Gendering the State in the Age of Globalization

Women's Movements and State Feminism in Postindustrial Democracies

Edited by Melissa Haussman, Birgit Sauer

Publication date:

26 April 2007

Length of book:

402 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780742540163

Gendering the State is a ground-breaking collection of studies that examines the efforts of women in countries all over the world to frame public policy debates on nationally critical issues in gendered terms. This is the latest volume in the Research Network on Gender and the State (RNGS) collaborative studies. Using the RNGS model of women's movement and women's policy actor strategies to influence public policy debates and state response, the book looks at data gathered from ten European countries (including Finland and Sweden), plus Japan, Australia, Canada, and the United States from the 1990s to today.

The overall study is grouped into three distinct patterns of state change: state downsizing—particularly in social policy areas (Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, the United States, and Spain); expansion of state activities into previously less-regulated areas (Austria, France, Germany, and Sweden); and transformation—often constitutionally based—of representative structures (Australia, Belgium, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom). Examination of these patterns reveals the impact of the changes in state structures and national priorities on the effectiveness and ability of women's movement actors in achieving their goals.
A major contribution to our understanding of the impact of the women's movement on state policy in the period since the 1990s and, in particular, on how we can systematically examine this question. Gendering the State in the Age of Globalization compares the impact of women's policy agencies and the women's movement on current major state policies in fourteen countries. Individual country chapters provide genuinely comparable data (something of enormous value but not always achieved in collections) and, from this, the editors rigorously test their hypotheses in a rich concluding chapter. A book to read and to keep.