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IS221 Week FIVE Lecture . 2024. Dr Nazanin Shahrokni

Actors of Global Governance


Introducing Labour Studies Student Union

Studying the State

Short about your first assignment

Actors of Global Governance


Song of the Week


Working with the State: To do or not do

SFU Labour Studies Student Union

School for International Studies Career Workshop

The session is intended as a mapping workshop in which we will explore people’s academic decisions and career aspirations, discuss different career paths within IS, set productive goals, and identify opportunities outside of the classroom.

Construção, from Chico Buarque (shared by Hyago Santana Moreiera)

Actors of Global Governance

In 1944, 44 allied nations met in Bretton Woods for the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference to discuss policies and regulations that would maximize the potential benefits and profits that could be derived from the global trading system. What resulted from the conference were the Bretton Woods Agreement and the Bretton Woods System. Essentially, the agreement called for the newly created IMF to determine the fixed rate of exchange for currencies around the world.

Institutions of global governance- the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO are presented as neutral players seeking maximum economic efficiency for all through attempting to ensure ‘fair dealing’ in the market.

While many proclaimed the weaknesses of the state were leading to a poststatist era, others reflected upon how the state was repositioning itself in order to secure its continued role in mediating between capital and labour. The argument was that capital needs the regulatory power of the state in order to do business, but that the state needs to be committed to economic liberalization in order to fulfil the potential of globalizing markets. What we are witnessing is not the demise of the nation-state but its ‘internationalization’; not its destruction but its transformation.

How do Bretton Woods Institutions Work?

How do Bretton Woods Institutions Work?

Genderingthe State

Feminist Theories of the State

The State is Janus-faced

State Intervention Needed

State Intervention Costly

Disengage from the State

Wendy Brown (1992)Nancy Fraser (2003)Catherine MacKinnon (1989)Ann Orloff (1996)

The State is Male

Formed & Populated by Men

Structured along Gender Lines

Julia Adams (2005)Wendy Brown (1992)


You can use the same diagram to think about the state in terms of race & class


Is the state a problematic instrument or arena of feminist political change? ​ If the institutions, practices & discourses of the state are as inextricably, however differently, bound up with the prerogatives of manhood in a male dominant society as they are with capital and class in a capitalist society and with white supremacy in a racist society, what are the implications for feminist politics?

Activists' DilemmaSeek change by working with/through the state or by disengaging from it?

Studying the State




Disaggregate the State & the Gender Issues

Scale-ing the State

Compare & Contextualize

ompare & ontextualize


Compare:​ - One state across time​- One state compared to another

Contextualize:​ - Take into account International norms & treaties​- Regime type (Military vs. Democratic) matters​ - Church-State relationship is important​ - Consider the presence or absence of strong women’s movements

Scale-ing the State




The everyday statee.g. Frontline workers

Disaggregate the State

See Kimberly Mogran and Ann Orloff. 2017. The Many Hands of the State: Theorizing Political Authority and Social Control. UK: Cambridge University Press.




Social Welfare


Different Faces of the State


Hard PowerProhibitionRepressive

Soft PowerProtectionIdeoleogical

Have a good week!