Vulnerability and empowerment are central concepts of contemporary development theory and ethics. Vulnerability associated with human interdependence is a wellspring of values in care ethics, while vulnerability arising from social problems demands remedy, of which empowerment is frequently the just form. Development planners and aid providers focus upon improving the wellbeing of the most vulnerable – especially women – by empowering them economically, socially and politically.
Both vulnerability and empowerment are considered in this volume. Drydyk argues that empowerment is necessarily relational, not simply a matter of expanding choices. Koggel reviews Drydyk’s discussion through the lens of feminist relational theory, considering how norms, structures and institutions shape, delimit, and promote empowerment. Presbey examines empowerment in East African women’s lives through the writings and biography of Wangari Maathai. Kosko considers indigenous self-governance and participation in shared governance. Khader reflects upon postcolonial feminist criticism of the concept of adaptive preference. Panitch discusses the economic vulnerability that surrounds the global market in surrogate birth. Pandey provides a review of third world eco-feminist activism and literature. Cudd envisions international humanitarian intervention to support female autonomy against oppressive state and social institutions.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Global Ethics.
Table of Contents
Preface: Gender Justice and Development
Christine M. Koggel, Cynthia Bisman, and Eric Palmer
1. Introduction: Vulnerability and Empowerment
2. Empowerment, agency, and power
3. A Critical analysis of recent work on empowerment: implications for gender
Christine M. Koggel
4. Women’s empowerment: The insights of Wangari Maathai
Gail M. Presbey
5. Agency vulnerability, participation, and the self-determination of indigenous peoples
Stacy J. Kosko
6. Identifying adaptive preferences in practice: Lessons from Postcolonial Feminism
Serene J. Khader
7. Global surrogacy: Exploitation to empowerment
8. Globalization and ecofeminism in the South: Keeping the ‘Third World’ Alive
9. Truly humanitarian intervention: Considering just causes and methods in a feminist frame
Ann E. Cudd
Eric Palmer is Professor of Philosophy at Allegheny College, Pennsylvania, USA. His recent research in development ethics concerns multinational corporate responsibility in for-profit credit and payment schemes directed towards the poor through microfinance, e-payment systems, credit cards and payday lending. He is co-editor of the Journal of Global Ethics.