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Sydney Calkin

Bio: Sydney Calkin is an academic researcher from Queen Mary University of London. The author has contributed to research in topics: Abortion & Feminism. The author has an hindex of 11, co-authored 21 publications receiving 278 citations. Previous affiliations of Sydney Calkin include Birmingham School of Law & Durham University.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
Sydney Calkin1
TL;DR: The authors assesses feminist accounts of co-optation and appropriation in gender and development policy and conclude that although accounts of feminism's cooptation are flawed in their misrepresentation of a diverse and dynamic movement, the transformations wrought by these misrepresentations are real and profound.
Abstract: This article assesses feminist accounts of co-optation and appropriation in gender and development policy. Today women and girls are the public faces of anti-poverty policy and occupy an important position in the development discourse; however, the ambiguities of the neoliberal gender agenda have provoked an ongoing debate about the extent to which feminist aims and language have been and de-politicized by mainstream institutions. Have feminist aims been co-opted to legitimize anti-feminist policy goals, or does the current visibility of gender issues reflect the success of particular strands of (neo)liberal feminism? I explore these conflicting accounts by examining the current ‘Gender Equality as Smart Economics’ policy agenda, exploring its major themes and institutional form through a focus on two transnational business initiatives. The article concludes that, although accounts of feminism’s cooptation are flawed in their misrepresentation of a diverse and dynamic movement, the transformations wrought...

59 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Sydney Calkin1
TL;DR: The authors examine the representations of empowerment in visual (image and video) material from the Nike Foundation's "Girl Effect" campaign and conclude that the relations constructed in the 'Girl Effect' campaign between the empowered Western spectator and the yet-to-be-empowered Third World Girl work to erode bonds of solidarity and entrench structural inequalities by positioning.
Abstract: Women and girls are currently positioned as highly visible subjects of global governance and development, from the agendas of the United Nations and the World Bank to the corporate social responsibility campaigns of Nike, Goldman Sachs and Coca Cola. This paper examines the representations of empowerment in visual (image and video) material from the Nike Foundation’s ‘Girl Effect’ campaign. Drawing on the works of Angela McRobbie and Lilie Chouliaraki, I suggest that this campaign is reflective of a mode of ‘post-feminist spectatorship’ that is now common to corporatised development discourses; it is manifested both in terms of the conservative mode of neoliberal empowerment proposed for distant others and the mode of ironic spectatorship imagined for the viewer. I conclude that the relations constructed in the ‘Girl Effect’ campaign between the (empowered) Western spectator and the (yet-to-be-empowered) Third World Girl work to erode bonds of solidarity and entrench structural inequalities by positioning...

49 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Sydney Calkin1
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors provide a feminist reading of Foucault's critique of human capital to examine the discursive terrain of the "Smart Economics" agenda and to understand the knowledge it produces about female bodies, subjectivities and agency.
Abstract: Girls and women have become the public faces of development today, through the success of “Gender Equality as Smart Economics” policy agendas and similar development narratives that mediate feminist claims through market logic. Women, these narratives assert, are more productive, responsible, and sustainable economic agents for future growth in the context of global financial crisis and therefore their empowerment is economically prudent. In this article, I provide a feminist reading of Foucault's critique of human capital to examine the discursive terrain of the “Smart Economics” agenda and to understand the knowledge it produces about female bodies, subjectivities and agency. Through a discussion of the World Bank's 2012 World Development Report on gender equality, I argue that the current narratives of women's empowerment are premised on a series of gender essentialisms and their “activation” through biopolitical interventions. The activation narrative of human capital appears, under feminist e...

41 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Sydney Calkin1
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors introduce a political geography of abortion access, arguing that abortion access is an essential but overlooked site where gendered mechanisms of state control are enforced and contested.

36 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Sydney Calkin1
TL;DR: In this article, the authors focus on the confluence of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda with the visibility of gender issues in development and the resultant corporate agenda for the promotion of women and girls empowerment.
Abstract: The recent emergence of ‘transnational business feminism’ [Roberts, A. (2014). The political economy of ‘transnational business feminism’. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 17(2), 209–231] accompanied by numerous ‘transnational business initiatives for the governance of gender’ [Prugl, E., & True, J. (2014). Equality means business? Governing gender through transnational public–private partnerships. Review of International Political Economy, 21(6), 1137–1169] constitutes a significant area of debate in the feminist political economy literature. In this paper I focus on the confluence of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda with the visibility of gender issues in development and the resultant corporate agenda for the promotion of women and girls’ empowerment. The paper draws on two gender-focused World Bank collaborations with private sector actors: the Global Private Sector Leaders Forum and the Girl Effect campaign. The paper argues that the dominant model of corporate citiz...

36 citations