Human Capital in Gender and Development addresses timely feminist debates about the relationship between feminism, neoliberalism, and international development. The book engages with human capital theory, a labour economics theory associated with the Chicago School that now animates a wide range of political and economic governance. The book argues that human capital theory has been instrumental in constructing an economistic vision of gender equality as a tool for economic growth, and girls and women of the global South as the quintessential entrepreneurs of the post-global financial crisis era.
The book’s critique of human capital theory and its role in Gender and Development gives insights into the kinds of development interventions that typify the ‘Gender Equality as Smart Economics’ agenda of the World Bank and other international development institutions. From the World Bank, to NGOs, and private businesses, discourses about the economic benefits of gender equality and women’s empowerment underpin a range of development interventions that aim to unlock the ‘untapped’ potential of the world’s women. Its implications are both conceptual and material, producing more interventionist forms of development governance, increased power by private sector actors in development, and de-politicization of gender equality issues.
Human Capital in Gender and Development will be of particular interest to feminist scholars in Politics, International Relations, Development Studies, and Human Geography. It will also be a useful resource for teaching key debates about feminism, neoliberalism, and international development.
Introduction 1. Feminism, Neoliberalism and Development 2. A Feminist Critique of Human Capital Theory 3. Gender, Development and Smart Economics at the World Bank 4. Unlocking Female Resources 5. Girl Effects 6. Human Capital, Private Profit Conclusion
In this series, we aim to publish books that work with, and through, feminist insights on global politics, and illuminate the ways in which gender functions not just as a marker of identity but also as a constitutive logic in global political practices. This series welcomes scholarship on any aspect of global political practices, broadly conceived, that pays attention to the ways in which gender is central to, (re)produced in, and is productive of, such practices.
There is growing recognition both within the academy and in global political institutions that gender matters in and to the practices of global politics. From the governance of peace and security, to the provision of funds for development initiatives, via transnational advocacy networks linked through strategic engagement with new forms of media, these processes have a gendered dimension that is made visible through empirically grounded and theoretically sophisticated feminist work.
The series aims to be genuinely global in scope. We welcome submissions from scholars in/of the global South and support scholars for whom English is a second or other language through the publication process with dedicated editorial assistance. The series is also multi-disciplinary, publishing work from across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences with a global aspect and political focus.