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Chapter

Cover Politics

12. Votes, Elections, Legislatures, and Legislators  

This chapter explores the interrelationships among votes, elections, legislatures, and legislators in the context of politics. It first considers the two basic paradoxes of voting before discussing elections and their outcomes, which tend to have different virtues: stronger government versus more representative government. It then describes the functions of legislatures as well as measures for establishing quotas to increase gender equality in legislative recruitment. It also introduces a classification of legislatures based upon their capability to stand up to the executive branch of government before concluding with an analysis of the internal structure of legislatures as well as the backgrounds of members of parliament in various countries, focusing in particular on the criticism that lawmakers constitute a ‘political class’.

Chapter

Cover European Integration Theory

9. European Integration and Gender  

Yvonne Galligan

This chapter analyses theories of European integration through a gender lens. It points to the diversity of perspectives in gender scholarship on European integration, and draws on these different points of view to examine other theoretical approaches. It assumes that gender is a basic organising principle of the social world, and therefore is an integral aspect of European integration. The chapter discusses gender theory and its contribution to the study of European integration. It then goes on to interrogate other European integration theories - liberal intergovernmentalism, neofunctionalism, and social constructivism – examining the nature of gendered power that they emphasize and evaluating the extent to which they are open to incorporating a gender-informed perspective. The chapter then analyses the integrationist effect of the European economic crisis on gender equality. This discussion reveals the marginalization of gender equality, and gender mainstreaming, as the neo-liberal response to the economic crisis created new gender inequalities and perpetuated old patterns of gender hierarchy.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

9. Political Culture and Non-Western Political Ideas  

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter begins by outlining the importance of poltical culture in structuring, but not determining, the behaviour of actors within individual political systems. It illustrates the persistence of its impact with the failure of Mao Zedong to eliminate traditional Chinese ways of thinking and create a wholly new political culture in the Cultural Revolution. On the other hand it cites fluctuations in Russian political culture over centuries to show that the perceived content of a particular political culture can be fundamentally contested and malleable, so that it does evolve. And it notes the recent claims of political leaders in Russia, China and India, amongst others, that their nations’ historical achievements raise them to the status of ‘civilization states’. One feature of a nation’s political culture is the recurring trends of issues and preoccupations in political thinking there. Then it goes on to examine issues in thinking in non-Western countries, that structure political attitudes and political behaviour differently from the West. It begins by looking at traditional notions of legitimate political authority in other regions of the world, particularly Asia, that preceded the arrival of Western colonialists. These often assumed more ‘organic’ and more segmented communities than would be associated with Western individualist ones influenced by the legacy of the French revolution. Then it considers more recent non-Western political thinking.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

25. Global health  

Sophie Harman

This chapter looks at public health on a global scale and examines how crucial this topic has become since the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Global political interest in pandemics, the chapter argues, is about much more than just the threat to health and lives. It is also about the knock-on impact health emergencies, such as the recent pandemic, have on economics and society including social welfare and education, but also socio-economic, gender, and racial equality. The chapter starts with an examination of how health became a global issue with reference in particular to the relationship between war and disease. In addition to this, health became a global issues as a result of the growth in world trade and the resultant economic globalization. Two case studies are presented in this chapter. The first consider the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1308 and the second delves into the relationship between Covid-19 vaccinations and intellectual property rights.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights

Feminist Approaches to Human Rights  

Laura Parisi

This chapter tackles feminist approaches to human rights. It starts with how contemporary feminism criticized liberalism on the conception of formal legal equality in international human rights laws being derived from the goal of dismantling hierarchies. Contemporary views on women's rights revolve around the issues of globalization, democracy, culture, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The chapter then expounds on the evolution of the international women's human rights discourse and frameworks. It also discusses the establishment of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which addressed all forms of discrimination against women by the principle of structural indivisibility.

Chapter

Cover Introducing Political Philosophy

8. Parental Leave and Gender Equality  

William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, Tom Parr, and Andrew Walton

This chapter defends the radical view that the state should legally require all parents to take a substantial period of parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child. Though extreme, this strikes the right balance between advancing gender equality and respecting other considerations relating to the family. The chapter begins by identifying the various ways in which the current distribution of paid employment and household work is gendered, showing how women and men tend to play different roles in these domains. It then explains how different kinds of parental leave schemes can challenge the gendered division of labour, criticizing those that are likely to reproduce the current pattern of paid employment and household work. The chapter argues for schemes that encourage a more equal division of labour between women and men. It also discusses the implications of the chapter’s conclusions for the design of parental leave schemes and for the broader landscape in which these policies are nested.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

11. Votes, Elections, Legislatures, and Legislators  

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter examines some of the central issues associated with voting and electoral systems, along with the functions of legislatures. It begins by discussing the two paradoxes of voting. First, the huge number of citizens in any modern state means that no individual’s vote is likely to make the difference between two or more choices, making it potentially ‘irrational’ for any individual to bother to vote at all. Yet votes make democracy possible. The second voting paradox concerns the difficulty of relying upon votes to determine the objective preferences of the public. The chapter proceeds by considering measures that aim to establish quotas to increase gender equality in legislative recruitment. It also describes different types of legislatures and the internal structure of legislatures. Finally, it analyses trends in the backgrounds of legislators in various countries, specifically focusing upon the criticism that they constitute a ‘political class’.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

11. Votes, Elections, Legislatures, and Legislators  

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter examines some of the central issues associated with voting and electoral systems, along with the functions of legislatures. It begins by discussing the two paradoxes of voting. First, the huge number of citizens in any modern state means that no individual’s vote is likely to make the difference between two or more choices, making it potentially ‘irrational’ for any individual to bother to vote at all. Yet votes make democracy possible. The second voting paradox concerns the difficulty of relying upon votes to determine the objective preferences of the public. The chapter proceeds by considering measures that aim to establish quotas to increase gender equality in legislative recruitment. It also describes different types of legislatures and the internal structure of legislatures. Finally, it analyses trends in the backgrounds of legislators in various countries, specifically focusing upon the criticism that they constitute a ‘political class’.

Chapter

Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

2. Socrates, Plato, and Sojourner Truth  

Patrizia Longo

This chapter examines the concepts of knowledge, education, and politics in the teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Sojourner Truth through a gender and racial lens. Race, gender, and class are often factors of exclusion in philosophy, and they are interrelated: philosophical justifications for the superiority of one group over another have been influenced by and have in turn reinforced racist, sexist, and classist biases. Contrary to Socrates and Plato, Truth maintained that equality is foundational to justice. In her speeches, she addressed the need for racial and sexual equality, for the franchise for Black people and women. Truth’s critique of racism, sexism, and classism reverberates today in societies that may have eliminated legal discrimination against women and minorities but still maintain it de facto.

Chapter

Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

7. John Locke  

Hagar Kotef

This chapter discusses John Locke’s theory of the social contract, which became one of the primary frameworks of political thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It focuses on one of his books, The Second Treatise of Government, first published in 1689. Since Locke sees humans as essentially rational beings, he believes that even without a ‘power to keep them all in awe’, humans could live in relative peace with each other, form social lives, and regulate themselves according to the Laws of Nature. While seemingly presenting a universal individual, Locke’s social contract theory in fact contrives only specific individuals as the contracting agents: propertied, European (if not English) men. The chapter situates Locke’s contract within a global historical context by considering the voices that have been excluded from or marginalized within this story. Through these different figures—the servant (wage labourer), the wife, the Indigenous, and the slave—we see a series of tensions between formal equality and material, racial, and gender inequalities.

Chapter

Cover An Introduction to Political Philosophy

6. Justice for Everyone, Everywhere?  

This chapter examines some issues that have come to greater attention in more recent decades, with particular emphasis on what it calls ‘oversights’ of justice. It begins by arguing that some of the greatest political philosophers had suffered from ‘oversights’, notably Karl Marx, Mary Wollstonecraft, and John Stuart Mill. It then considers some of these oversights of justice, first by looking at issues of gender equality, then at racial justice, followed by issues of disability and sexual orientation, each from the standpoint of what is known as ‘domestic justice’: justice as it operates within a single state. It also explores questions of global justice, including immigration, and global inequalities of wealth, along with justice to future generations, especially in relation to climate change. These discussions reflect areas of great contemporary concern, both in political philosophy and in real life.

Chapter

Cover An Introduction to Political Philosophy

6. Justice for Everyone, Everywhere?  

This chapter examines some issues that have come to greater attention in more recent decades, with particular emphasis on what it calls ‘oversights’ of justice. It begins by arguing that some of the greatest political philosophers suffered from ‘oversights’, notably Karl Marx, Mary Wollstonecraft, and John Stuart Mill. It then considers some of these oversights of justice, first by looking at issues of gender equality, then at racial justice, followed by issues of disability and sexual orientation, each from the standpoint of what is known as ‘domestic justice’: justice as it operates within a single state. It also explores questions of global justice, including immigration, and global inequalities of wealth, along with justice to future generations, especially in relation to climate change. These discussions reflect areas of great contemporary concern, both in political philosophy and in real life.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

6. Trade  

Erin Hannah and James Scott

This chapter assesses the global trade system. It begins by looking at the debate over free trade and protectionism. The chapter explores the evolution of the multilateral trade system, with particular emphasis on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), highlighting the centrality of trade liberalization and non-discrimination in contemporary trade relations. It then considers the debates surrounding the relationship between trade and development, particularly around how multilateral trade rules reflect unequal power relations, and the social consequences of liberalized trade. The chapter also reflects on the recent backlash against neoliberal trade and the ostensible turn towards protectionism in some parts of the world. Finally, it highlights the gendered nature of trade and how it affects gender equality.

Chapter

Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

31. W.E.B. Du Bois  

Elvira Basevich

This chapter discusses W.E.B. Du Bois’s political thought and strategies for political advocacy which primarily focus on the politics of race, colonialism, gender, and labour. It also explains the key concepts in Du Bois’s criticism of how the white supremacist ideology shaped modern societies to create the colour line and to exclude members of vulnerable groups. These concepts include the doctrine of racialism, double consciousness, and Pan-Africanism. The chapter recognizes Du Bois’s contributions to Black feminist thought and American labour politics, which inspired major social justice movements in the twentieth century. Thus, Du Bois’s political thought shored up the contradictions in the liberal principles of freedom and equality for all.