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Femocratic Administration

Femocratic Administration: Gender, Governance, and Democracy in Ontario

Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 304
  • Book Info
    Femocratic Administration
    Book Description:

    Femocratic Administrationexamines the gendered nature of public administration through a study of the Ontario Women's Directorate (OWD) between 1985 and 2000. Analysing the OWD from the perspective of feminist political economy, this book combines a detailed case study with a theoretical framework that reconceptualizes the meanings of state feminism, representation, and democracy.

    Using interviews and archival materials, Tammy Findlay argues that the feminist bureaucrats (or "femocrats," as they are sometimes known) of the OWD were marginalized even before the rise of neoliberal governance and New Public Management of the 1990s. Achieving substantive democracy for Ontario's women, she contends, requires more than just institutional reforms - it demands "femocratic administration" that transforms the entire public service and its relationship with citizens.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-1911-1
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. Introduction: Gender, Governance, and Democracy in Ontario
    (pp. 3-22)

    What exactly is the state’s business? For some, its “business” is taken literally, to transplant a corporate model into the public sector. In fact, since the 1980s, the idea that states should be more business-like has come to dominate political discourse. But for others, the state is not a business. Instead, the state’s “business,” or its responsibility, is much more profound: states are responsible for governance. And governance is about democracy, representation, citizenship, equality, and justice. So dealing with power relationsisthe state’s business – it isthebusiness. Which leaves us with the more difficult question:Howdoes...

  6. 1 A Feminist Political Economy of Representation
    (pp. 23-61)

    One of the most important feminist interventions into the discipline of political science has been to expand our definition of the “political” beyond the institutions of the state to include other political terrain, including non-governmental actors (NGOs) and social movements, and those relations previously considered to be private, such as the family. The success in demonstrating that “the personal is political,” while essential in pushing the borders of political science, is fraught with feminist ambivalence about the state. Some feminists suggest that we turn our attention away from the state and focus instead on other spaces of struggle. Judith Allen...

  7. 2 Gender Regimes of Public Administration
    (pp. 62-104)

    In response to globalization and neoliberalism, many are looking to supra-national scales of governance. Others are arguing that we need to focus our attention on the democratization of the state, and state administration, and I locate myself within this perspective. However, as just seen in chapter 1, the state and democracy are complicated by considerations of gender, and notwithstanding ongoing ambivalence about the state, feminists have made some important contributions to the study of state institutions and public administration. This chapter examines public administration as it has developed in Canada, through two dominant governance models: the Weberian and the New...

  8. 3 Experiments with State Feminism in the Weberian Gender Regime
    (pp. 105-145)

    So far, I have maintained that the state is at the intersection of discussions about neoliberalism and globalization, on the one hand, and debates within feminist theory, on the other. I have further asserted that the nation state, as well as sub-national states, and their administrative structures in particular, are central considerations for a feminist model of public administration, based on an alternative vision of representation and democracy, or a transformative gender regime. The need for this alternative vision is reinforced in the feminist literature on gender and institutions that details the role that states and bureaucracies play in (re)producing...

  9. 4 Gendered Governance and the New Public Management Regime
    (pp. 146-185)

    Accounts of state restructuring continue, in large part, to ignore the gendered nature of these processes. Of course, there is a body of feminist literature that highlights the negative impact of state restructuring on women, but this literature tends to focus on either women as users of state programs and services, or as public sector workers. While this chapter draws upon both, I will mainly examine how neoliberal strategies aimed at the administrative structures of the state, specifically through the New Public Management (NPM), have affected the process and substance of policy for feminists working in the state bureaucracy in...

  10. Conclusion: Building a Femocratic Administration
    (pp. 186-216)

    I sought to do several things in this book. I placed my study within an era of neoliberalism and globalization, in which strategies of resistance based on the democratization of the state are needed. I stressed, however, that such strategies must be informed by feminist insights into the gendered nature of the state. They also must recognize the federal character of the Canadian state, by addressing democratic deficits at both the national and the sub-national level, and in their relations with each other. Through the case of the Ontario Women’s Directorate (OWD), I examined the place of femocrats, or state...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 217-242)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 243-270)
  13. Index
    (pp. 271-288)