WAGADU: Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies

Special Issue: Women, Gender and Government Outsourcing in Comparative Perspectives

Guest editors:

S.N. Nyeck, PhD., Clarkson University, New York  sngonyec@clarkson.edu

Orly Benjamin, PhD., Bar IIan University, Israel Orly.Benjamin@biu.ac.il


Since 1980s, consensus on the prominent role of the state and its bureaucracy in the production and delivery of public services has been shifting. Searches for alternatives to organizing and managing the public sector have fundamentally redefined the role of government in economic wellness and development. Today, the New Public Management (NPM) approach that seeks cost reduction in the public sector through de-unionization has become dominant around the world. NPM emphasizes market-based solutions to public and social services delivery. The theoretical and pragmatic rationales for complete outsourcing, privatization, or a combination of both have implications for women in the supply chain for public services. For instance, a shift in the role of the state as an employer of women in the service and caring occupations around the world deserves attention.

The role and impact of new public-private partnerships –compared to other forms of privatization- for the delivery of public services for women and by women, however, remain under researched. This special issue seeks to bring together work that specifically addresses the intersection of gender or women and government outsourcing. We encourage work that engages with gender or women within the whole spectrum of government outsourcing: women or gender in the private and public sectors as employees, regulators, producers, and consumers of public services. We’re also interested in understanding how government outsourcing re-shapes gendered ethno-national-racial-class divides. Work that addresses alternative and/or comparable models to outsourcing is solicited.

Government outsourcing affects and empowers women in various ways. We welcome theoretical and empirical submissions from all disciplines, ideologies, and regions of the world. Below is a non-exhaustive list of potential areas of interest that could be explored through women’s or gender lenses.

Topics under consideration:

-Women or gender preferential public procurement (policy, regulation, implementation)

-Labor laws / rights / policy / labor procurement contracts – are employment conditions stipulated in the contract? Are labor contracts violated? Are contracts controled / monitored by a service purchasing body?

-Development aid / tied aid / the role of international financial institutions and agreements (World Bank, WTO, UNCITRAL, EU-EPA, ACP countries, AGOA…etc.,).

-Contract negotiation (national versus international standard…)

-Feminist theory and government outsourcing

-Women or gender in the supply chain (small business, global corporatism)

-Health and medicine procurement (HIV medicine, malaria…)

-Women or gender and the profession (public procurement analyst and practitioner)

-Women or gender and outsourcing the war on drugs/ terror

-Women/gender and prison outsourcing/immigration

-Women or gender and outsourcing social welfare

-Is there a history of women/ gender in government outsourcing?

– Outsourcing or reverse outsourcing? What works best for women?

– Gendered discourse of market-competition and efficiency in the public sector

-The economics of gender/women in government outsourcing

– Women’s employment, de-unionization, and new unionism

– Women’s employment, procurement contracts, and inequalities

Potential contributors should email an abstract (300 words) or a proposed paper to the guest editors S.N. Nyeck, PhD., sngonyec@clarkson.edu and Orly Benjamin, PhD., Orly.Benjamin@biu.ac.il by June 1, 2014 with the title “Wagadu_abstract” in the subject line of the email.  Authors of accepted abstracts are expected to submit a full paper by November 1, 2014. This special issue is scheduled for publication in 2015.