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Global Governance and Feminist Activism

Julie Mertus


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Comment on this article   The international relations (IR) global governance literature has ample opportunities for feminist interrogation. From the outset, consider: How is global governance commonly defined? Who wins and who loses under this definition? Who are the actors? How are the actors constituted? How free are they to exercise influence in decision making and, conversely, how limited are they by structural imbalances in power? Viewed through feminist lenses, IR asks us to be curious ( Enloe 2004 ) about globalization – “the increasing integration of developing countries in world trade finance, along with deregulation and liberalization of markets, asset diversification, and increased activity by multinational corporations” ( Moghadam 2005 :22; see also Held 1995 ). IR feminists interrogate “new” sites of governance in an increasingly interconnected world, such as United Nations sponsored conferences, international human rights institutions, multilateral environmental initiatives, and regional regulatory bodies. Feminist scholars, like all scholars, approach global governance informed by their own disciplinary assumptions, methodologies, and epistemological frameworks (see generally Sylvester 1994 ). Their vantage points thus often diverge, leading to different descriptions of globalization and the problems global governance addresses in its wake (compare, e.g., Steans ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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