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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Drafting Commercial Agreements

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Gendered States of Punishment and Welfare: Feminist Political Economy, Primitive Accumulation and the Law

ISBN13: 9781138678422
Published: September 2016
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £115.00

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This book presents a feminist historical materialist analysis of the ways in which the law, policing and penal regimes have overlapped with social policies to coercively discipline the poor and marginalized sectors of the population throughout the history of capitalism. Roberts argues that capitalism has always been underpinned by the use of state power to discursively construct and materially manage those sectors of the population who are most resistant to and marginalized by the instantiation and deepening of capitalism.

The book reveals that the law, along with social welfare regimes, have operated in ways that are highly gendered, as gender – along with race – has been a key axis along which difference has been constructed and regulated. It offers an important theoretical and empirical contribution that disrupts the tendency for mainstream and critical work within international political economy to view capitalism primarily as an economic relation. Roberts also offers a feminist critique of the failure of mainstream and critical scholars to analyse the gendered nature of capitalist social relations of production and social reproduction.

Exploring a broad range of issues related to the nature of the capitalist state, the creation and protection of private property, the governance of poverty, the structural compulsions underpinning waged work and the place of women in paid and unpaid labour, this book will be of great use to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students of international political economy, gender studies, social work, law, sociology, criminology, global development studies, political science and history.

Law and Society
The Anglo-American Lockdown
Towards a Feminist Historical Materialism
Competing Explanations
A Note on Case Studies and Approach
Outline and Organization of the Argument

1. The Making of Global Capitalism: A Feminist Historical Materialist Analysis
Premise 1: The Law as Primitive Accumulation
Premise 2: Primitive Accumulation as a Gendered Process
Premise 3: The Law as Part of the Gendered Social Ontology of Capitalism

2. The Law, Private Property and the Gendered Poor in the Transition to Capitalism
Poverty, Poor Laws and the Bloody Legislation
The Legal Regulation of Gender
The Early Capitalist Gender Order

3. The Liberal Governance of Criminality and the Myths of Laissez-Faire
The Rise of ‘Liberal’ Governance: Legitimacy, Crowd and the Problem of Poverty
The (Gendered) Ideology of Liberal Political Economy
Disciplining and Responsibilizing the Poor and Criminalized Population: The New Poor Laws, Prisons and the Police
The Gendered Dimensions of Nineteenth Century Governance

4. The Modern Governance of Poverty and Criminality: Penal-Welfare Paternalism
The Rise of Penal-Welfare Paternalism: Monopoly Capitalism, Organized Labour and the Breakdown of Laissez-Fairism
Theorizing Penal-Welfare Paternalism
Reproducing Class, Gender and Race through the Paternal Penal-Welfare State

5. Governing of Social Marginality in an Era of Disciplinary Neoliberalism
The Neoliberal Governance of Criminality
The Neoliberal State and the Power-Production-Social Reproduction Nexus
On-Going Primitive Accumulation and the Criminalization of Homelessness
6. Producing Gendered Precariousness and Criminalized Women
Gendered Precariousness and the Neoliberal Restructuring of Production
The ‘Reprivatization’ of Social Reproduction
Gendered Precariousness and the Criminalization of Women


Series: RIPE Series in Global Political Economy

£34.28 + £6.86 VAT
Resisting Intellectual Property ISBN 9780415701273
Published April 2005