Gender, Justice, Development, and Rights

Synopsis

Recent years have seen a shift in the international development agenda in the direction of a greater emphasis on rights and democracy. This brought many positive changes in women's rights and political representation as well as in human rights more broadly. In much of the world, however,these advances were not matched by significant progress in the achievement of greater social justice. Rising income inequalities, coupled with widespread poverty in many countries, have been accompanied by record levels of crime and violence. Meanwhile the global shift in the consensus over the roleof the state in welfare provision has in many contexts entailed the down-sizing of public services and the re-allocation of service delivery to commercial interests, charitable groups, NGOs and households. This volume reflects on this ambivalent record, and on the significance accorded in international development policy to rights and democracy in the post-Cold War era. Key items on the contemporary policy agenda-neo-liberal economic and social policies; democracy; and multiculturalism-are addressedhere by leading scholars and regional specialists through theoretical reflections and detailed case studies. Together they constitute a collection which casts contemporary liberalism in a distinctive light by applying a gender perspective to the analysis of political and policy processes. Casestudies from Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, East-Central Europe, South and South-east Asia contribute a cross-cultural dimension to the analysis of contemporary liberalism - the dominant value system in the modern world-and how it exists, and is resisted, in developing andpost-transition societies.