The Political Interests of Gender Revisited: Redoing Theory and Research with a Feminist Face

Sample Chapter
  • Edited Anna G. Jónasdóttir and Kathleen B. Jones

    ISBN-10: 92-808-1161-4,
    ISBN-13: 9789280811612
    United Nations University Press
    November 2008

    “In the last two decades,” Anna G. Jónasdóttir and Kathleen B. Jones write in their introduction to this important new anthology, “two trends have characterised approaches to the concept of gender in political studies … one strategically centering gender in social and political analysis and the other deconstructing gender.” Tensions between these trends led to an impasse in feminist theory, generating a “crisis in how to think about what we can do about gender, identity, or representation in the ethical/political sense.” In this unique collection of theoretical and empirical research on gender and politics, the editors push past this impasse, assembling contributions from an impressive group of international scholars providing varied accounts of the political interests of gender. Investigating different institutional structures and discourses, contributors to this multidisciplinary collection illustrate concretely how to bridge the gap between discursive (post-structuralist, semiotic, philosophical, etc.) and socio-materialist accounts of gender relations and politics.

    Structured around three conceptual guideposts—“politics,” “interests,” and “gender”—this anthology demonstrates the continued relevance of these concepts in the context of a theoretical and material landscape in flux. Offering fresh models for theoretical and empirical research, the first five chapters of the book provide a theoretical framework for the collection, while the following eight chapters shed light on key concepts through concrete case studies of such topics as human rights, women’s movements, gendered labor markets, international monetary policy, equality policy, and queer politics.

    Anna G. Jónasdóttir is Professor of Gender Studies in the Center for Feminist Social Studies at Örebro University, Sweden. Kathleen B. Jones is Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University, San Diego, USA.