1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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New Book: The Gendered Impacts of Liberalization: Towards "Embedded Liberalism"?

27 Apr 2009

How have gender inequalities in access to resources and opportunities been affected by three decades of experimentation with the liberalization of the economy? How, and to what extent, has the discovery of social concerns and social policies made a difference, by either disrupting or entrenching gender inequalities? With these two key questions, The Gendered Impacts of Liberalization: Towards “Embedded Liberalism”? provides a gendered account of liberalization policies and their impacts within agrarian and non-agrarian contexts of sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America.

In the last two decades public policies have reflected a drive for accelerated global economic integration ("globalization"), associated with greater economic liberalization. The outcomes have been largely disappointing, even in the estimate of their designers. Rural livelihoods have become more insecure, and the expected growth has rarely materialized. Insecurity is also etched into the growth of informal economies across the world. Yet the economic policy agenda that has been so adverse to so many people around the world has also provided new opportunities to some social groups, including some low-income women. In response to widespread discontent with the liberalization agenda, more attention is now being given to social policies and governance issues, viewed as necessary if globalization is to be "tamed" and "embedded". The contributors to this volume address key issues and questions such as whether states have the capacity to remedy the social distress unleashed by liberalization in the absence of any major revision of their macroeconomic policies, and whether the proposed social policy reforms can redress gender-based inequalities in access to resources and power.

Notes to editors
  • The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) was created in 1963 and is an autonomous UN agency engaging in multidisciplinary research on the social dimensions of contemporary problems affecting development. Through its research, UNRISD stimulates dialogue and contributes to policy debates on key issues of social development within and outside the UN system.
  • Shahra Razavi is Research Coordinator at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), where she oversees the Institute’s Programme on Gender and Development. She has conceptualized and coordinated global research projects in a number of areas, including Agrarian Change, Gender and Land Rights; Gender and Social Policy; and The Political and Social Economy of Care.

The Gendered Impacts of Liberalization: Towards "Embedded Liberalism"?; S. Razavi
Part I: Rural Livelihoods under Liberalization
The Gendered Impacts Policies on African Agricultural Economics and Rural Livelihoods; A. Whitehead
Gender Inequality and Agrarian Change in Liberalizing India; C. Jackson and N. Rao
The Feminization of Agriculture?: The Impact of Economic Restructuring in Rural Latin America, C.D. Deere
Part II: Informalization and Feminization of Labour
Informalization, the Informal Economy and Urban Women's Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa since the 1990s; S. Tsikata
Informalization and Women's Workforce Participation: A Consideration of Recent Trends in Asia; J. Ghosh
Informalization of Labour Markets: Is Formalization the Answer?; M. Alter Chen
Women's Migration, Social Reproduction and Care; N. Yeates
Part III: Social Policy and the Search for Security
Labour Reform and Livelihood Insecurity in China; C.K. Lee
1Girls, Mothers and Poverty Reduction in Mexico: Evaluating Progresa-Oportunidades; A. Escobar Latapí and M. González de la Rocha
Gender, Citizenship and New Approaches to Poverty Relief: Conditional Cash Transfer Programmes in Argentina; C. Tabbush
Women in India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme; S. Gupta

The Gendered Impacts of Liberalization is copublished with Routledge, in the series Routledge/UNRISD Research in Gender and Development; hardback; ISBN: 978-0-415-95650-5; 390 pages; 2008; USD 95.00. To order, click here