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Localization/globalization and the midwife state: strategic dilemmas for state feminismin education?

journal contribution
posted on 1999-01-01, 00:00 authored by Jillian BlackmoreJillian Blackmore
This paper explores the implications of the processes of globalization/localization for state feminism, with a focus on Australia. Superficially, localization appears to be one response to globalization, exemplified by devolution to self managing schools and in the public sector. But globalization and localization are merely different aspects of the same phenomenon, and the processes articulating local/global relations have particular gendered effects which, while locally specific in their articulation, resonate in highly patterned ways cross nationally. There has been in many Western liberal democracies a fundamental change in the role of the welfare state with a shift from a more protectionist position to one where the ‘midwife’ state mediates, rather than regulates, global markets. But the shift to the smaller or more selectively interventionist state, although a common global policy ‘response’ to the ‘logic’ of globalization, is not an inevitable consequence of economic globalization. Rather, it is an ideologically informed position which has gained legitimacy by calling upon dominant (if not deterministic) orthodoxies about economic globalization. Furthermore, the shift in the role of the state, as with educational restructuring generally, is as much about cultural reconstruction as it is about economic reconstruction. Feminists are wary of such moves as they provide discursive spaces to undermine past successes and future claims for gender equity. I briefly point to the significance of state feminism in select Western nation states, and then elaborate upon some of the strategic dilemmas arising out of the dynamics of globalization/localization for the delivery of gender equity reform.

History

Journal

Journal of education policy

Volume

14

Pagination

33-54

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

0268-0939

eISSN

1464-5106

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

1999, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Issue

1

Publisher

Taylor & Francis