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Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal StateInequality, Exclusion, and Change$
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Leela Fernandes

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479800155

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479800155.001.0001

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Toward a Feminist Analytic of the Post-Liberalization State

Toward a Feminist Analytic of the Post-Liberalization State

(p.221) 8 Toward a Feminist Analytic of the Post-Liberalization State
Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal State

Leela Fernandes

NYU Press

This chapter presents an overview of the feminist analytic of the post-liberalization state as developed in this volume. It develops a feminist materialist approach that addresses the complexities and contradictions of the policies, ideologies, and practices associated with contemporary neoliberalism. This approach rests on an integrated analysis of discursive and nondiscursive practices and addresses the interconnections between inequalities such as gender, race, caste, sexuality, and class. From this materialist feminist perspective, the discursive regimes that shape policies of market liberalization often rest on a paradox. If a materialist feminist analysis necessitates that we pay attention to complex dynamics of race, sexuality, class, and national context, these discursive regimes are also invested in liberal narratives of women’s empowerment that invoke a homogeneous category of “woman.” This category thus becomes a key component of the developmental dimensions of market liberalization in ways that discipline feminism itself. Strategies of social movements and critical intellectual currents that emerge in response to inequality and exclusion can be inadvertently disciplined or misguided when trapped by a ubiquitous or ethereal idea of “neoliberalism.” The feminist analytic of the post-liberalization state seeks to open up intellectual avenues that can disrupt this disciplining of interdisciplinary knowledge practices.

Keywords:   materialist feminist, discursive regimes, gender, women, post-liberalization, neoliberalism, state, inequality, interdisciplinary

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