Feminist Ethics and Social Policy
244 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jan 2012
Release Date:25 Aug 2011
Release Date:25 Aug 2011

Feminist Ethics and Social Policy

Towards a New Global Political Economy of Care

UBC Press

As the boundaries between nations become more permeable, women are increasingly on the move, travelling from poor countries to rich ones to work as nannies, nurses, teachers, maids, and sex workers. The struggle to maintain a healthy balance between work, family, and care in Western nations is creating a care deficit in the developing world.

Feminist Ethics and Social Policy links ethics to the social politics of care by revealing the implications of the feminization of migrant labour and the shortcomings of social policy at the national level. Drawing on innovative theories of gender and race, global justice and neocolonialism, and care and masculinity, renowned and emerging scholars trace how recent policy developments are transforming the lives of female care workers in Canada, Sweden, Korea, and Japan and sparking national debates on care. They demonstrate that ethics cannot be separated from practice – an ethics of care that is both political and critical must be grounded in the concrete activities of real people working in transnational webs of social relations.

This timely volume offers a rare cross-national comparison of care arrangements and national debates on the ethics of care in the context of a globalizing world.

This book will be of interest to a students and scholars in a wide range of disciplines, including politics and public policy, gender studies, sociology, and philosophy.


  • , Commended - The Hill Times List of Top 100 Best Books for 2012
An outstanding volume. A good deal of literature explores the topic of care, but it has been difficult to bridge a feminist ethics of care with social policy. This timely book takes on the challenge and does so deftly and with depth. Kate Bezanson, author of Gender, the State, and Social Reproduction: Household Insecurity in Neo-liberal Times
This is a wonderful book that makes a strong contribution to the study of global issues. Combining the theory on the ethics of care with recent findings on the transnationalization and commodification of care work, it looks particularly at the migration of care workers from poor countries of the global South to rich ones in the global North. Virginia Held, author of The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political, and Global

Rianne Mahon is the CIGI Chair in comparative social policy at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University. Fiona Robinson is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University.

Other contributors: Christina Gabriel, Olena Hankivsky, Hironori Onuki, Ito Peng, Joan Tronto, Yuki Tsuji, Fiona Williams

Introduction / Rianne Mahon and Fiona Robinson

Part 1: The Transnational Movement of Care

1 Towards a Transnational Analysis of the Political Economy of Care / Fiona Williams

2 Migration and Globalized Care Work: The Case of Internationally Educated Nurses in Canada / Christina Gabriel

3 The Global Migration of Care Labour: Filipino Workers in Japan / Hironori Onuki

Part 2: Transnational Influence of Care Discourses

4 Transnationalizing (Child) Care Policy: The OECD and the World Bank / Rianne Mahon

5 Social Investment Policy in South Korea / Ito Peng

6 Reimagined Intimate Relations: Elder and Child Care in Japan since the 1990s / Yuki Tsuji

Part 3: The Transnational Ethics of Care

7 Care Ethics and the Transnationalization of Care: Reflections on Autonomy, Hegemonic Masculinities, and Globalization / Fiona Robinson

8 The Dark Side of Care: The Push Factors of Human Trafficking / Olena Hankivsky

9 A Feminist Democratic Ethics of Care and Global Care Workers: Citizenship and Responsibility / Joan C. Tronto

Conclusion: Integrating the Ethics and Politics of Care / Rianne Mahon and Fiona Robinson




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