The Remaking of Social Contracts

Feminists in a Fierce New World

Edited by Gita Sen and Marina Durano


Powerful insights from leading gender and development scholars.
Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) argues that social contracts must be recreated if they are to fulfil the promise of human rights.

In The Remaking of Social Contracts, leading thinkers and activists address a wide range of concerns - global economic governance, militarism, ecological tipping points, the nation state, movement-building, sexuality and reproduction, and religious fundamentalism. These themes are of wide-ranging importance for the survival and well-being of us all, and reflect the many dimensions and inter-connectedness of our lives.

Using feminist lenses, the book puts forward a holistic and radical understanding of the synergies, tensions and contradictions between social movements and global, regional and local power structures and processes, and it points to other alternatives and possibilities for this fierce new world.

Author Bio

Gita Sen is an adjunct professor of global health and population at the Harvard School of Public Health, and was until recently professor of public policy at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. She has been for many years a feminist analyst, activist and advocate on the political economy of globalization, and on sexual and reproductive health and rights. She is a member of DAWN’s Executive Committee.

Marina Durano was a member of DAWN’s Executive Committee from 2008 to 2011, working on gender issues in financing for development, including the examination of gender issues in international trade policies. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the Women’s Development Research Centre (KANITA) of the Universiti Sains Malaysia, and is now an assistant professor at the Asian Center at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword - Josefa Francisco
  • Part I:  Introductory overview
    • Social Contracts Revisited: The Promise of Human Rights - Gita Sen and Marina Durano
  • Part II: Governing Globalization: Critiquing the Reproduction of Inequality
    • 1. Financialization, Distribution and Inequality - Stephanie Seguino
    • Box II.1 Multilateralism: From Advancement to Self Defence - Barbara Adams
    • Box II.2 Women's Status and Free Trade in the Pacific - Lice Cokanasiga
    • 2. New Poles of Accumulation and Realignment of Power in the Twenty-First Century - Yao Graham and Hibist Wendemu Kassa
    • 3. The Modern Business of War - Oscar Ugarteche
    • Box II.3 Militarization, Illicit Economies and Governance - Adebayo Olukoshi
    • Box II.4 Commodity Exports and Persistent Inequality in Latin America - Nicole Bidegain Ponte
    • 4. The Convergences and Divergences of Human Rights and Political Economy - Aldo Caliari
  • Part III: Political Ecology and Climate Justice: Tackling Sustainability and Climate Change
    • 5. Climate Non-Negotiables - Anita Nayar
    • Box III.1 Primitive Accumulation Revisited - Gita Sen
    • 6. Geoengineering: A Gender Issue? - Diana Bronson
    • Box III.2 Green Rhetoric in the Asian fiscal Stimulus - Marina Durano
    • 7. Land Grabs, Food Security and Climate Justice: A Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa - Zo Randriamaro
    • Box III.3 African feminist resistances and climate change politics - Hibist Wendemu Kassa
  • Part IV: Secularism and biopolitics: confronting fundamentalism and deciphering biopolitics
    • 8. Negotiating Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the UN: A Long and Winding Road - Alexandra Garita and Francoise Girard
    • 9. The Making of a Secular Contract - Fatou Sow and Magaly Pazello
    • Box IV.1 The Abortion Debate in Latin America and the Caribbean: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back - Erika Troncoso
    • Box IV.2 MDGs, SRHR and Poverty Reduction Policies: Evidence from a DAWN Project - Bhavya Reddy
    • 10. Sexuality as a Weapon of Biopolitics: Rethinking Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill - Rosalind Petchesky
    • Box IV.3 HIV and SRHR - Rodelyn Marte
    • Box IV.4 Sexuality and Human Rights in Brazil: The Long and Winding Road - Sonia Corrêa
  • Part V: Frontier Challenges: Building Nation-States and Social Movements
    • 11. The State of States - Claire Slatter
    • Box V.1 ICTs: Efficient exploitation or feminist tool? - Cai Yiping
    • 12. Religious Fundamentalism and Secular Governance - Amrita Chhachhi
    • Box V.2 Case Study of Engagement and Responses by Women's Groups in Face of Violence in Gujarat
    • 13. Reframing Peace and Security for Women - Kumudini Samuel
    • Box V.3 LBT Rights and Militarization in a Post-Conflict Context - Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala
    • 14. Feminist Activisms for New Global Contracts Amidst Civil Indignation - Josefa Francisco and Peggy Antrobus
    • Box V.4 The Promise and Pitfalls of UN Women - Nicole Bidegain Ponte
    • Box V.5 Young People: Shattering the Silence on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights - Jennifer Redner and Fadekemi Akinfaderin-Agarau


'Presents a head-on challenge to neoliberalism's many myths. This collection offers important insights into contemporary global complexities without losing sight of or minimizing important historical antecedents. This is certain to be a key text for understanding why development debates are still at the heart of issues of justice, rights and advocacy.'
Michelle V. Rowley, University of Maryland

'In this foundational book, DAWN spells out gender justice not just as another item on the wish list of social movements but as the basis of a new, indispensable social contract.'
Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch

'Here are the tools we've been waiting for. This cutting-edge collection addresses the major dilemmas of our times to provide readers with a broad spectrum of evidence-based analysis. Inspirational and essential reading for the twenty-first century.'
Amina Mama, founding editor of Feminist Africa


Publication Date: 11 September 2014
336 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780321585
Hardback: 9781780321592
eBook ePub: 9781780321615
eBook PDF: 9781780321608
eBook Kindle: 9781780321622

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