gender equality and women’s concerns as well as the intersections of race, class,

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sexuality, and so on, an “integrationist” version of gender mainstreaming has prevailed, since it is more palatable to those in power, as it is viewed as less threatening (Jahan 1996). This version incorporated women’s human rights issues into, rather than transformed, the human rights and development frameworks without altering the existing structures, which led to the exclusion and/or marginalization of gender perspectives in the first place, thus solidifying and supporting neoliberal democratic and economic development. An important element of blunting and channeling is the discursive development and operation of the contested and/or desired term. In practice, gender mainstreaming has come to mean “women,” despite the emphasis on both men and women’s lived realities in the BPA and UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) definitions. This is partly due to the fact that gender discourse in the BPA is embedded in a larger blunting frame, which is embodied by the intersections of liberally defined human rights, democratization, and neoliberal economic restructuring. For example, while the BPA acknowledges negative effects of globalization on gender equality, it does not fundamentally question or reassess the neoliberal free market framework (Otto 1996: 20–23), even though CEDAW, to which the BPA is attached, calls for a New International Economic Order (NIEO) to tackle global economic inequality and for the end of imperialism, colonization, and racism. Yet, in the gender mainstreaming of human rights and development, these concerns have been blunted to the point of non-existence, and neoliberalism ultimately circumscribes the achievement of rights (Tsikata 2007). Within World Bank and “UN circuits, feminist contestations are [now] necessarily reactive, responding to priorities, programs, and practices” determined by others (Hawkesworth 2006: 143). As a result, gender mainstreaming strategies to alleviate poverty take the form of increasing women’s access to economic decision-making and free market activities (e.g. the right to work) (Otto 1996). As Rounaq Jahan (1996: 827) also points out, international institutions and states are more likely to redistribute financial resources as an investment in women’s socio-economic rights as part of the gender mainstreaming process when there is evidence of a profit to be made. Discursively and ideologically, this sentiment is reflected in the recent World Bank’s gender action plan entitled “Gender Equality as Smart Economics” (World Bank 2006), in which the main goal is the economic empowerment of women, since women’s capabilities are being used “inefficiently,” consequently hindering progress on the achievement of MDG #3, which calls for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. By linking its instrumental effort to MDG #3, the World Bank, through blunting strategies, is able to assume the moral authority and purpose that rights-based descriptors provide as a means to legitimizing its work (Cornwall and Molyneux 2006: 1179). Dzodzi Tsikata (2007) makes the additional important point that the normative dimensions of rights can be co-opted to justify development practices



that are incompatible with rights. For example, manifestations of women’s right to work through micro-credit and poverty alleviation programs have not necessarily led to women’s empowerment or their ability to claim human rights. In some cases, the “right to work” and the “right to credit” has actually led to increased human rights violations that are gendered, racialized, sexualized, and classed. Ruth Pearson (2007: 203) argues that “factories located in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) … were often assumed to be offering opportunities for Third World women to have a stake in higher-paid, regulated, and protected industrial sector, previously reserved for the labor aristocracy of male workers.” Yet, instead, what has occurred with feminization of the labor force in the EPZs is an erosion of those assumed protections and regulations for the formal sector. Violations of women’s human rights in EPZs have been well documented. These violations range from women being illegally tested for HIV (Dominican Republic) or for pregnancy (Mexico and China) as a condition of employment; poor and unsafe working conditions; withholding of wages; the inability to unionize; and sexual harassment. In addition, there is some mixed evidence that micro-credit programs, which target the poorest of women, have resulted in increased violence against women (Kumari K.B. 2008). Gender mainstreaming, in its integrationist form, loses its capacity as a tool of critical resistance and transformation, and becomes subsumed by neoliberal restructuring. As gender mainstreaming is pervasive throughout the UN system (Moser and Moser 2005), the “ideological immunity afforded by neoliberalism” is cast in numerous structural ways – through development, liberal democratization, militarization,13 and violence (Hawkesworth 2006: 143). This co-optation underscores Nair’s (2004: 257) critique that TAN literature often fails to interrogate its liberal suppositions, and too easily celebrates TANs’ ability to disseminate universal values of human rights, as well as securing states’ and international organizations’ commitments to these values, lionizing the BPA as a crowning achievement of feminist TANs. As a result, many NGOs, grassroots organizations, and the like, who are often significant actors in TANs, have found their agendas blunted and channeled into the integrationist gender mainstreaming framework. NGOs have increasingly had their funding tied to both human rights and gender mainstreaming initiatives, which embeds them in the integrationist frame and links them to processes of global restructuring (Ahmed-Ghosh 2006, Desai 2005; Wendoh and Wallace 2005; Poster and Salime 2002), resulting in the depoliticizing and professionalization of these organizations (Kamat 2004; Alvarez 1999). Consequently, some NGOs and other community-based organizations have become managers and intermediaries of neoliberal development programs and policies that shift the focus away from the state and other structural causes of inequality (Kamat 2004). Gender mainstreamed human rights in the neoliberal frame is both a product of feminist resistance and a target of resistance, due to the mergers of the human rights and development frameworks. That neoliberalism, in its

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many permutations, is afforded a certain ideological immunity, has made it particularly challenging for those who envision an alternative that goes beyond the current goal of mitigating the negative outcomes of global economic, political, and cultural restructuring. Indigenous women have been at the forefront of this dialogue, given the trade-offs they are often asked to make in both the women’s human rights movement (as Indigenous peoples), that is focused on the rights of the individual, and the Indigenous rights movement (as women), that tends to operate within a collective rights framework.

Resistances to gender mainstreamed human rights: Indigenous women’s contestations Despite being heralded by many feminist TANs, and in light of the ways it has been blunted and channeled by intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), the BPA has been challenged on many fronts. In their movement responses to the BPA, Indigenous women in both the Global South and Global North roundly criticized globalization as re-colonization and responsible for environmental degradation and continued poverty in Indigenous lands and nations (Vinding 1998).14 Their resistance to the gender equality, HRAD framework of the BPA is encapsulated by the Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women, or BDIW (1995), drafted by the Indigenous women’s caucus, comprised of 110 Indigenous women representing approximately the same amount of organizations from 26 countries, at the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women.15 Though the BPA makes a weak attempt at acknowledging diversity and attendant multiple discriminations through statements such as “the Platform for Action recognizes that women face barriers to full equality and advancement because of such factors as their race, age, language, ethnicity, culture, religion or disability, because they are indigenous women or because of other status” (BPA 1995: paragraph 46), the “gender-asintersectionality” discourse is usurped by the liberal gender equality discourse in the document (Chan-Tiberghien 2004; Otto 1996). In the BDIW, they sought to demonstrate a model of the mutual interaction between individual and collective rights that challenges the dominant women’s human rights discourse’s emphasis on liberal individualism, since “for Indigenous women, human rights, women’s rights, and the rights of Indigenous Peoples are intrinsically linked” (Cunningham 2006: 56). Although Indigenous women had been involved in the BPA drafting process through regional preparatory meetings held throughout the world, and were successful in their lobbying efforts to include in the BPA a recommendation that the UN adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (BPA 1995: paragraph 230o), many of their primary concerns, such as Indigenous self-determination, were not directly translated into the final version of the BPA. Among the critiques of the final BPA, by analysts supportive of Indigenous women’s rights, was a view that it distorted and essentialized Indigenous women’s identities by depriving them of agency and naturalizing their



marginalization, which set them up as “targets for ‘development’ interventions” (Espinosa 1997: 240). This confirmed the problematics with the gender mainstreaming and HRAD approaches that were pursued post-Beijing by IGO actors. For example, the Poverty section of the BPA makes the following recommendations: Take particular measures to promote and strengthen policies and programmes for indigenous women with their full participation and respect for their cultural diversity, so that they have opportunities and the possibility of choice in the development process in order to eradicate the poverty that affects them. (BPA 1995: paragraph 58q) [M]obilize all parties involved in the development process, including academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and grass-roots and women’s groups, to improve the effectiveness of anti-poverty programmes directed towards the poorest and most disadvantaged groups of women, such as rural and indigenous women. (BPA 1995: paragraph 60a) Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez (2007: 133) argues that policies based on recommendations such as these are “constructed as providing Indigenous peoples with the means to access modernity and the global market and to reach self-sufficiency.” Although poverty is a highly contested concept,16 left undefined in the BPA, these two poverty recommendations frame Indigenous women as in need of economic empowerment (e.g. access to markets, credit, and so on) so as to work their way out poverty, thereby exercising the right to work. The first recommendation (58q) is couched in the language of empowerment through phrases such as “participation,” “opportunities,” and “choice.” These imply a certain amount of agency of Indigenous women with regards to economic development. However, this obscures the ways in which Indigenous women become targets of development, since they are being asked to “promote” and “strengthen” existing development paradigms, or, in this case, “the development process,” implying a singular, perhaps linear, development path (emphasis added). In this instance, development is not necessarily about working for Indigenous women, but Indigenous women working for development (Chant 2006: 102), and assumes “seemingly natural and mutual goals” (Altamirano-Jiménez 2007: 133). These two recommendations are also informed by a “rescue” narrative, which positions Indigenous communities, in particular the locations that Indigenous women inhabit in their communities, as spaces that need to be saved (Grewal 2005)17 and, by extension, developed. In the second recommendation (60a), all external parties to Indigenous communities are asked to mobilize towards the goal of poverty alleviation, but not Indigenous women themselves, suggesting that interventions are necessary on their behalf, effectively denying

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Indigenous women’s agency and other valued contributions they make to their communities’ well-being. This narrative is further buttressed by the consistent, homogenizing, and static description of Indigenous women as the “poorest and most disadvantaged” women (which also squarely positions them in the victimization rhetoric discussed earlier) throughout the HRAD framework of the BPA. Constructing Indigenous women as incapable of exercising their human rights, and thereby “naturalizing” their marginalization in the “spaces of tradition” and “barbarism,” maintains, rather than transforms, existing power inequalities (Kaplan 2000: 222). Indigenous activist Myrna Cunningham (2006: 56) echoes this sentiment by noting that this “homogenizing tendency of the women’s movement sometimes recreates the same frameworks of discrimination and cultural degradation through which national governments exploit Indigenous peoples, especially Indigenous women.” While Indigenous women themselves often note the high levels of poverty in their communities and call for redress of this situation, they do not view their poverty or their marginalization as natural or inevitable. Rather, they argue in the BDIW that their marginalization is not due to a lack of access to markets or the achievement of neoliberal citizenship as predicated by HRAD, but through the violent imposition of neoliberal economic restructuring that takes the form of trade liberalization, bioprospecting, appropriation of Indigenous knowledge and culture, and militarized violence on Indigenous homelands. They are explicit in their rejection of the HRAD strategy of trying to mitigate the negative effects of globalization, since it is embedded in the interlocking systems of oppression of capitalism, patriarchy, and colonization,18 and would reaffirm their status as objects for development (Kuokkanen 2008). To accept this strategy would be to accept the “‘New World Order’” that legitimizes states’ re-colonization efforts to gain market access to untapped, “‘undeveloped’” Indigenous lands/territories which “sit on the ‘frontlines’ of the expansion of globalization” (Altamirano-Jiménez 2007: 132). Instead, they argue that it is imperative for Indigenous peoples to stand in the way of the expansion of neoliberalism (BDIW 1995: article 9). As such, the BDIW takes the BPA to task for its failure to be critical of the “New World Order” and for its lack of acknowledgment that poverty is “caused by the same powerful nations and interests who have colonized us and are continuing to recolonise, homogenize, and impose their economic growth development and monocultures on us” (BDIW 1995: article 11). In a similar vein, Indigenous women also called into question the idea of gender mainstreaming and their inclusion in a women’s rights discourse and movement that does not take responsibility for its complicity in perpetuating neoimperialist practices and pays little attention to the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and so on: Its recommended “strategic objectives” and actions focus on ensuring women’s equal access and full participation in decision-making, equal status, equal pay, and in integrating and mainstreaming gender


Resistances perspectives and analysis. These objectives are hollow and meaningless if the inequality between nations, races, classes, and genders are not challenged at the same time. Equal pay and equal status in the so-called First World is made possible because of the perpetuation of a development model which is not only unsustainable but causes the increasing violation of the human rights of women, indigenous peoples, and nations elsewhere. The Platform’s overemphasis on gender discrimination and gender equality depoliticises the issues confronting indigenous women. (BDWI 1995: Article 16)

For example, the BDIW illustrates this claim by noting that gender mainstreamed human rights in the educational and health sectors, as outlined by the BPA, do not question the hegemony of Western approaches in these sectors and how these systems have been complicit in discriminating against Indigenous peoples. Such analyses shed light on the problem of incorporating Indigenous women into neoliberal development schemes that threaten the self-determination and cultural integrity of Indigenous peoples and have contributed to the marginalization of Indigenous women, thereby calling into question the “naturalization” of their marginalization. In their quest to articulate an alternative, non-neoliberal conception of rights (and responsibilities) that does not erase history, agency, or structure, and actively contests the homogenization of the universalist claims and/ or values of HRAD, Indigenous women have also emphasized the need to pursue the collective right to self-determination.19 As Mario Blaser explains: Indigenous communities do not just resist development, do not just react to state and market; they also sustain “life projects.” Life projects are embedded in local histories; they encompass visions of the world and the future that are distinct from those embodied by projects promoted by the state and markets. (2004: 26) Through the pursuit of self-determination, Indigenous life projects can take into account “people’s experiences of place and self” that HRAD models cannot, given their homogeneity and universal diffusion (Blaser 2004: 26). That Indigenous women are engaged in life projects is depicted by the following statement: We, the women of the original peoples of the world have struggled to actively defend our rights to self-determination and to our territories which have been invaded and colonized by powerful nations and interests. We have been and are continuing to suffer from multiple oppressions; as indigenous peoples, as citizens of colonized and neocolonial countries, as women, and as members as the poorer classes of society. In spite of this, we continue to use, protect, transmit, and develop

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our indigenous cosmovision, our science and technologies, our arts and culture, and our indigenous socio-political and economic systems, which are in harmony with the natural laws of Mother Earth. We still retain the ethical and aesthetic values, the knowledge and philosophy, the spirituality, which conserves and nurtures Mother Earth. We are persisting in our struggles for self-determination and for our rights to our territories. This has been shown in our tenacity and capacity to withstand and survive the colonization happening in our lands in the last 500 years. (BDIW 1995: paragraph 5) As illustrated in the above passage from the BDIW, the securitization of Indigenous homelands and territory is of paramount importance to Indigenous women, as it is this struggle that is the key to the survival of Indigenous identities, worldviews, and autonomy. In international declarations, Indigenous women have consistently identified themselves as stewards and caretakers of the land, and as holding the responsibility to pass down their knowledge to subsequent generations (BDIW 1995; IIWF 2000 and 2005), and therefore play a crucial role their communities pursuit of self-determination. Myrna Cunningham (2006: 56) argues that “gender justice for Indigenous women must be rooted in Indigenous self-determination.” However, at the international level, this view is not necessarily shared by others. Mary Jane Jim (2001: 129), Vice-Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Canada, reports that, at the Beijing +5 meetings, the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (IIWF)20 was repeatedly told by state delegations that Indigenous selfdetermination and the reclamation and securitization of traditional territory were not women’s issues, and hence, there was no language in the final outcome document to reflect the collective rights framing of this issue. Indigenous women, however, have not entirely rejected individualist notions of human rights, despite the inability of gender mainstreamed, integrationist human rights frameworks to accommodate the collective rights framework embodied by Indigenous self-determination claims. As part of their life projects, Indigenous women have embarked on a path to reconcile collective and individual rights in ways that challenge the legacies of colonization and the current dynamics of neoliberalism in shaping gender relations and inequalities in Indigenous communities. For example, in the BDIW, Indigenous women call for equal political participation in Indigenous socio-political structures which Cunningham (2006: 57) deems as necessary to facilitate a renewal of Indigenous self-determination that is not predicted on the gender hierarchies and institutions that were the consequence of patriarchal colonization. The BDIW also calls for “Indigenous and customary laws that are supportive of women victims of violence be recognized and reinforced. That Indigenous laws, customs, and traditions which are discriminatory to women be eradicated” (Article 36). Lenape scholar Joanne Barker (2006) argues that this position is not necessarily a contradiction because, in her view, the collective also bears responsibility for ensuring the health and well-being of all its



individuals that is based on a vision/policy of shared inclusion, rather than exclusion and marginalization. Carmen Diana Deere and Magdalena León’s (2002) work on the gendered dynamics of individual and collective Indigenous land rights and self-determination in Latin America highlights how, even though collective rights are ostensibly premised on a notion of shared inclusion, in practice the colonial legacy has meant the exclusion and marginalization of Indigenous women within their own communities with regards to land rights. In their critique of the BPA, Indigenous women made clear the limitations of the women’s rights discourse that asks them to trade off their collective rights as Indigenous peoples in order to claim rights as individual women that are predicated on the principle of sex discrimination. Rather, they argued that systemic or structural gender inequality is inextricably linked to other structural systems of inequality, such as racism and neoliberal capitalism. Yet, at the same time, they are arguing for a vision of Indigenous self-determination that does not require them to trade off their rights as women in their communities. The crux of Indigenous women’s resistance is the intersection of individual and collective rights, which rejects the naturalization and homogenization of the neoliberal citizen. Instead, they appear to be advocating for a form of what Nira Yuval-Davis (1999: 113) calls “transversal citizenship politics,” in which it is possible to pursue equality across difference by breaking down the perceived homogeneity of specific identity groups in HRAD, such as Indigenous peoples and women.21

Restructuring rights/restructured rights Sylvia Walby (2005: 459) argues that “human rights discourse might appear to allow for the expression of many of the equality concerns across a range of forms of structured social inequality simultaneously, while still claiming the possibility of universally relevant standards.” Indeed, this is a major reason that feminists have pursued gender equality claims and gender mainstreaming in the human rights and development domains. However, as this chapter reveals, there are considerable implications of this line of thought for feminist resistance to global restructuring through rights based frameworks. At the core of gender mainstreaming policy is the desire to transform the existing system. The push for the inclusion of gender concerns in all areas of human rights and development was the impetus of much feminist resistance from 1975–95. However, due to the mergers of the human rights and development frames during the height of neoliberal restructuring in the 1990s, the gender mainstreaming process lost its critical teeth. Neoliberalism restructured rights discursively, morally, and materially in its own image through the promotion of the neoliberal citizen, who, as the Indigenous women’s analysis shows, is profoundly gendered, racialized, classed, sexualized, and so forth. Yet, through the lens of structural indivisibility vis-à-vis global economic restructuring, democratization, militarization, and patriarchy, we see that the

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neoliberal citizen has been universally rendered in a unidimensional and homogenous way, so as to co-opt resistance to the dominant frame. Indigenous women (and men) are resisting the dominant conceptualization of gender mainstreamed human rights by restructuring rights through a method and politics of intersectionality, which recognize the structural indivisibility of race, class, nation, gender, and sexuality in the construction of identity and social relations, and take into account how the multi-dimensional nature of identities are derived from and embedded in “social relations, history, and the operation of structures of power” (AWID 2004: 2); in this case, how rights, development, and economic, political, and militarized restructuring constitute one another as a process of neoimperialism. For “Indigenous women, who have long experienced violence and discrimination based on multiple identities, the notion of ‘intersectionality’ is not an arcane academic concept but daily lived reality” (IIWF 2006: 6), and this position is amply reflected in their critique of the BPA, which shows the limits of gender mainstreamed human rights cast in a dichotomous way. Interestingly enough, in their Beijing +10 statement, Indigenous women call for Indigenous women’s issues to be mainstreamed throughout the UN system (IIWF 2005). If Indigenous women are successful in pursuing this more radicalized agenda, they may be able to push beyond the limitations of the current integrationist form of gender mainstreamed human rights to a more transformational one, and reclaim a crucial space of feminist resistance.

Notes 1 The mid-1990s is also when the term “globalization” came into wide use, indicating a perceived shift in global political, economic, social, and cultural order after the end of the Cold War. For detailed discussion about the theoretical and historical evolution of women’s human rights, see Fraser (1999) and Parisi (2002). 2 Although the 1993 Vienna Declaration of Human Rights was the first “mainstream” human rights legal instrument to mainstream gender issues, the BPA is widely regarded as the penultimate document. 3 The ECOSOC agreed conclusions, 1997/2, defines gender mainstreaming as: [T]he process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality. (OSAGI 2002: 1) 4 These terms are defined in the “Forward Looking Strategies” (FLS) in the 1985 Report of the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development, and Peace (Nairobi Report) as follows. Equality is both a goal and a means whereby individuals are accorded equal treatment under the law and equal opportunities to enjoy their rights and to


Resistances develop their potential talents and skills so that they can participate in national political, economic, social, and cultural development, both as beneficiaries and as active agents. For women in particular, equality means the realization of rights that have been denied as a result of cultural, institutional, behavioural, and attitudinal discrimination. (Nairobi Report 1985: paragraph 11) Development means total development, including development in the political, economic, social, cultural and other dimensions of human life as well as the development of the economic and other material resources and the physical, moral, intellectual, and cultural growth of human beings. Development also requires a moral dimension to ensure that it is just and responsive to the needs and rights of the individual. (Nairobi Report 1985: paragraph 12) Peace includes not only the absence of war, violence and hostilities at the national and international levels but also the enjoyment of economic and social justice, equality and the entire range of human rights and fundamental freedoms within society. (Nairobi Report 1985: paragraph 13)

5 The United Nations Development Program, or UNDP (2000: 1–6) identifies the following seven focal areas as the core of HRAD: 1. Freedom from discrimination – by gender, ethnicity, national origin, or religion. 2. Freedom from want – to enjoy a decent standard of living (malnutrition, poverty, clean drinking water). 3. Freedom to develop and realize one’s human potential (life expectancy, literacy, infant mortality, primary school enrollment). 4. Freedom from fear – of threats to personal security, from torture, arbitrary arrest and other violent acts. 5. Freedom from injustice and violations of the rule of law. 6. Freedom of thought and speech and to participate in decision-making and form associations. 7. Freedom for decent work – without exploitation (employment, child labor). 6 There is considerable debate over whether or not we are now in a post-Washington Consensus phase. The term of post-Washington Consensus allegedly shifts the development focus from market-led growth to sustainable, democratic development which focuses on poverty alleviation. However, to many commentators, the post-Washington Consensus is still underpinned by neoliberal ideology. 7 See the UN Secretary-General’s database on violence against women. Available: (accessed 31 May 2009). 8 Ratna Kapur (2005) and others, such as Chandra Talpade Mohanty (1991) and Uma Narayan (1997), also argue that the focus on the victim subject results in cultural essentialism. 9 For a more extended treatment of women’s human rights, democratization, and global economic restructuring, see Parisi (forthcoming). 10 In order to accomplish this (at least in theory), many states developed action plans for women’s equality and established women’s ministries at the federal government level (Lovenduski 2005; True and Mintrom 2001). 11 The BPA itself does not specifically define “gender” other than to say that its use of gender reflects “ordinary, common usage” of the term. This (non)definition of

Reclaiming spaces of resistance


the term was and remains highly controversial since “ordinary, common usage” precluded any mention of multiple genders or sexual orientation, due to pressures by the Vatican and various countries. The subsequent 1996 Report on Implementation of the Outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women, as to implementing the BPA, by the UN Secretary-General clarifies that “gender is the socially constructed roles played by men and women ascribed to them on the basis of biological sex” (paragraph 9), and recognizes gender as contextually specific. The first formal definition of gender in a legally binding treaty appears in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Article 7(3)): “gender refers to the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society.” This definition has since come to dominate treaty language with regards to gender inequality. For extended treatments on the problems with this framing, see Chan-Tiberghien (2004) and Spees (2003). 12 The particular effectiveness of feminist TANs has been amply covered by others (Friedman 2003; Joachim 2003; Bunch et al. 2001; Keck and Sikkink 1998; Winslow 1995; Stienstra 1994), and I will not delve into this here. 13 For example, Security Council Resolution 1325, which addresses the impact of war, conflict resolution, and peace on women and calls for gender mainstreaming UN Peacekeeping operations. 14 There is no consensus on the question as to who is Indigenous, and international organizations, such as the UN, have not adopted an official definition of Indigenous peoples, despite the recent passage of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Corntassel 2003). However, there are working definitions, such as the one developed by the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1986, that offer some generally accepted guidelines for selfidentifying Indigenous peoples and nations:  Self-identification as Indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community as their member;  Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies;  Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources;  Distinct social, economic, or political systems;  Distinct language, culture, and beliefs;  Form non-dominant groups of society; and,  Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities. (UNPFII 2006) While there is a great deal of discussion over the complexities of defining 370 million Indigenous peoples around the world, ultimately the question of who are Indigenous women is best answered by Indigenous women themselves, rather than imposing a state derived categorization that potentially reproduces colonial constructs of Indigenous women. This is especially important since many Indigenous women’s organizations, such as the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (IIWF), also do not define Indigenous women. Although this may make the use of the term “Indigenous women” seem unwieldy or homogenous, the emphasis on selfidentification is congruent with the criteria set forth by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) as well as other international legal instruments, such as International Labor Organization (ILO) Treaty 169 (Corntassel 2003). A policy of self-identification is designed to overcome colonial practices of denying Indigenous identities while acknowledging the agency of Indigenous women in determining their own identities, thereby rendering the definition of Indigenous women as fluid and heterogeneous.



15 Indigenous women have also drafted responses to Beijing +5 and Beijing +10 that reiterate many of the themes from the 1995 Declaration. 16 See Sylvia Chant (2006) for an excellent overview of the contested meanings and measurements of poverty in the gender and development discourse. 17 Inderpal Grewal (2005) applies this argument to the Third World, and not specifically to Indigenous communities, but the general argument holds, since there are many Indigenous communities in the Global South, as well as the Global North. 18 Mary Jane Jim (2001) and Myrna Cunningham (2006) argue that the process of colonization also included the dissemination of patriarchal values and institutions in Indigenous communities, which caused the erosion of Indigenous gender egalitarian norms, resulting in Indigenous women’s subordination. 19 In its most basic form, the “right to self-determination is … the right of a people to govern themselves by their own laws and exercise jurisdiction over their territories” (Tully 2000: 57). 20 The IIWF was formed as the result of the Indigenous Women’s Caucus at the 1995 Beijing conference. 21 For further discussion, see Parisi and Corntassel (2007 and forthcoming).

11 Globalization, feminism, and information society1 Gillian Youngs

Introduction This chapter discusses material and symbolic shifts associated with globalization and the information society. Its main perspective is that structuring and restructuring in contemporary times, as well as resistances of various kinds related to such processes, are now taking place in complex technological conditions. While most are familiar with the technological order of industrialization, with its emphasis on heavy machinery, centralized modes of (mass) production, and patterns of inequality and oppression associated with it, the new information society mode is presenting new framings for consideration. These do not replace industrialization, which, as a central feature of globalization, continues its geographical spread across the world, as evidenced most notably in the manufacturing giant that China has now become. But they do expand our thinking about political economy to incorporate information and communication technologies (ICTs) and diverse economic developments associated with the digital age. ICTs may be seen as a new form of economy, but their structures substantially reflect the dominant neoliberal patterns of ownership and control that have characterized the industrialized economy. The market dominance of global giants like Microsoft illustrate this only too well. But the technological character of the information age offers decentralizing tendencies as well as centralizing ones, in ways that many consider to be entirely new. ICTs facilitate horizontal dissemination of power, innovation, and resistance, in addition to strengthening familiar vertical forms of power, whether state or corporate. Horizontal patterns reflect myriad forms of economic and social entrepreneurialism, resistance through networking, online community building, and information and product sharing, such as blogging and music file sharing. In simple terms, such developments indicate that political economy is now an online and offline phenomenon, that is, one that is channeled via the digital world and the diverse technologies (hardware and software) associated with it, as well as the more familiar material world. Power and inequality and resistances to them are being increasingly expressed in these online and offline circumstances and, thus, their material



and symbolic qualities increasingly need to be taken into account. Feminist concerns and strategies reflect these changed conditions, and are likely to do so in more intense patterns as the digital economy continues to expand, and becomes embedded in growing numbers of societies across the world. In macro terms, the global economy can already be considered a hybrid of digital and industrial worlds. Robotics in manufacturing, and digitization, for example of media, demonstrated, even before mass use of the Internet and the World Wide Web, the ability of the former (the digital) to adapt and transform the latter (the industrial). Such transformations continue, but ICTs have provided new infrastructures for producing and consuming, as well as providing new products (hardware and software), and facilitating continually expanding new services. The digital economy not only captures what we produce and consume, but also the ways (often virtual) in which we engage in these and other social activities.

Globalization and the virtual world: sightings ICTs have altered public perceptions of globalization, offering the direct means to make contact with, and experience, the near and far, with immediacy, speed, and new kinds of virtual intimacy. The Internet, and its contrasting public and private spaces of the web and email, is offering a concrete status to what has previously been a rather abstract and/or distant notion of globalization, as a vague term to describe the reach of the market and the production and consumption processes associated with it, and the worlds of high finance and global media (Herman and McChesney 1997; Scholte 2000; Dicken 2003; Kofman and Youngs 2008). These traditional spheres of globalization have been closely identified with familiar material processes: the increasing ease of international travel and transportation of people and goods, as well as the growing communications infrastructures and technologies that have supported them, and diverse forms of market, political, and social exchange (Schiller 2000; Sassen 2002a). In these material terms, the idea of “access” and globalization are predominantly concerned with geographical spaces and their availability to peoples and markets, largely on the basis of relative wealth and social status (Bakker and Gill 2003; Gill 2003). Along such lines, national economies can be defined in terms of their relevance to globalization, across such extremes as what might be termed the drivers of it, the richest economies, notably Western Europe, the US, and Japan, to those virtually outside of it, the poorest economies in Sub-Saharan African and South Asia, and in between the major new growth economies, especially China (Agnew and Corbridge 1995; UNDP 2003; Youngs 2007). The “virtual” qualities of the Internet have, however, expanded this picture of globalization in quite dramatic ways. When the term “virtual” is used in this context, it refers to the social spaces that ICTs, notably the Internet, have enabled. While these virtual spaces are accessed from traditional (geographic)

Globalization, feminism, and information society


locations, such as home, work, and various forms of transport, they are distinct from them in being mediated via diverse complexes of technology, hardware, and software. There is extensive debate about the status of this kind of mediated or virtual reality (see, for example, Shields 2003). It has added new spatial considerations to our understanding of the whole realm of access. We now need to think in “socio-spatial” as much as “geo-spatial” terms (Youngs 2007; see also Tomlinson 1999). Socio-spatial refers to the technologically mediated spaces we can access, and in which we can work and play, build relationships and communities, pursue learning, and so on. Geo-spatial refers to the more familiar physical locations of house, factory, school, village, town, country, and so forth. Distance- and time-spanning technologies are, of course, relevant to both spatial spheres, and are powerfully combined in the new forms of mobile communication, allowing us to occupy different virtual social spaces as we move through different physical spaces, including through varied forms of transport. But the expansion of use of the Internet is increasingly foregrounding the sociospatial by making multiple social contexts available simultaneously, and facilitating instantaneous mobility between them. This applies to diverse online activities, whether we are thinking about hopping around different websites, shopping, seeking information, engaging in political activity, joining chat rooms, or moving between email, web, and instant messaging modes, including engaging in synchronous communication, where all parties need to be present at the same time, or asynchronous communication, where this is not the case, or a mixture of both modes across micro slots of time. The technologies, hardware and software, combine to offer complex combinations of modes of communicating, and the boundaries of the virtual world may be quite different from, as well as parallel to, the physical territorial boundaries of the geospatial world of villages, towns, cities, and states. Virtual social boundaries may follow a whole host of patterns cutting across these traditional boundaries and bringing different forms of locality into connection with others, creating new heterogeneous global contexts for communication. Rather than being defined by geospatial boundaries such as the state, these contexts may be defined by specific interests related to politics, culture, or the market, that cut across national and other physical boundaries. They may be in response to events, such as the multiple forms of online activity, activism, and weblogs characteristic of the recent Iraq conflict and post-conflict situations, and the diverse forms of virtual response to such tragedies as the tsunami at the end of December 2004. These new contexts follow lines of interest as wide-ranging as sexual orientation, religion, fashion, virtual worlds, activism at local, national, or global levels, and so on. They may be about information sharing for a whole range of purposes, political, economic, social, and cultural – and they may be about new virtual ways to pursue work and leisure. They range from networks on specific types of computer software and problem-solving on them, to online chat rooms on news and other websites.



The multiplicity of these new contexts has many stark conceptual and practical contrasts with established geospatial contexts for individual and social communication. This is the basis for growing bodies of theoretical and substantive research and work on cyberspace, virtual reality, and virtual communities (Harcourt 1999; Rheingold 2000; Shields 2003; Youngs 2006; Youngs and Allison 2008). These include positive and negative concerns about the potentials and risks associated with the new virtual sphere. Despite varied positions, much of this work demonstrates ways in which virtuality is creating a sociospatial shift in the world, which is becoming, in certain respects, equally or even, potentially, more important than the geospatial. One key development in this shift is the growing interdependence of social interaction, expression, and process, with ICTs and their infrastructures and cultures. Feminist analysis, policy work, and activism have been at the forefront of these new knowledge shifts (Hawthorne and Klein 1999a; APC 2005; Hafkin and Hyer 2006). These feminist contributions have addressed general information society themes of concern as well as focusing specifically on feminist theory and women. Areas covered include: the relationship between gender and technology (Haraway 1991 and 1997; Spender 1995; Turkle 1995; Plant 1997); the expansion of the social through the virtual; self-identification and identity manipulation (for example, of gender and sexuality) in virtual communication (Turkle 1995; Plant 1997); crossing boundaries, such as those of states and cultures (Harcourt 1999); risks, such as cyber-stalking and online harassment and violence (see, for example, Mi-Kyung 2000); changing work practices and ICTs (Green and Adam 2001); virtual communities and activism (Harcourt 1999); and economic development and empowerment (Youngs 2002; APC 2005). This list could be much longer, so these areas should be regarded only as indicative. They suffice to signal the broad relevance to ICT scholarship of feminist work, including its particular focus on questions of women’s emancipation and equality between men and women and among women, as well as its roots in a historical tradition of theorizing in these and related areas, and campaigns for social and international change linked to them.

Digital divide and access: sites Feminist approaches to the issue of “access” to the information society can be characterized as aligning with general developments in theory, policy, and activism, and to generating additional concerns and frameworks specific to feminism’s orientations. I would argue that the diversity of feminist contributions represents both synergy with broad debates about virtual society, and also makes distinctive contributions to it. Mainstream questions about access fall predominantly within the debate about “the digital divide.” This was articulated in a high profile way at the policy and political level most explicitly in the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). The international

Globalization, feminism, and information society


focus of the summit obviously placed in the foreground the main digital divide between the richer and poorer parts of the world. It is interesting to note that ICTs are positioned in this context within the wider framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As the WSIS Declaration of Principles states: Our challenge is to harness the potential of information and communication technology to promote the development goals of the Millennium Declaration, namely the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; achievement of universal primary education; promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women; reduction of child mortality; improvement of maternal health; to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and development of global partnerships for development for the attainment of a more peaceful, just and prosperous world. (WSIS 2003) This statement clearly locates ICTs as integral to the MDGs aims. It counters, in some ways, traditional linear notions of development, and allows for leapfrogging notions of developing societies moving straight to the information revolution, without, for example, necessarily passing through the same kinds of industrial and economic development that have marked the stages of progress of the richest economies of the twentieth century. It signals that the information society could bring new models of development based on ICTs, communications infrastructures, and knowledge economies, rather than the traditional technologies and skills of industrialized economies of the past. WSIS also emphasized the “universal” importance of ICTs by drawing links between the information society and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: We reaffirm, as an essential foundation of the Information Society, and as outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Communication is a fundamental social process, a basic human need and the foundation of all social organization. It is central to the Information Society. Everyone, everywhere should have the opportunity to participate and no one should be excluded from the benefits the Information Society offers. (WSIS 2003) Access to ICTs and the benefits of the information society, for individuals as well as economies, is, via such links, being politically articulated as foundational to contemporary understandings of global equality. As such, I would



argue, the sociospatial orientation I outlined earlier is being foregrounded as inherent to new patterns of development in the twenty-first century. Human development is assessed as occurring not only in the familiar physical geospatial settings of the past, but also in the less familiar virtual settings of the present and future. This policy orientation signals the importance of shifts in conceptual and analytical, as well as political and activist, thinking in this new geospatial/sociospatial configuration. Economic, as well as political and social, developments are increasingly sited in the virtual as much as the more familiar material settings of daily life and activity. Paths to social transformations, liberation, and greater equality will likely increasingly reflect the hybrid nature of online/offline existences and social structures and processes, both within and across state lines, across local, national and transnational contexts. Women, and minorities, are also being explicitly recognized as requiring particular attention in this shift: We affirm that development of ICTs provides enormous opportunities for women, who should be an integral part of, and key actors, in the Information Society. We are committed to ensuring that the Information Society enables women’s empowerment and their full participation on the basis o[f] equality in all spheres of society and in all decision-making processes. To this end, we should mainstream a gender equality perspective and use ICTs as a tool to that end. In building the Information Society, we shall pay particular attention to the special needs of marginalized and vulnerable groups of society, including migrants, internally displaced persons and refugees, unemployed and underprivileged people, minorities and nomadic people. We shall also recognize the special needs of older persons and persons with disabilities. (WSIS 2003) From these perspectives, access to ICTs is argued as a new facet of broader (neo)liberal approaches to “women’s empowerment” and “gender equality,” and to the needs of other disadvantaged and minority groups. There is recognition that the very fabric of social existence is being refashioned in the digital age. ICTs are enhancing the status of symbolic settings and the connectivity and networks they facilitate, as the growth of online global women’s movements powerfully illustrates. The realization of social goals, including those associated with “universal equality,” will increasingly require harnessing online as well as offline facets for expanding numbers of societies and people around the globe. This applies to the widest range of concerns, such as: information sharing; education; political engagement (both formal and informal); organization and community building; self realization and advancement; entrepreneurialism and innovation; networking near and far; philanthropy; and lobbying for change.

Globalization, feminism, and information society


Without getting too philosophical, it is clear that the ontology of social life has begun to shift, with ICTs becoming increasingly embedded in expanding areas of activity and association. For example, social presence can now have 24/7 purchase online, whether we are talking about large-scale organizations or individuals. Thanks to the integrated technologies of the online world, such presence can easily have multimedia characteristics, combining text, image (static and moving), and voice. The World Wide Web emphasizes the power of asynchronicity, the power of symbolic presence without physical presence, as it were. Artificial intelligence of computer software can substitute for human functions (such as exchanges of information or money for goods) so that automated processes can take place without necessarily involving human intervention. This applies as much to the online purchase of items as to the dissemination of personal information through social networking sites. New forms of virtual politics, including feminist varieties, harness in ever more complex ways the full power of online presence and interactive capacities. Mobility and accessibility are also transforming in these new circumstances (see, for example, Urry 2007). Whereas in the past, movement would inevitably involve physical movement, this is no longer necessarily the case. The icons of the industrial (material) age – the train, automobile, and airplane – are now accompanied by the myriad electronic devices of the virtual age. These allow movement without physical movement, social interaction without physical presence. Physical mobility at increasing speed and ease has been a key motif of the industrial era, now to some degree replaced and challenged by the possibilities of contact, engagement, and action without physical movement in the virtual era. A big part of power in the industrial age has been the ability to move from one place to another at ever greater speeds and in ever greater comfort. Conversely, power in the virtual age is all about moving, connecting, and acting, while sitting still at the office desk or in the armchair at home. It is also about accessing multiple social spaces and people within them while on the move through mobile networked devices (computers, cell phones, and the like). We see the fusion of the different forms of power related to movement associated with the two eras when mobile virtual communications take place in trains and cars. Acting, thinking, and being across different social spaces (such as friends and family) connected to different places (for example, home and work) instantaneously, including while on the physical move, characterizes new digital cultures and life within them. This situation signals some deep considerations about the extent and changing nature of inequalities in the world, between the haves and have-nots within individual societies, as well as across them. There are new technological terms of inequalities that will increasingly need to be taken into account in the digital world that impact on the potential for human beings to be in touch with one another, to have access to various social facilities and possibilities, to be empowered by such access or disempowered by the lack of it. As ICTs become further embedded in material existences, alternative digital lifestyles (and the ranges and varieties of them) will feature increasingly among the



factors that differentiate people from one another, and, importantly, their experiences of the social world and potentials in it. In a world where the sociospatial is becoming as significant as the geospatial, and the dependence on high technologies, such as ICTs, is becoming increasingly influential, the technological terms of inequality appear high on the agenda for social change. The dramatic and multidimensional lead that the richest economies hold in this regard is a key factor in understanding both potential for change and barriers that exist to it, material and otherwise. The new era of the information society has dawned as technology in broad terms, its innovation and application, continues to be aligned firmly with economic potential. This relates both to the traditional so-called “dirty” technologies of the industrial revolution in the manufacturing sectors, and the so-called “clean” technologies of the information revolution. The recent newgrowth economies, notably China and India, can be viewed in this light as much as the established drivers of globalization – the triad of the US, Japan, and Western Europe. This triad, within the context of US hegemony, has shaped the neoliberal world of the last half century or so, dominating patentownership in general, and key innovations in ICTs (Youngs 2007). Networked through ample established and new wireless communications infrastructures, they have a clear lead in developing as “fully integrated information societies,” a concept that has many facets. These facets relate to both supply and demand sides. Or, to frame it slightly differently, to the abilities to generate infrastructurally a fully developing and continually renewing digital environment, as well as the opportunities and capacities to be active in creating as well as utilizing that environment, whether we are thinking of businesses and individuals, or differing social groups and organizations. The fastest growing developing economies, notably China and India, are integrating some information society developments into their overall uneven picture of growth. The future is bound to hold many surprises on the innovation front coming out of these information economies, as they continue to develop and impact the global economy (Youngs 2007). The poorest in the world, concentrated in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and in pockets across the world, are generally in a very different relation to ICT phenomena. For the poor, access to the full potential of information society developments is underpinned by the basic struggles for survival and literacy. The latter is essential to the knowledge environment where text-based interactions structure new and enabling social networks. The high-tech nature of information society developments, and the knowledge and educational bases of them represent key areas of extreme global inequality in digital capability.

Feminism and access to the information society: sociospatial resistances Feminism has much to offer thinking and action about the new problems of inequality in the digital age, especially how they compound earlier problems

Globalization, feminism, and information society


of inequality from the industrial age. Feminist understanding of technological developments in historical terms recognizes the range of differentiated relationships to them. Feminists explore the information society paradigm as something that needs to be interrogated, rather than assumed in any single form, and view horizontal developments associated with the Internet as equally important as vertical ones. This is a recognition of communications processes which cut across traditional (vertical) power lines, forming alternative (horizontal) networks and communities, which may often interact with and challenge centers of power, but may also just work in their own (alternative) terms. Let me elaborate a little on these feminist investigations of vertical and horizontal dimensions of ICTs. In broad terms vertical investigations concern the underpinnings of what historically disempowers societies and individuals as we enter the information age. There is recognition here that those who have dominated the technological arena have an important lead not only in material technological and economic terms, but also with regard to their historically established cultures that orient them towards technological innovation as a fundamental part of the way of life. Most of us are familiar with the divides that exist in this area between the richest and poorest societies across the world. Feminists point also to the importance of such influences at the individual level in their focus on the masculinist characteristics of science and technology in their tendency to inhibit women’s engagement and acquisition of power and influence in these realms (see, for example, Harding 1998). Horizontal investigations concern ways of thinking about empowerment that recognize the new possibilities offered by ICTs when harnessed extensively by global women’s movements and individual women. In other words, the first area concentrates on the reasons why disempowerment is an issue that must be considered in relation to ICTs when we take account of historically produced and entrenched inequalities. Here feminist theory and action are looking at the present through a critical historical lens that focuses on the extent to which the societies we have today are products of particular (often gendered) structures, processes, and identities that have steered them in the past. The second area takes account of this situation, but, in a creative, forward-looking way, exploring how changes related to ICTs facilitate completely new possibilities thanks to the specific nature of ICTs and how they can be used organizationally, collectively, and individually. These dual concerns of cyberfeminism also entail traditional feminist concerns about power and difference: CyberFeminism is a philosophy which acknowledges, first, that there are differences in power between women and men specifically in the digital discourse: and secondly, that CyberFeminists want to change that situation. How precisely the power differences are played out, and which elements are highlighted depends on context. Similarly, the strategies chosen by CyberFeminists to challenge this system depends on the


Resistances interests and expertise of the women engaged in the work. CyberFeminism is political, it is not an excuse for inaction in the real world, and it is inclusive and respectful of the many cultures which women inhabit. (Hawthorne and Klein 1999b: 2)

Cyberfeminism’s concern with access in the information society seeks to recognize, rather than obfuscate, power dynamics, including those of gender, and to work overtly in the heterogeneous conditions of cyberspace and other more familiar realms of social space, countering assumptions of sameness and homogeneity in the process. The online politics of power and difference were actively explored by Women on the Net (Harcourt 1999), a practical research project sponsored by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Society for International Development. I was involved with this project along with Internet practitioners, theorists, and development workers in the late 1990s. This was a fairly early experimental project of its kind, but it is interesting that many of these issues still seem pertinent a number of years on, particularly those about the importance of communication, rather than information. [W]e need to critically examine the politics of information, We need to ask if the information we receive is true; if it is important, what its implications are, and who is sending us the information. We also need to determine if we can engage in a conversation with the information sent – to question it, to reveal its cultural/gendered context, to discern if the information allows for dialogue, for communication. We thus need to search for ways to transform information to communication (going far beyond the “interactivity” the Web promises us), creating not a knowledge economy (which silences differences of wealth) but a communicative economy (where differences are explored, some unveiled, others left to be). (Inayatullah and Milojevic 1999: 85) Some in this project were struck by how much we ended up focusing on differences, but this work was critically productive, raising awareness about the starkly different contexts for information societies, their contrasting meanings and possibilities. It raised the need for listening and learning about cross-cultural and cross-sectoral priorities in the information age, and questions about whether different processes really facilitated or inhibited such listening and learning. For instance, when we talked about the problem of language, there seemed to be layer upon layer of difference, extending beyond the important issue of the dominance of English to problems arising from the communicability of different forms of expert languages, such as the academic and technical, and issues of how we might “read” each other’s words differently from our own standpoints. One of the outcomes of the project was to highlight the fact that, in the information society, learning how to explore difference would be paramount.

Globalization, feminism, and information society


Technology and identity restructuring Critical feminist work on technology, including ICTs, raises awareness of a number of areas which have wider significance. First, feminists inter-relate subjectivities with the technologies through which they may be expressed, experienced, or symbolically represented. Thus, their sense of the material world is one in which technological processes and engagement with them go beyond just the structural, important as this is, to include aspects of identity formation, self-reflexivity, consciousness-raising, and the like. Technologies are intrinsic dimensions of structuring, restructuring, and resistance, and the (re)formations of identity associated with them. When it comes to ICTs, these subject-producing dimensions are important to ensure that we do not fall into the trap of over-simplistic binaries. While it has to be recognized that the multiple and constantly expanding technological innovations of the ICT realm fully reflect neoliberal market modes – for example, the related processes of individualization, marketization, and rationalization – we must also give weight to the specificities of the restructurings they represent and the continued, refashioned, and new forms of resistance they help to enable (Youngs and Allison 2008). As already emphasized, the horizontal, as well as vertical, dimensions of communications via ICTs have been crucial in this context for alternative voices and social and political movements, and feminists have been prominent here. If we consider the area of intimacy, we can also see the contrasts, tensions, and proliferations that distinguish both what might be termed clearly neoliberal developments and what might be argued as processes counter to them. ICTs represent a further and a uniquely powerful entrenching of the market and market principles and associated identities in everyday life. The 24/7 and mobile accessibility of the new virtual world make the market and the potential for engagements in it and associations with it more ubiquitous than ever before. This is the case whether we are thinking of production or consumption because the web has become the seamless series of spaces, meshing sites, and activities associated with both, transcending divides between socalled private and public social spaces and settings, especially through mobile and wireless technologies. In these ways, varied applications and uses of ICTs have heightened intimacy with the market along paths that might never have been imagined. In the information society, holding onto your mobile device is like holding onto the world – literally the market in your hand. But ICTs have also been harnessed by those with a much more radical agenda, who, thanks to the informational power and interactivity ICTs offer, have been able to work for alternative political agendas, voices, and connectivity. Intimacy here is about building new networks that are disruptive of established structures or perspectives, offering mutual support, information, and understanding for community building (virtual and otherwise), and lobbying for change at personal, collective, and societal levels. Women and women’s movements have been among the most active here.



Technology and history In the sociospatial world of the information society, technological mediation of all kinds is an integral part of the actual fabric of social and international communication. In the information age our “relationships” to technology have become increasingly influential on the ways we lead and see our lives and many aspects of our potential; cultural, political, and economic. Access in the information age is, therefore, bound to technologies, our ability to purchase or gain access to them, our awareness of and knowledge about them, and our ability to use and manipulate them. Cyber- and other feminist analysis has placed much focus on this area, going deep into the philosophical character of cyberconnections and recognizing the importance of understanding differentiated, including gendered, histories of technology affecting our relationships to it (see, for example, Haraway 1997; Wajcman 2004). I have already stressed earlier the concentration in global terms of technological power in the richest economies, but even within those economies, there are inequalities of access to information developments related to poverty, lack of education and skills, and gender and race imbalances. Historically, science and technology have been male-dominated arenas, with women concentrated more as users than inventors, and even in the main, as users of less sophisticated (including domestic) technologies (Cockburn 1985; Cockburn and Ormrod 1993). Thus, gendered social structures have impacted, in identity terms, on relationships to technology, albeit with cases of crossover, such as women scientists and technologists and men who feel as alienated from these spheres as many women. For feminists, “access” in the information society is as much about exploring and understanding our historical and gendered relations to technologies as it is about what new technologies can actually do (Youngs 2001). Since technology is predominantly associated with masculine identities and roles, women confront both social and individual barriers in accessing it. At a fundamental identity level, they may not even consider it as a field relevant to them in terms of them taking active roles within it as innovators and users. The UK government, for example, is continually trying to encourage more women into science, engineering, and technology (SET) (see, for example, DTI 2005). Feminist analysis has stressed that the degree to which women feel comfortable with the technological realm, and oriented towards it, is as much about its historical structures as about its present configurations. If women do not “fit” well within the new technological standards now developing, they will find themselves marginalized within developing social practices and social forms … The gender and ICT problem thus seems to be an urgent one; once this new socio-technical reality has become firmly established, people who fail to fit well within it must either adapt to it or accept marginalization. (Scott, Semmens, and Willoughby 2001: 8)

Globalization, feminism, and information society


There are a number of points in relation to marginalization and the information society that are worth elaborating upon here. The speed at which the information economy moves, as well as its tendencies towards constant innovation, make the concentration of technological know-how and experience in the richer economies significant, not only because of its potential for the here and now, but also for defining the future of these economies, and others, in an era of globalization. The lead the wealthy economies have is, therefore, raising questions about long-term exclusion for the poorest societies. But, as feminist analysis points out, gendered imbalances in access to, innovation in, and control of technologies also threaten a future where male power will be further embedded in the sociospatial, as well as the geospatial. In order to challenge this threat, feminist ethics demand that “access” be understood in a particularly comprehensive way, recognizing the importance of individual and collective agency and moving away from the notion of ICT users as just “consumers,” “workers,” and “producers” towards an understanding of them as “full citizens and social agents” (Scott, Semmens, and Willoughby 2001: 16). Such ethics are concerned with the limitations women face in being influential and instrumental in actually shaping the information society as it develops, including through the hardware and software of ICTs, and, for example, different levels of information politics and policymaking (Youngs 2004). As the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) Women’s Networking Support Program has argued: ICTs offer immense possibilities for reducing poverty, overcoming women’s isolation, giving women a voice, improving governance and advancing gender equality. This potential will only be realised if all factors which contribute to the current “gender digital divide” are recognised and addressed in the WSIS process and in all ICT policy making spaces. Nonetheless, there continues to be a serious lack [of] acknowledgement and commitment to redressing gender imbalances in women’s participation and benefits from the envisioned “Information Society” at all levels of policy. Our message is simple and clear: if these concerns are not addressed we face the danger that WSIS and other policy processes, will fail in addressing the needs of women, and will contribute to reinforcing and reproducing existing inequalities, discriminations and injustices. (APC 2005)

Horizontal versus vertical communication The boundary-crossing nature of the sociospatial environment of virtual communications has given horizontal forms of communication a new force, and feminist theorists and practitioners have been among those building these



new horizontal networks, communities, and processes (Harcourt 1999). These horizontal forms circumvent traditional communications structures in many ways and are potentially disruptive of them. They have meant that for the first time in history women have begun noticeably to break through the nation-state boundaries that contain them to reach each other in direct and day-to-day senses via ICTs. Previously women have been largely what might be called doubly domesticated, within the patriarchal setting of the home and the male-dominated sphere of national political settings, and the even more male-dominated arena of international relations (Youngs 2000). These traditional geospatial settings (vertical social structures) are now criss-crossed by the sociospatial settings of ICTs (horizontal as well as vertical forms of communication). These new circumstances stress the role of “cyberempowerment” for women and others who are marginalized, so that they can reach one another and join forces to lobby and work for improvements in areas as diverse as combating violence against women, working for better human rights, and campaigning against the negative impacts of globalization (Youngs 2002). Women are networking internationally, individually, in community and other groups, in non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as cyberworkers and entrepreneurs, academic and other researchers, and more. Thanks to these developments, women have more “presence” internationally and more access to one another, as well as to the vertical structures of power, such as such key forums as WSIS. Virtual society has lessened, to some degree, the mediation of women’s politics by traditional male-dominated vertical structures of institutional power, and enabled women to work together more easily locally and globally, to discover more about each other and their different problems and aims, to pool resources, including those related to knowledge, and work for shared aims where appropriate and strategic. “Access” to ICTs, and the knowledge and skills necessary for that, have become a new imperative in feminist theory and practice, shifting their orientations more towards the technosocial: the intricate interconnections between technological and social capacities. A decade ago Dale Spender, in her groundbreaking Nattering on the Net: Women, Power and Cyberspace (1995), offered analysis along these lines. This is as fresh and urgent in its analytical potency and general relevance in the current WSIS era as it was then. She identified “computer-competency” as “a condition of citizenship in the electronic world” (Spender 1995: xvi), and argued that just as the print revolution had brought “democratisation of reading” and the status of literacy as “a human right,” the information revolution is bringing “democratisation of authorship” (Spender 1995: xxi–xxii). Despite the belief of some individuals, the computer is not a toy; it is the site of wealth, power and influence, now and in the future. Women – and Indigenous people, and those with few resources – cannot afford to be marginalised or excluded from this new medium. To do so will be to risk

Globalization, feminism, and information society


becoming the information-poor. It will be to not count; to be locked out of full participation in society in the same way that illiterate people have been disenfranchised in a print world. (Spender 1995: xvi) I want to highlight here some of the major implications of such analysis. In feminist terms, it represents a new form of consciousness-raising for the information age. The arguments of Spender and others indicate that feminism itself is transforming to take account of the re-embedding of traditional vertical forms of (male-dominated) power in cyberspace and the new network world. This consciousness-raising highlights the importance of being present and active in this sociospatial world, striving to be its creators and adaptors as much as its users in an everyday sense. Inherent in this consciousnessraising is awareness of the broad areas of inequality leading to exclusion from this network world, whether they are related to basic economic resources at the collective or individual levels, or forms of literacy, including of a technical nature, as well as access to and mastery of the complex of hardware and software that make this network world possible. Such consciousness-raising is arguing that twentieth-century citizenship has in effect become twenty-first century cybercitizenship. In the sociospatial context of globalization, such citizenship is no longer restricted to traditional, bounded notions of political communities. It extends way beyond them through its horizontal forms of connectivity, including among women and those campaigning for improvements to their lives and opportunities.

Conclusion Feminism is contributing, at the cutting edge, to understanding of information age changes, particularly in relation to inequalities recognized by the WSIS. I would argue that feminist analysis cannot be regarded simply as critique in this context, but as innovative and pioneering in this area of knowledge about social change. I have argued for the role of the new crossboundary sociospatial settings for local and global interaction, as opposed to the more traditional boundary-characterized geospatial ones. Feminism has taken on new dimensions in the information age in both theoretical and practical ways. This has included increasing understanding of the historical influences that shape disempowerment in relation to technology, whether in macro or micro terms. A focus on history, technology, and inequality; theoretical and practical work on horizontal communication; and the building of new political, cultural, and economic networks to circumvent, challenge, and interact with, for diverse purposes, the more traditional vertical bases of institutional (male-dominated) power of state and market are all hallmarks of cyberfeminism. Global technological inequalities, and widespread male dominance of science, engineering, and technology, are two key areas of concern. There are



real long-term risks that these inequalities will be exacerbated. Second, on a more positive note, women, among many other social groups, have proved the importance of horizontal forms of communication opened up by cyberspace for new economic, political, and cultural forms of networking, innovation, community building, and action. This horizontal activity parallels and engages with more traditional, vertical, institutional forms of power, produces new knowledge and political processes, and gives women presence in the sociospatial sphere of the Internet. Feminists have pressed the importance of cybercitizenship and diverse forms of technological, political, social, and individual forms of empowerment linked to it, and, in their consciousnessraising activism and theory, have indicated how new forms of social agency are relevant to the new information age. These revolve around full access to and influence in cyberspace as an integral part of the contemporary public sphere, locally and globally. They signal that the debate about greater equality in relation to ICTs needs to go well beyond the idea of expanding the numbers and types individuals sitting at computer terminals, as challenging as that goal is under the current conditions of gender, race, class, and other inequality. To address equality in ICTs requires embracing fully what it means to inhabit cyberspace as free and equal social agents, and, I would argue, we are only at the beginning of that journey.

Note 1 Earlier versions of sections of this chapter appeared in Youngs, G. (2005) “Ethics of access: Globalization, feminism and information society,” Global Ethics 1 (1): 69–84.

Conclusion: Restructuring the intimate, the local, and the global Towards “post”-neoliberal imperialism? Anne Sisson Runyan and Marianne H. Marchand

It was the contention of our first edition that global restructuring cannot be understood in all its complexity without attention to gender as a significant power relation and (re)ordering system at local and global levels. This volume has further underscored how the restructuring of “the intimate” where gender, sexuality, and racial identity formations and relations are most visibly organized and emotionally felt is fundamental to processes of global economic and political restructuring. Although much critical political economy work on globalization has emphasized the power of transnational corporations (TNCs), IFIs, transnational elites, and wealthy states (preeminent among them the US) to remake the globe in the interests of capital, such structural accounts of markets and states barely scratch the surface of the power relations embedded in intimate relations and their current “re-engineering” to further neoliberal restructuring. As we have argued, such insights are not new, but rather build upon Foucault’s notion of “biopolitics.” They also borrow from more recent work of feminist historians of empires (particularly past European colonial regimes but also applicable to more recent Anglo-American new or neoliberal imperialism) who combine Foucauldian and postcolonial theorizing to expose the “tense and tender ties” of imperial projects (Stoler 2006; Ballantyne and Burton 2009a). In such work, “the making of an imperial social policy” is conjoined with “the making of persons … marked as particular sexualized and racialized selves” (Stoler 2006: 25) whose bodies constitute the “flesh and bone of empire” (Ballantyne and Burton 2009b: 4). And in such work, the intimate most often refers to “the emotional economy of sexual access, parenting, and domestic arrangements” under colonial rule as well as in relations between the colonizer and the colonized (which can take both brutal and “tender” forms) and its centrality to the overall and ongoing violence of “labor recruitment policies and pacification” (Stoler 2006: 14). The intimate has always been a space that has been manipulated, disciplined, and regulated to extend modern imperial projects. Contemporary neoliberal restructuring of households, household members’ subjectivities, and personal relationships (conducted both in close proximity and at a distance) is an extension of this. Thus, the attention to the transformations of



the intimate in the context of global restructuring in this volume reveals this significant layer or complexity of neoliberal globalization and the reconstruction of empire. Moreover, feminist historical work on colonial controls of private life have also shown that, as much as they form subjectivities and regulate relationships, these controls are always exceeded or flowed over by unruly bodies and affectivities which colonial regimes do not and cannot fully anticipate, “revealing the gap between aspiration and accomplishment when it comes to conquest on the ground” (Ballantyne and Burton 2009b: 5). This is also the case with contemporary IFI and state-sponsored attempts to fully neoliberalize not only economies and polities, but also subjectivities. Such “gaps” in fulfilling the neoliberal project have led some to propose that we are now entering a time of “post-neoliberalism.” Laura Macdonald and Arne Ruckert insist that this does not refer to “an era ‘after’ neoliberalism” (2009b: 6), since governments still cling to it, by varying degrees, in terms of macroeconomic policy. Rather, post-neoliberalism is being somewhat inchoately, but still discernibly constituted through a variety of challenges to neoliberal orthodoxy. These include the “dismal economic performance of much of the developing world under neoliberalism and the negative social consequences and severe distributional implications in both North and South” of that orthodoxy that has put the Washington Consensus on the defensive (Macdonald and Ruckert 2009b: 5). The disruptions in neoliberalism’s ideological power; the ever-growing local and transnational social movement resistance to these effects, including large-scale protests outside IFI and G20 meetings that have helped stall anti-labor and anti-environmental trade agreements, as well as the constant calls by such movements present at successive World Social Forums for alternative economic, political, and social arrangements that are not subsumed by market dictates; and the rise of New Left governments primarily in Latin America all form part of this postneoliberal moment (Macdonald and Ruckert 2009b: 5–6). Added to these emergent sightings of post-neoliberalism are the worldwide financial meltdown and economic recession that hit in the Fall of 2008 (and as of this writing, still continue), arising in part from risky and even fraudulent financial sector practices such as in the unregulated derivatives market, as well as the election of President Obama and a Democratic majority in the US in the midst of this crisis. Even before these latter events, scholars had been observing a return, to various degrees, to state intervention into the market economy on behalf of ordinary citizens, particularly on the part of New Left national governments in Latin America, but as a result of the economic crisis and Obama election, such interventions have become much more widespread and now include even the US. Ironically, however, some of the neoliberal regimes in the Global South have been much more reluctant to engage in state intervention, fearing the effect this might have on their credit ratings on international financial markets.



Where state intervention has occurred, it has involved varying efforts “to stimulate the economy and correct widespread market failures, to substantially deepen democracy by engaging citizens more directly in state institutions to reduce social inequalities through redistributive measures; and to renationalize [or effectively nationalize, at least temporarily] some parts of the economy” (Macdonald and Ruckert 2009b: 7). Presciently, Harvey predicted that some return to a Keynesian “New Deal,” both nationally and internationally, which includes these elements of state intervention along with renewed efforts to regulate finance capital and break down monopolies, might be the only way to start moving beyond the logic of neoliberalism that set up the drive to “overaccumulation” and the concomitant “need to accumulate by dispossession” through “raw militaristic imperialism” pursued so blatantly and disastrously by the neoconservative Bush Administration (2003: 210–11). As he also observed, however, this dawning “spatio-temporal fix” that some are referring to as post-neoliberalism represents only a more benign turn to a “‘New Deal’ imperialism,” not the end of imperial economic and political arrangements per se, even if US hegemony continues to decline. Nevertheless, it gives greater space for “democratic, progressive, and humane forces” to pursue more “radical” approaches (Harvey 2003: 210–11). And as Jane Parpart argues in the preface to this volume, the masculinist masters of the universe are looking more sadsack these days, having been exposed as the emperors with no clothes (even though those left standing continue to rake in enormous ill-gotten gains), opening up more possibilities for feminist intervention. Indeed, Sonia Alvarez (2009) has recently argued that the neoliberal “NGO-ization” of Latin American and other feminist organizations she observed in the 1990s is now in decline, with feminist NGOs reconnecting with movement politics as a result of being disillusioned with the cooptation of their insider “expert advocacy” work and engaging more instead with World Social Forum activism at local, national, and global levels, while grass-roots “popular feminism” is being reinvigorated by young, working class, indigenous, Afrodescent, and/or lesbian women. This attests to the dynamism of feminisms as ever-shifting “discursive fields of action” (Alvarez 2009: 182). While these still tentative shifts can be variously labeled “post-neoliberalism” or “post-neoliberal globalization” or “New Deal imperialism” or even “postEmpire” (if not “post-imperialism”), as we have argued, it is more helpful to use the overall rubric of restructuring as an ongoing, disjunctive, and more unpredictable process to avoid the pitfalls of “post-” language that suggest a radical break from the past that is experienced similarly everywhere. “Post-” language can fail to capture simultaneous and messy continuities and discontinuities, and fail to underscore the role of agency, albeit always defined and necessarily delimited by context, in “intimate” as well as “global” sites, in processes of change. As has been shown in this volume, despite “global”



(and “national”) neoliberal efforts to make women in the Global South work harder and be more productive, become heroic (but remain chaste and dutiful) remittance-senders and better household bargainers, and serve as disciplined heteronormative and petty capitalist models of household, community, and national uplift, their lives, relationships, and aspirations are not completely amenable to such neoliberal restructuring prescriptions. Similarly, the women who appear in these contributions do not fit easily into heroic resistance narratives, and some such narratives have been perverted in ways that contribute to their oppression and the oppression of all those “othered.” On the one hand, we see women selectively believing and partaking in the ideological and material promises of neoliberal restructuring that “free” them to make an income, gain physical, class, and even citizenship mobility through migration for work, and, to some degree, renegotiate household labor and affective ties. We also see them as embodying the contradictions of neoliberal restructuring that simultaneously release them from some strictures, but impose others, including ones they participate in enforcing, such as being part of collective, community-level surveillance systems designed to make women remittance-receivers feel guilty if they are not doing their part “at home” to contribute to household income. We further see that these contradictions are, at heart, the source of considerable emotional pain and physical violence as sometimes suffocating affective ties are renegotiated and social reproduction becomes more and more attenuated and unsupportable; thus, creating high ambivalence about the uplift women are supposed to, and say they do, desire. Thus, on the other hand, we see women who opt out of the neoliberal promise, openly or surreptitiously and in varying degrees, in favor of, for example, maintaining affective, intimate ties by using remittances they receive to be with family rather than saving or supplementing them; walking away when they can from men who are not “loving better” under neoliberalism, but rather becoming more violent towards their intimate partners in the face of reductions in their economic prospects; or “failing” to meet heteronormative standards by remaining single or entering into same-sex relations and living in same-sex households. What still remains highly understudied are the contradictions experienced by and resistances practiced by remittancereceiving male and female partners of migrant women. Whether facilitative of, ambivalent about, indifferent to, or individually resistant to neoliberal dictates, these actions are all indicative of women’s agency. The question is “how do we assess the kinds of agency that subjects moving across these geographies of intimacy manifest without falling prey to facile, identitarian, and intersubjective notions of agency itself, and without essentializing ‘native’ [or local/subaltern] response (or worse, imagining native agency only as a response)” to restructuring? (Ballantyne and Burton 2009b: 8). A first step is to start thinking about those typically denied the status of agents as a result of being positioned as feminine (that, is inert and passive), including women, the local, the colonized, labor, the sexually dissident, and, more recently, the most intimate targets of neoliberalism, as restructuring



agents. Such agents can still act in unexpected ways and in the most intimate spaces, thereby contributing to destabilizing the script of neoliberal biopolitics and redirecting restructuring towards “post-neoliberal” arrangements that emphasize social reproduction. Second, as we have seen, not all agency “from below” is necessarily heroic, progressive, or transgressive. “Weapons of the weak” can be turned on the even more vulnerable, rather than directed at the more powerful; feminist politics can become governmentalized, and therefore deradicalized; labor politics can still exclude or marginalize women workers and their demands; supposedly socially-conscious approaches to development can be exploited by commercial interests and exploit those they claim to help by continuing to “other” them; and sexual dissidents can still engage in colonizing sexual exploits in the name of sexual freedom. Third, the very instruments of neoliberal restructuring can be employed or appropriated for post-neoliberal restructuring (or “post-capitalist”) politics, most notably the socio-spatial worlds of the Internet, but also the language of rights through cultivating renewed or new levers of the state to push through progressive legislation and regulation against the spectacular and everyday imperial and gender violence and challenging global governance formulations that fail to promote individual and group rights and economic, political, social, and cultural justice. Finally, the onset of far more visible biopolitics of neoliberal restructuring and racialized violence of the new imperialism in recent years, coupled with the tremendous growth in feminist disciplinary and interdisciplinary postmodern, postcolonial, critical, and queer scholarship on the relationships between gender/race/class/sexuality/nation and globalization or empire, have significantly altered critical analyses of restructuring since our first volume. Fewer critical accounts of globalization or empire fail to recognize the constitutive power of gender and race as the “‘connective sinews’” (quoted in Ballantyne and Burton 2009b: 4) of imperial projects; queer scholarship on development and globalization has steadily developed and intervened in critical accounts of development, globalization, and empire; and it has been documented that feminists constitute a disproportionately large part of the anti- or critical globalization movement and have heavily influenced its manifestos. And past and contemporary feminist or proto-feminist theorists of capital, the state, and empire have been increasingly recognized as significant contributors to understanding restructuring at this historical juncture (witness, for example, Harvey’s (2003) repeated references to and use of the thought of early Marxist feminist Rosa Luxemburg, political theorist Hannah Arendt, and contemporary postcolonial essayist and activist Arundhati Roy in his analysis of The New Imperialism). These developments can be seen as the result of the ongoing restructuring of feminist inquiry, forged through critical engagements between feminist subjects in the Global South and North in multiple sites. This has, simultaneously, broadened such inquiry beyond narrow gender analyses to encompass complex webs of social inequality and made feminist analysis more central to critical globalization studies that



now recognize the “intimacies of empire,” not only to more effectively read neoliberal restructuring and its imperial Self – Other logics, but also to build the sensibilities and solidarities critical to further cultivating post-neoliberal restructuring and beyond. Indeed, as we argued a decade ago in the first volume, the transformations brought about in the context of global restructuring also create, among other things, new opportunities for resistance, for formulating new subjectivities, and for empowerment.

Postscript Gender and (post?) financial crisis Anne Sisson Runyan and Marianne H. Marchand

As economic fallout continues to unfold from the debacles of the world’s financial centers and data are becoming available on the extent of this, we offer one more look at the interplay between gender and this latest phase of global restructuring. Last year, in the midst of the initial crisis, the New York Times (28 January 2009) published an article entitled “It’s the economy, girlfriend” which peers into the effects of the crisis on Wall Street bankers and their heterosexual partners. It treats us to such private life tidbits as: “Some women in the group said the men in their lives had gone from being aloof and unattainable to unattractively needy and clinging”. “It’s not even about a $200 dinner.”… “It’s that he’s an alpha male, he’s aggressive, he’s a go-getter, he doesn’t take no for an answer, he’s confident, people respect him and that creates the whole mystique of who he is.” Although partially tongue-in-cheek, the article reveals that there are always connections between financial crisis and disruptions of gender and sexual identities, roles, and relations. In other words, financial crisis is not just an economic epi-phenomenon but reaches into other (unexpected) areas of (everyday) life and is inscribed on the bodies of men and women. Taking this a step further, we can see that the financial world is replete with gendered constructions, in particular related to risk-taking in financial markets. For instance, in Marieke de Goede’s analysis of the Asian financial crisis of 1997, she argues that international finance is a discursive practice which has evolved over centuries. While “ladies” were not supposed to know anything about political economy in days gone by, “Lady Credit,” satirically invoked at the dawn of the rise of finance credit in the seventeenth century in Britain to pay for war and underpinning the break from feudal relations that ushered in commercial relations, represented the “female inconstant” of credit that must be “mastered” to maintain the kind of trust necessary for finance capital transactions (de Goede 2000: 62). Scrupulous and scientific bookkeeping and accounting methods were extolled as “moral technologies” that not only would keep the financier true to himself, but also would keep Lady Credit’s virtue, which would otherwise be sullied by profligate desires for wealth that Lady Credit tempts (de Goede 2000: 67–9).



As Marieke de Goede’s analysis of the workings of the ideology of Lady Credit in the Asian financial crisis shows, it was assumed by Western economists that all that was needed was a re-injection of restraint to control excesses (blamed, in Orientalist fashion, on the feminized weaknesses of Asian economies) in order to restore financial authority (2000: 74). This resort to “technical rationality which makes possible a particular mode of governance” precludes the questioning of financial authority itself and the “value and validity” it places on “international debt and other financial instruments” (de Goede 2000: 72). Maintaining the financial authority of “homo creditus” requires constant performance as … the mastery of Lady Credit is never complete and financial man is never safe from her temptations and the internal desires and weaknesses she generates in him. This discursive tension becomes most apparent in times of financial crises when the integrity of the system needs to be reaffirmed by the retroactive identification of financial irregularities. (de Goede 2000: 75) We have seen this time-worn performativity of homo creditus to attempt to restore faith in the financial system once again in the wake of US-centered financial crisis of 2008 and beyond, which occurred not in the (semi-) periphery but in the core of the financial world. But the fact that even in mainstream media the current financial and economic crises were early on being tied to masculine failings suggests that homo creditus would not be so easily redeemed this time. As we pointed out in the introduction to this volume, a study by two academics from the University of Cambridge links levels of testosterone and cortisol in financial traders to risk taking and market volatility (Coates and Herbert 2008). This led some newspaper editorialists to suggest that Wall Street would be better off if run by women who would restore Lady Credit’s virtue (Dobrzynski 2008; Bennhof 2009; Kristof 2009). But as Birgitte Young and Helene Schuberth (2010:2) have documented, in the time since the onset of this crisis, women remain highly underrepresented in the financial sector in the West, accounting, for example, for only 7 percent of the boards of directors of banks in the European Union (EU) and constituting only 10 percent of mutual fund managers in the US with relatively small portfolios. Interestingly, those hedge funds managed by women dropped far less (9.6%) than those managed by men (19%) at the height of the crisis in part because more men trade more and more often which sets up a “groupthink” that encourages greater risk based on less information (Young and Schuberth 2010: 2). Women have been also virtually absent on the G20 expert committees set up to propose regulatory reforms in the wake of the crisis, although Iceland appointed women to manage its new state-controlled banking industry (Young and Schuberth 2010: 2, 8). But as Young and Schuberth argue, women themselves will not make much of a difference unless both gender norms and financial norms are



deeply challenged. The association of women (and other “others”) with Lady Credit as “unscientific, subjective, and irrational” (Young and Schuberth 2010: 3) makes them unsuitable for the financial sector which claims to operate according to the “moral technologies” of scientific, objective, and rational rules. Yet, while this association is being used to exclude women from international finance, the opposite is true in the realm of microcredit where women are the preferred subjects for receiving small loans because of their better management of household and micro-enterprise budgets, as exemplified by the activities and priorities of the Grameen Bank. So while international finance is being constructed as a masculine field where women and “Lady Credit” should be excluded, micro-credit is seen as a virtually exclusive realm for poor women. Financial norms and rules never raise questions of “who benefits, and why, and what might be a more human financial alternative that aims at generating high levels of employment and reduces income inequality” (Young and Schuberth 2010: 3). Such rules also do not acknowledge the gendered nature of finance capital nor its gendered costs, especially when it is in crisismode. As Young and Schuberth delineate, as finance capital shifts income to shareholders, full-time formal work has been constantly deteriorating over the last two to three decades, consigning women, ethnic minorities, and migrants mostly to part-time, flexibilized labor; financial risk has been shifted to households saddled with more and more debt, as in the case with the subprime meltdown; and the financial industry has been exerting more and more pressure on governments to reduce social welfare and public works spending (2010: 3-4). The impact of the crisis has taken these trends to further extremities. In the West, men have lost the most jobs (due to their concentrations in building, manufacturing, and finance), but women are losing too in terms of lower wages, rising job losses in retail, health, and education, government cuts in social services, and loss of family benefits provided by men’s jobs (Young and Schuberth 2010: 5-6). In Central and Eastern European countries, where women en masse lost much state-supported employment and men benefited more from the “transition” to capitalism, the crisis has further deepened unemployment for women. By October 2009, the female unemployment rate was higher than the male unemployment rate in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Slovakia” while the female share of employment continued to drop in Eastern Europe generally from the 1990s onward (Young and Schuberth 2010: 7). In many parts of the Global South, where the crisis has generated dramatic declines in exports, tourism, foreign investment, and remittances, female workers concentrated in agriculture, tourism, and export-processing industries are bearing the brunt of these declines, with 22 million more women becoming unemployed in 2009 in the Least Developed countries (Young and Schuberth 2010: 7). Foreign aid for and government spending on health and welfare has also decreased. Women dependent on remittances from migrant



family members saw them drop by “$305 billion in 2008, which corresponds to almost three-times the $104 billion from the world’s combined foreign-aid budget” (Young and Schuberth 2010: 8). Finally, gender, race, and ethnic discrimination always grow in times of financial crisis. Such discrimination is also built into the performance of “recovery.” Unconditional bank bailouts went largely to elite men who dominate the industry, and public funds funneled to them have translated into even greater pressures to reduce public welfare spending for the rest of us. Stimulus funding in the West (which is less available in much of the Global South) was heavily earmarked for physical infrastructure projects that privilege male employment, despite the fact that even “from an efficiency standpoint, investment in social infrastructure (pro-poor growth, early-childhood development, home-based care projects) has a greater impact on direct job creation programs than does investment in physical infrastructure” (Young and Schuberth 2010: 9). Meanwhile regulatory efforts to supposedly restore Lady Credit to her proper footing remain bogged down in much of the West and especially the US even as some Southern European countries are in danger of default. As of this writing, countries like Greece, which mortgaged its future to Goldman Sachs on the derivatives market and failed to account for these loans on its books under its past conservative government, are now being offered a Germany and IMF-backed EU bailout to prevent departures from the euro monetary union, which some nations joined on the basis of essentially “cooked books” in the first place (Story, Thomas, and Schwartz 2010). Such bailouts, however, come with the condition that austerity programs be implemented to significantly reduce public spending, producing at least for now large street protests in Greece and great reluctance on the part of the newlyelected socialist government there to accept conditional help, which has now nevertheless done. At the same time, financial sector bailout recipients are exerting even greater pressures on governments to stop re-regulation with the help of the public funds they happily took, while the (re)rise of right-wing forces (always exacerbated during times of financial crises), especially in the US, provides a convenient political lever to decry and eviscerate “big government,” while vilifying and scapegoating the poor, migrants, defaulting homeowners or countries, racial minorities, Muslims, and so on. One reading of current events is that this financial crisis is in some sense, like the “war on terror,” unending to the degree that it further affirms financial authority with greater levels of impunity for financial harms. Yet, it also is causing another big dent in the foundations of neoliberal globalization and the Washington Consensus which has been questioned for some time now. According to the first reading, the most recent massive failure of homo creditus to master Lady Credit may have produced a brief aperture for seeing the hubris and unsustainability of financial governance (making for some sadsack emperors with no clothes or answers), but the continued performance of smoke and mirrors seems to be slowly closing this aperture down or refracting



it in ways that do not disturb finance capital agendas even though the overweening authority of financial man has been somewhat shaken. The second reading, on the other hand, suggests that the political instabilities, now even in the West, that have ensued from this crisis may yet redouble efforts to restore and strengthen financial regulation and, in the process, “rehabilitate” the social welfare state, so long discredited in gendered terms as “the nanny state” by neoliberals and neoconservatives, as the post-neoliberal aspirational model (see Eisenstein 2009). Continued economic hardship, complete with worsening crises of social reproduction, may also ultimately enlist more political support, at local, national, and transnational levels, for the goal of the feminist-informed CGM to make finance subservient to social welfare and justice, not the other way around. Whatever reading will result from the current financial crisis, it will be filtered through mechanisms, practices and representations of gender, ethnicity, race, class and sexuality.


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Abu Ghraib prison 3, 16–17, 205 Abu-Lughod, L. 36 Adams, R. 131 Afghanistan, war in 4, 20 Africa 27–8, 55–6, 78–80, 84–99, 104–5, 108–13, 117–18, 125–6, 134, 137, 169, 190, 224, 230 Agathangelou, A. 188 agency 242–3 Ahmadi, V. 208 Alexander, J. 55, 59–60 Algeria 111–25 Altamirano-Jiménez, I. 214–15 Altman, D. 48 Alvarez, S. 241 Anderson, B. 150, 160 anti-globalization movement 6, 19, 83 Antrobus, P. 201 Arat, Z. 205 Arendt, H. 191, 199–200, 243 Asian financial crisis 8, 245–6 Assaad, R. 113 Association for Progressive Communications (APC) 235 Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) 219 Bakker, I. 13, 77 Ballantyne, T. 239–40 Bamako (film) 28, 80, 90–5 Barker, J. 217–18 Bartra, R. 191 Bedford, K. 61, 72, 74 Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women (BDIW) (1995) 213–17 Beijing Platform for Action (BPA) (1995) 3, 61, 105, 185, 201, 204, 209–13; critiques of 213–15, 218–19 Bello, W. 148

Bendjedid, C. 118 Beneria, L. 73 Bergeron, S. 5, 206, 209 Bhaskaran, S. 51 Binnie, J. 15 biopolitics 5, 28, 184, 240–3 Blaser, M. 216 Bono and “Bonoization” 28, 78, 83–6, 89 border security 187–9, 193–5, 200 Bouteflika, A.A. 118–19, 122 Brodie, J. 14, 67, 206–7 Brown, S. 134 Brundtland Report (1989) 81 Bunch, C. 201, 203 Burton, A. 239–40 Bush, George W. 2–3, 17, 84, 205, 241 Buss, D. 52, 60 Butler, J. 64, 72 Callon, M. 72 Canada 101–2, 150–9, 193, 207, 217 capitalism 33–6, 103; see also “technomuscular” capitalism care chain, global 14, 101, 135, 146–7 care work 14, 66–77, 135, 146–9, 159 Casa Amiga 198 Castles, S. 143–4 Catholic Church 41–2, 44 celebrity-driven development 83–4, 87, 95 Chan-Tiberghien, J. 209 Chang, K. 31 Chappell, L. 208 Charid, S. 121–2 China 8, 41, 93, 107, 109, 131, 134, 148, 169, 212, 223–4, 230 citizenship, economic (for women) 104–5, 108, 112–17, 124–6

Index Ciudad J. 187–200 civil society 49, 53, 95, 125, 132, 184 class relations 1, 5–21 Cohen, R. 145 colonialism 1, 8, 13–18, 25, 30, 34–6, 40, 45, 50–2, 79–83, 136, 147, 150, 157, 183, 190–2, 211–18, 239–43 consumption 13, 28, 32, 34, 36, 49, 59, 79, 82–95, 130–2, 137–40, 143, 145, 148, 151–5, 173–4, 194, 224, 233 Convention on the Elim-ination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 202–5, 211 Cooper, W. 83–4 Cornwall, A. 204 corporate social responsibility (CSR) 89 cosmopolitanism 33, 45 Cox, R. 184 critical globalization movement (CGM) 6, 19–20, 243, 249; see also antiglobalization movement; resistance to restructuring Cruz-Malavé, A. 18 Cunningham, M. 215, 217 cyberfeminism 186, 231–4 Davos 5, 19 de Goede, M. 245–6 Deere, C.D. 218 D’Emilio, J. 48 Department for International Development (DFID) 169 de-skilling 149 development theory 56–60; see also human rights approach; maquiladora model “digital divide” 226–7 disciplinary power, theory of 166, 179–80 Dominican Republic 137–8, 212 drug trade 194–5 Eastern and Central Europe 136, 247 economic recession (2008) 21, 106, 116, 240 economic theory and economic models 68–9, 72–3, 77; The Economist 16–17, 169 Eisenstein, Z. 13 Eliot, George 1, 4 Elson, D. 66 empire, neoliberal 8, 81 empowerment of women 211–12, 228, 231, 236


Enloe, C. 205 entrepreneurial culture 176–7 Eschle, C. 20, 201 Escobar, A. 85 Espinosa, M.F. 214 ethnicity 2, 11–12, 143, 213, 220, 249 European Union (EU) 111, 248 export processing zones (EPZs) 212 Faludi, S. 191 family law 118–20 family structures 168 Fanon, F. 190–1, 199 fashion 90 femicide 185–9, 195–9 femicididio 184 femininity 1, 3, 17, 37, 54, 78, 140, 146 feminism 2, 17–20, 104, 126, 183–6, 226, 230, 237, 241 feminization of migration 143–7 of poverty 10, 13, 37, 110, 113 Filipino migrants see Philippines, the finance 3–9, 17, 21, 25, 30–2, 35, 37, 40, 52–3, 66–8, 90–1, 100, 106–7, 110, 114, 117, 122, 125, 129–34, 141, 170, 173, 207, 211, 224, 240–1, 245–9 Floro, M. 73 foreign direct investment (FDI) 109–10 Foucault, M. 7–8, 48, 53, 165–6, 239 Fox, V. 170–1 Fraser, N. 201 Fried, S. 201 Fukuyama, F. 33 Gap Inc. 89 gay culture 15–19, 27, 48, 50–2, 56–64 gay rights groups 56–7 gender analysis 1–22; see also more specific headings gender and development (GAD) paradigm 48–9, 54, 60, 62, 209 gender mainstreaming 201, 209–19 Ghechir, B. 122 Gibson, K. 16, 184 Gibson-Graham, J.K. see Gibson, K. or Graham, J. Gideon, J. 207 Gill, S. 13 global political economy (GPE) 12–13, 31; as colonial rhetoric 34–6; and economic theory 72; feminist analyses of 9–21; and gender 239; identifying features of 31–2; in Mexico 166–8; and migration 99, 102; normative



stances on 31; opportunities arising from 244; as a regime of labor intimacy 36–44; and remittances 140; and sexual subjectivities 57–60; use of term 7, 9; and women’s work 143, 147 “global village” metaphor 88 globalism see Gramscian globalism globalization, neoliberal 2, 4, 6, 9–15, 21–2, 26, 52, 54, 82, 240–1, 248 “glocalization” 35 Go, S. 147 Goldman Sachs 248 Gonzales, J. 147 governance and governmentality, neoliberal 53, 67, 76–7 Graham, J. 16, 184 Gramscian globalism 31, 33, 35 Gray, L. 193 Greece 248 Groves, J. 31 Gutmann, M. 192 Hall, S. 157–8 Hannerz, U. 33, 45 Hardt, M. 7, 184 Harvey, D. 8, 34, 80, 99, 103, 184, 241, 243 Hawthorne, S. 231–2 Henrici, J. 107 Herman, D. 52, 60 heteronormativity 26–7, 49–64, 76–7 “heteropatriarchal recolonization” 183 HIV/AIDS 56, 84, 89–91, 212 homosexuality 50–1 Hong Kong 26, 30–46, 101, 140, 151–60 Hooper, C. 16–17 household bargaining models 69–70, 73–7 human rights 3, 201; see also Universal Declaration of Human Rights human rights approach to development (HRAD) 185, 203–9, 214–18 Ignacio, E. 157 imperialism and “new imperialism” 3, 6–9, 12–22, 25, 36, 85, 99–100, 183, 211, 219, 239, 243 Inayatullah, S. 232 India 89, 107, 109, 131, 134, 140, 148, 169, 230 indigenous culture 11, 33, 44, 62, 164, 184–6, 203, 207, 213–19, 241 informal sector of the economy 114

information and communication technologies (ICTs) 186, 223–38; vertical and horizontal dimensions of 231, 233, 236, 238 Institute of Development Studies (IDS) 63 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) 81 International Federation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) 105, 121, 123 International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission 63 International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN) 106 International Indigenous Women’s Forum (IIWF) 217, 219 International Labor Organization (ILO) 104–5, 141 International Monetary Fund (IMF) 8, 28, 66, 72, 94, 111, 167, 207 International Organization for Migration (IOM) 148 international political economy (IPE) 1, 10–12 internationalization 32 intersectionality 2, 10, 20–1, 50, 213, 219 intimacy see “regimes of labor intimacy” Iraq 205 Islamization 101, 104–5 Jahan, R. 211 Jim, M.J. 217 Joachim, J. 210 Kabeer, N. 169 Kapur, D. 131–3 Kapur, R. 205 Karshenas, M. 109 Kawar, M. 121 Keck, M. 210 Kennedy, P. 9 Kessler-Harris, A, 104–5, 118 Kiva organization 207 Klein, R. 231–2 Kleitz, G. 57, 61 Kristof, N. 4–5 labor 5, 11–20, 25–32, 36–48, 55–62, 66–80, 86–9, 94–5, 100 et seq Lacy, M. 210

Index Lash, S. 34 Latin America 9, 21, 55, 76, 134, 136, 207, 218, 240–1 Lau, W.C. 41 Layosa, L.R. 43 Leibniz, G. 79 León, M. 218 lesbianism 56, 62–3 Levitt, P. 138 Lewis, O. 192 liberal capitalism 33–6 Ling, L. 188 Lorde, A. 83 Los Pilares 164, 167, 174 Lugo, A. 192 Luxemburg, R. 243 Luz, M. 175 Macdonald, L. 240–1 McKay, D. 139–40 Magee, G.B. 129 “Making women productive” strategy 163–79 Mali 28, 91–4 Manlansan, M.F. 18 Maquiladora model of development 187, 192–6 Marcos, F. 38–9, 147, 158 Marshall, T.H. 105 Marxism 103 masculinity 1, 3, 5, 10, 17, 30, 37, 54, 78, 188–92, 205 Massey, D. 137–8 Mendoza, B. 20–1 Mexico 163–80, 187–200 micro-credit programs 11, 100, 170, 174, 207, 212 Middle East 38, 84, 99, 104, 112, 147, 149 Middle East and North African (MENA) region 99–100, 104, 108–14, 118 Midgley, C. 18 migration flows 14, 76, 99–100, 143–8, 151, 155; “push” and “pull” aspects of 135–6 see also remittances militarism 2–4 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 81, 84, 206, 227 Miller, M. 143 Milojevic, I. 232 Mohanty, C. 19, 79 Molyneux, M. 206–7 Morocco 110–19, 123–5


Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI) 19 Murphy, C.N. 35, 37 Myrdal, G. 90 Nair, S. 203, 212 Naples, N.A. 68 Negri, A. 7–8, 184 neoliberalism and neoliberalization 9–20, 56–8, 67–8, 76–7, 80, 101, 125, 144–5, 160, 183, 189, 204, 209–12, 215–18, 240–2 Nepal 140–1 New York Times 245 NGO-ization 184, 241 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 167, 193 Nyamu-Musembi, C. 204 Nye, J.S. Jr 187 Obama, Barack 3, 8, 21, 207, 240 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) 204 Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary General on Gender Issues (OSAGI) 210 ONE campaign 78–80, 85–6 Ong, A. 4, 77 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 33, 134, 207 Orientalism 27, 58–9, 246 Orozco, M. 137 “othering” 3, 6, 15, 18–19, 25, 28, 85–6, 242–3, 247 Otto, D. 203 Paiewonsky, D. 138 Parpart, J. 22 Paz, O. 191–2 Pearson, R. 212 Perez, M. 151–7 Peréz Orozco, A. 138 performativity 16, 27, 71–3, 77, 150, 246 Peterson, S. 11–13 “philanthropy as development” campaigns 79–82 Philippines, the (and Filipino migrants) 38–45, 144–51, 155–60 Pierson, R.R. 18 Pierterse, J.N. 8 Pietilä, H. 203 Portillo, L. 195 Porto Alegre 19, 54



postcolonial theory 4–6, 10, 12, 15–21, 25, 51, 79, 166, 239, 243 post-neoliberalism 22, 240–4, 249 Powell, M. 204, 208 Pratt, G. 28 privatization 4, 11, 14, 27–30, 53–4, 58, 77, 81, 91, 103, 110–12, 125 queer scholarship 14–15, 48–51, 58, 64 racialization and racism 10, 15–21, 25–7, 40, 42, 45, 59, 100, 102, 130, 154, 156, 183, 211, 218 Ramirez, C. 135–8 Ramos, Fidel 39 Ratha, D. 133 Razavi, S. 206–7 (RED) campaign 78–80, 84–91, 95 “regimes of labor intimacy” (RLI) 26, 30–1, 36–45 relational thinking 11–12 remittances 101–2, 129–41, 170–4, 247–8; social 138–40 “reproductive-productive-virtual” (RPV) economies 12–13 resistance to restructuring 19–21, 183–8, 199–201; gendered dimensions of 189–93 Rice, Condoleezza 84 Richter-Monpetit, M. 205 Robinson, W. 82–3 Rojas de Ferro, C. 35, 37 Rosca, N. 38 Rose, N. 176 Rosner, V. 28 Rove, K. 84 Roy, A. 21–2 Ruckert, A. 240–1 Ruiz, N. 132 Sachs, J. 72, 84 Salhi, S. 121–2 Salzinger, L. 48, 192, 194 San Lorenzo 164, 167, 174–8 Sana, M. 137–8 Sanday, P. 191 Sartre, Jean-Paul 190 Sassen, S. 5, 10, 49 Sayad, A. 151 Schuberth, H. 246–8 Schueller, M.J. 15 Scott, A. 234–5 Scott, J. 190, 193

Seattle, “battle” of 19 securitization 9, 143, 150, 170, 204, 217 Selby, H. 192 self-regulation 76–7 Semmens, L. 234–5 Sen, A. 82 September 1lth 2001 attacks 2, 6, 20 sex tourism 39–40 sexual division of labor 104 sexual harassment 120, 122–3, 126 sexuality and sexualization 2–3, 6, 10–21, 25–7, 30–1, 38–64, 67, 74–6, 101, 104, 108, 117, 120–6, 186–91, 194–7, 211–12, 215–21, 225–6, 239–44, 245, 249 Share, J. 57–8 Shriver, B. 78 Sikkink, K. 210 Silvey, R. 138 Singer, D. 133 Sissako, A. 28, 80, 90–5 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 114 Smith, Adam 176 social reproduction 11, 14–15, 25, 27, 66, 77, 92, 100–3, 138, 145–7, 168, 171–7, 242–3, 249 social rights 105, 108, 124–6, 176 socio-spatial worlds 186, 243 Sotomayor, S. 22 Spender, D. 236–7 Spivak, G. 36, 88 Spurr, D. 34 states, role of 32–9, 52–9, 99–100, 132–6, 206–8, 211–12 Steans, J. 10, 208 Stoler, A.L. 239 structural adjustment programs (SAPs) 8, 31, 37, 54–5, 66, 91, 93, 105, 110–11, 163, 166–7 “structural indivisibility” (Otto) 203 subaltern studies 36 subjectivities 3–4, 8–12, 18, 25–7, 31, 34–7, 45, 48–9, 53–4, 57–8, 64, 71–2, 75–80, 100–3, 140–1, 166, 177, 183–6, 233, 239–40, 244 Suksomboon, P. 139 Taylor, L. 106–7 “technomuscular” capitalism (TMC) 26, 30–1, 37–45 Thompson, A.S. 129 Thrift, N. 32

Index trade liberalization 106–16 trade unions 107–8, 121–3 transnational advocacy networks (TANs) 210–13 Tsikata, D. 211–12 Tunisia 110–21, 125 unemployment 116 United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 55; Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 185, 207; Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) 170, 204; Development Program (UNDP) 66, 106–7, 116, 120, 203, 224; Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) 211; Educational, Scentific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 232; Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) 135, 138; Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90; System of Accounts 67; United States 57, 134 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 204, 227 Urry, J. 34 Vickers, J. 203 Vila, P. 192 violence towards women 185, 188–92; responses and resistances to 195–9 Voltaire 78–80 Walby, S. 218 “war on terror” 2–4, 9, 15, 17, 100, 187, 248


Washington Consensus 9, 21, 25, 66, 81, 132, 240, 248 Western Europe 224 Whitworth, S. 10 Willoughby, L. 234–5 Wilson, A. 48–9 Winfrey, Oprah 84 Wolf, E. 160 Wolfensohn, James 5, 206 Wolfowitz, Paul 84 women, culture and development (WCD) paradigm 186 women in development (WID) discourse 54, 168–9, 209 Women in Development Europe (WIDE) 106 Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) 106 Women’s International Coalition for Economic Justice (WICEJ) 106 World Bank 5, 27–8, 52, 59, 61, 66–72, 94, 109, 111, 129–34, 167, 169, 201, 204, 206, 210–11 World Health Organization (WHO) 91 World Social Forums (WSFs) 19–20, 54, 64, 183 World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) (2003) 226–8, 236–7 Wright, T. 56–7 Young, B. 246–8 Yuval-Davis, N. 218 Zoellick, R.B. 163, 169–70