Gender in Political Economy (GIPE)
Politikwissenschaft u. Internationale/Vergleichende u. Feministische Politische Ökonomie
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Institut für Politikwissenschaft
We aim at the systematic introduction of the structural category gender in the analysis of economic and social processes and its governance. The substantive focus will be on the commodification and privatisation of public services as a process that has gathered speed since the establishment of the WTO. This process is highly contested, and will have great impact on gender relations. In the short run, privatization shifts the public-private balance through cutbacks in state expenditure thus changing the relation of exchange entitlements. In the longer run, privatization of public assets leads to changing resource entitlements. At the centre of the inquiry is the question how commodification/privatization of public services is linked to the liberalization of trade and investment in services covered in the GATS, and the reconfiguration of gender relations in different world regions. The point of departure from other studies is to synthesize the moments of finance and trade, power and social reproduction in the context of intensified globalization. In this context, we will also emphasize knowledge production, since this focus will permit to move beyond the by now rather traditional impact assessment of policies on gender relations by looking at the processes of gendered knowledge production and their capacities to structure the policy formation discourses. The analysis will encompass the national, regional, and global level. Focusing on one level is insufficient since the levels are highly interrelated. In contrast to other regions, Europe’s commodification of public services is on average less advanced than in other industrialized countries.