Gender, Politics and the State

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Vicky Randall, Georgina Waylen
Psychology Press, 1998 - Political Science - 214 pages
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Over the last two decades our understanding of the relationship of gender, politics and the state has been transformed almost beyond recognition by the mutual interrogation of feminism and political science. This volume provides an overview of this dynamic and growing field, which reflects both its expanding empirical scope and the accompanying theoretical development and debate.
The first three essays focus primarily on conceptual and theoretical issues: the meaning of 'gender'; the state's role in the construction of gender within the public and private sphere; and the political representation of gender differences within liberal democracy. The remaining six provide analyses of more concrete issues of state policy and participation in differeing national political contexts: abortion politics in Ireland; the local politics of prostitution in Britain, the impact on women's political participation of economic change in China, Latin America and political change in Russia, and the gender impact of state programmes of land reform.

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I'm a truck driver who spent most of his younger life around bikes, drugs and criminality; you'd have thought i would know all about prostitution and how our Government are deeply involved with the economic gains etc- I admit to being as naive as the day i was born and this has really opened my eyes, I never considered that 12% of men in Birmingham could be prostitutes, i never considered having a redlight district could secure further resources for the local police and I never considered that any prostitute could take her or his client to an open space in the UK- 'legally'- I've heard of cottaging in open places and oral sex being performed in alleys but 'Balsall Heath' sounds like a real nightmare for any children growing up around it.
I do have an opinion that law enforcement is a necessary evil where prostitution is concerned because the slave trade thrives on criminality and underground endeavours- I'd like to hope that all prostitutes are prostitutes because they have chosen that path- not been forced into it by desperation or by gangsters.

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About the author (1998)

Vicky Randall is senior lecturer in politics, Polytechnic of Central London.

Georgina Waylen is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sheffield, UK. She has researched and written extensively on gender and transitions to democracy for over fifteen years. Her articles on this theme have been published in a range of journals including World Politics, Journal of
Latin American Studies, Democratization, Third World Quarterly and Comparative Political Studies. She is also the author of Gender in Third Politics (1996) and the co-editor of Gender, Politics and the State (1998) and Towards a Gendered Political Economy (2000).

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