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Feminist studies of globalisation : beyond gender, beyond economism?

Eschle, Catherine (2004) Feminist studies of globalisation : beyond gender, beyond economism? Global Society, 18 (2). pp. 97-125. ISSN 1360-0826

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Abstract

This article offers a distinctive mapping of the feminist literature on globalisation. Part I sets the 'new wave' of debate in the context of long-standing feminist theorising and organisation around global power and politics, drawing attention to a growing focus on economic processes. Part II explores the marginalisation of feminist arguments within globalisation studies, pointing to the dominance of an economistic model of globalisation as a key factor. It also identifies a parallel feminist tendency to neglect non-feminist efforts to develop non-economistic analyses of globalisation. Part III seeks to pinpoint the originality of the contribution of feminism. Although the most obvious starting point for such an evaluation is an emphasis upon gender, the feminist contribution is not reducible to this. Feminists have integrated gender analyses into accounts of multiple, intersecting relations of global power. They also offer distinctive analyses of the relation between the local and the global and the character of agency and resistance. The article indicates that the feminist response to economism still remains incomplete. Nonetheless, it demonstrates that feminist insights pose a significant challenge to non-feminist accounts of globalisation and to those organising within and against global power relations.