The feminization of poverty is increasingly recognized as a global phenomenon, affecting women not only in third world countries but also in the West. Taking globalization as its starting point, Western Welfare in Decline explores the plight of poor single mothers in five English-speaking nations that have implemented welfare restructuring: the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, and Aotearoa/New Zealand. This restructuring is analyzed in relation to the emergence of neoliberalism, which valorizes the free market, individualism, and a circumscribed role for the state.
Contributors to Western Welfare in Decline creatively combine theoretical and empirical analysis, emphasizing the economic and social goals of welfare reforms and the discourses of labor, gendered subjectivity, and the separation of public and private spheres. They document how the neoliberal project of welfare reform interacts with local cultures to create both similar and divergent new cultural formations and identify opportunities for asserting the social rights of poor single mothers who are being denied these rights at the level of the nation-state.
PART I: THE BIG PICTURE: GLOBALIZATION, NEOLIBERALISM, AND THE FEMINIZATION OF POVERTY
1 Introduction: The Global Feminization of Poverty
2 Neoliberalism I: Discourses of Personhood and Welfare Reform
3 Neoliberalism II: The Global Free Market
4 Globalization as Hybridity
PART II: ON THE GROUND: CASE STUDIES IN THE ARTICULATION OF (GENDERED) NEOLIBERALISM WITH (GENDERED) LOCAL CULTURE
5 From New Deal to Bad Deal: Racial and Political Implications of U.S. Welfare Reform
6 The Great Undoing: State Formation, Gender Politics, and Social Policy in Canada
7 The Responsible Citizen: Creating a New British Welfare Contract
8 Paradoxes in "Paradise": The Changing Politics of Women, Welfare, and Work in Australia
—Susan L. Robertson
9 Neoliberalism and Tino Rangatiratanga: Welfare State Restructuring in Aotearoa/New Zealand
10 Where to Next?: Against and Beyond Neoliberalism
List of Contributors