Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal State

Inequality, Exclusion, and Change

272 pages

2 figures and 1 table

January, 2018

ISBN: 9781479895304



Add to Cart Available: 12/29/2017

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Leela Fernandes is the Glenda Dickerson Collegiate Professor of Women’s Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, and author of India’s New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an Era of Economic Reform; Producing Workers: The Politics of Gender, Class and Culture in the Calcutta Jute Mills; and Transforming Feminist Practice.

All books by Leela Fernandes

A rich set of feminist perspectives on the varied and often contradictory nature of state practices, structures, and ideologies
Growing socio-economic inequality and exclusion are defining features of the twenty-first century. While debates on globalization, free trade, and economic development have been linked to the paradigm of “neo-liberalism,” it does not explain all the forms of social change that have been unfolding in comparative contexts.
Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal State provides a timely intervention into discussions about the boundaries, practices, and nature of the post-liberalization state, suggesting that an understanding of economic policies, the corresponding rise of socio-economic inequality, and the possibilities for change requires an in-depth reconceptualization.
Drawing on original field research both globally and within the United States, this volume brings together a rich set of perspectives on the varied and often contradictory nature of state practices, structures and ideologies in the post-liberalization era.  The essays develop an interdisciplinary approach that treats an understanding of historically-specific forms of inequality—such as gender, race, caste, sexuality and class—as integral to, rather than as after-effects of, the policies and ideologies associated with the “neoliberal project.”
The volume also tackles central questions on the restructuring of the state, the state’s power operations, the relationship between capital and the state, and its interactions with the institutions and organizational forms of civil society in the post-liberalization era. As such, Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal State examines both what is distinctive about this post-liberalization state and what must be contextualized as long-standing features of modern state power. 
A truly international and interdisciplinary volume, Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal State deepens our understanding of how policies of economic liberalization shape and produce various forms of inequality.


  • Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal State is a superb collection of essays and an indispensable teaching resource. Each of the chapters provides theoretically sophisticated analyses of original empirical material and Leela Fernandes’ Introduction develops a valuable framework for a comparative, transnational feminist analysis of neoliberalism…a much-needed contribution to a subject of extraordinary political and intellectual importance.”

    —Amrita Basu, Author of Violent Conjunctures in Democratic India

  • “Through a situated and materialist feminist analytic, this wide-ranging collection refuses a singular understanding of neoliberalism, complicating dichotomies of public and private, market and state, to interrogate the making of inequality. With her sophisticated framing essays, Leela Fernandes brings political economy back into feminist theory in new and compelling ways.”

    —Eileen Boris, Author of Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State