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Juanita Elias and Adrienne Roberts (eds): Handbook on the International Political Economy of Gender.

Juanita Elias and Adrienne Roberts (eds)

Handbook on the International Political Economy of Gender

Edward Elger, Cheltenham, 2018, 522pp., hardback, $290.

Another new handbook provides a gender perspective on international political economy. Its 34 articles are clustered into four parts, dealing with 'theories and approaches'; 'engagements in perspective'; 'governing markets and economies'; and 'the political economy of people and things'. The overarching themes are the challenge to mainstream ('malestream') perspectives that are gender-blind and the demonstration of insights that result from adopting a gender perspective.

Some of the articles in the book discuss the various lenses through which gender relations may be seen, while others address specific issues arising from the changing landscape of economic change and international political events. For example Kenji Wada shows that microfinance--an enthusiastically heralded initiative for fostering pro-poor development a few decades ago--reproduces power relations by transforming women (the usual recipients of loans) into 'self-sufficient subjects' who must 'take on the burden of poverty reduction in the absence of state support'. Rahul Kunz turns a similarly critical gaze on the argument in the 'feminisation of migration' that women migrants are better than men at sending home remittances from their foreign earnings. Other chapters touch on political economic approaches which hold more promise for positive outcomes. One looks at the work of J-K. Gibson Graham to consider how community-supported local economic initiatives can provide better political economic for women--and for everyone.

The editors emphasise that the gendered perspective is not just a matter of 'adding in' women: rather, the book's explorations of new conceptual frameworks and ontology of political economy shows the ways in which issues of gender can become more central throughout modern international political economy.

Book notes by Frank Stilwell

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Author:Stilwell, Frank
Publication:Journal of Australian Political Economy
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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