Liberal Perspective In Global Economy

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The Liberal Perspective in Today's Global Economy


This research paper considers a range of governance actors (including also the role of political enquiry into the global political economy in and of itself) to analyze how neoliberal governance strategies seek to socialize human bodies (female or male) into a global system of neoliberal economic productivity. Contemporary mechanisms of global governance, it is suggested, seek to engineer a capitalist 'market society' while claiming to 'empower' poor people. In recent years, 'empowerment' rhetoric in global governance has increasingly depended on measuring the 'economic' roles of women in developing countries, judging their contributions productive only where they can be gauged directly contribute to 'formal economy' growth. Reinforcing the assumption that 'formal' contributions are the only contributions worth measuring, such rhetoric simultaneously eradicates all other (non-competitive and/or non-entrepreneurial) behavioral possibilities for women, while clearly excluding all those who are not 'women'. Against the instrumentalisation of gender (as a category pertaining only to women and studies of women), this paper argues that gender in global governance means much more than simply describing whether people are male or female and quantifying their productive capacities accordingly. As a broad and complex category of analysis, gender enriches the dynamism both of our studies of and practices in the global political economy. To ignore gender's role in the global political economy is to fail to see the power that gender (as a composite part of the relations of power that drive systems of economic development and growth) brings to our everyday understandings, and especially to our understandings of economic 'common sense'.

Table of Contents


Thesis Statement2


Search Strategies3

Qualitative Facts3

Neo-liberal globalization and the (global) governance of 'the social'3

Neo-liberal globalization, 'globalism' and 'the social'5

Social capital and 'empowerment' in discourses of global governance6

Gendered failures in/and global governance7

Quantitative Facts10



The Liberal Perspective in Today's Global Economy


The 'sociological turn' in global political economy, inspired in large part by the work of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, has asked us not only that we consider a wider range of actors than the 'state' and the 'market' in our analyses of the global political economy (GPE). Gender scholarship in and of the GPE has embraced these ideas to teach us that no 'economic' value is socially untied, or 'gender-neutral' (Spike, 2005). The GPE is, rather, entirely gendered. Meanings, behaviors and identities concerning, for example, economic growth and stability, financial transactions and rational human behavior have not evolved nor are they perpetuated in a social vacuum. Rather, the norms and standards in the GPE that many hold to be true, essential and universal are the result of historical, culturally specific and highly regulatory discourses of governance (Pierre, 2005).

Through consideration of a range of governance actors, also of the role of political enquiry into the GPE in and of itself, this article examines sources of contemporary global governance to show how gender analysis enriches the dynamism of studies of and practices in the GPE. I do not; however, I am not convinced that policy making, which assumes that, women and men ...
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