Issue no. 10: Gender and Global Crises; Reflections on Rio+20 July 2012
UNRISD is an autonomous institution within the UN system that carries out multidisciplinary research on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues.


On Feminist Economics: An Interview with Devaki Jain

"I visualize my entire life's work as trying to see that the woman in the poor economy or the economy of poverty should be the deteminant of how economics works."

Devaki Jain, co-editor of Harvesting Feminist Knowledge for Public Policy: Rebuilding Progress, and founder and former director of the Institute of Social Studies in Delhi, India, talks here about the importance of feminist economics and the meeting of feminist economics with mainstream economics.

Listen to the podcast.


Green Economy: The New Enemy?

Peter Utting
Peter Utting reflects on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), known as Rio+20, held in June. He looks at, among other things, the reactions to the idea of green economy, one of the conference’s main themes; the role of corporations; and the positioning of equity and justice in the sustainable development agenda.

Multiple Global Crises and Gender: Rethinking Alternative Paths for Development

At the latest UNRISD seminar, a panel of prominent feminist thinkers reflected on the economic, social and gendered implications of the “multiple crises” of food, fuel, finance and jobs, and the deep-seated problems of growing inequalities in markets and public policies.

Listen to individual presentations as well as the full recording of the seminar.

Paying Homage: Shahra Razavi on the Life and Work of Feminist Economist Lourdes Benería

In an address at the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE), UNRISD research coordinator Shahra Razavi spoke on the work and contributions of feminist economist and UNRISD alumna, Lourdes Benería.

UNRISD Alumna Silke Staab Wins the 2012 Elsa Chaney Award

UNRISD alumna Silke Staab has won the 2012 Elsa Chaney Award for unpublished work by junior scholars. The award, given by the Gender and Feminist Studies section of the Latin American Studies Association, aims to promote, stimulate and contribute to the diffusion of academic studies on women and gender in Latin America and the Caribbean.



Social Dimensions of Green Economy
Economic, technological and institutional changes that currently form the basis of green economy strategies run the risk of reinforcing human insecurity and inequalities. A growing body of evidence points to diverse social consequences, and suggests key elements of alternative approaches that can promote the combined social, economic and environmental goals of sustainable development.

The Politics of Domestic Resource Mobilization for Social Development
It is clear that developing countries cannot rely only on aid to transform their economies and meet the needs of their citizens. They will also have to increase efforts to mobilize domestic resources.

UNRISD Project Briefs pose questions, flag ideas and contribute knowledge that can improve the quality of development debates, policy and practice. They provide a concise summary of an UNRISD research project, situating it within wider social development debates; outlining its focus, objectives and methodology; and highlighting interim findings.


Recapturing the Narrative of International Development
Sukuda Fukuda-Parr The expiry of the goals in 2015 presents an opportunity to set new goals that would recapture the vision articulated in the Millennium Declaration for development in the twenty-first century that would achieve greater inclusion, sustainability and equity. This paper highlights the 10 most pressing issues to be considered in this redesign, and proposes directions for drawing up a new set of global goals.

Welfare Regimes and Social Policy: A Review of the Role of Labour and Employment
James Heintz and Francie Lund This paper explores the intimate connections between employment and social policy, arguing that attempts to separate the two policy areas and confine them to separate spheres are misguided. By tracing how patterns of employment shape social policies and how social policies can support better employment outcomes, it presents a case against delinking the two policy areas.

Gendered Impacts of Globalization: Employment and Social Protection
Shahra Razavi, Camila Arza, Elissa Braunstein, Sarah Cook and Kristine Goulding The last three decades have seen remarkable changes in economic structures and policies both within and across countries, loosely captured by the term globalization. This paper reviews evidence on how key aspects of globalization processes have impacted the real economy, in terms of employment and social conditions of work for women and men across a wide range of countries.

The Emerging Policy for Green Economy and Social Development in Limpopo, South Africa
Agnes Musyoki This paper evaluates the emerging green economy in South Africa, using ideas from the concept of sustainable rural livelihoods. It argues that social development issues are important for successful implementation of green economy policies that are able to transform rural livelihoods, alleviate poverty and ensure gender equality.

An Institutional Analysis of Biofuel Policies and their Social Implications: Lessons from Brazil, India and Indonesia
Mairon G. Bastos Lima This paper examines how different developing countries have attempted to promote rural development through biofuel production, what social outcomes those strategies have created, and what lessons can be learned, such as in terms of biofuel policy design.


Global Variations in the Political and Social Economy of Care: Worlds Apart
Shahra Razavi and Silke Staab (eds.) This volume addresses a major empirical lacuna while facilitating a conversation across the North-South divide, drawing on original research on the care economy in three developing regions: Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Mineral Rents and the Financing of Social Policy: Opportunities and Challenges
Katja Hujo (ed.) Combining a theoretical approach with individual country case studies, this volume systematically analyses the relationship between mineral wealth, social development outcomes and social policy in developing countries.


From Green Economy to Green Society: Bringing the Social to Rio+20
This magazine highlights key findings from research carried out by UNRISD in the lead up Rio+20. "Green economy for sustainable development and poverty reduction" constitutes a core theme in the exploration of the social dimensions of green economy and sustainable development. This inquiry draws on expertise related to poverty reduction, inequality, social policy, environmental conservation, corporate social responsibility, and the politics of social change.


Migration and Health in China: Second Project Workshop

16-18 July, Guangzhou, China
This workshop aims to promote research exchange and collaboration among Chinese and international scholars on the issue of migration and health in China. It will engage over 70 international and Chinese scholars from diverse academic backgrounds to collaborate on research papers covering a wide range of migration and health issues.

Gender and Agriculture after Neoliberalism

19-20 July, Geneva
This joint UNRISD and Graduate Institute workshop brings together researchers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe to assess knowledge gaps and define new perspectives to understand the relationship between neoliberal policies and transformations of gender power relations in agriculture. How do policies and sociopolitical changes emerging “after neoliberalism” articulate issues of women’s empowerment, food security and environmental sustainability?


Power Check: Protecting the Digital Commons

Kelly O'Neill
This think piece reflects on the evolution of information and communication technology (ICT) as a tool to monitor, report and critique corporate and state behaviour. It also examines the problematic connections between ICT companies and countries seeking to control their citizens, and the implications for a robust public sphere both online and offline. The International Telecommunications Union estimates that now one-third of the world’s 7 billion people are online and that 17 per cent are mobile web users. The Internet is of increasing importance in the lives of youth, with 45 per cent of global users under 25. How Internet governance develops nationally and internationally will impact profoundly the online freedom of assembly and speech of people everywhere.


Sustainable Agricultural Innovation Systems (SAIS) for Food Security and Environmental Protection

Diana Alarcón and Christina Bodouroglou
The twin perils of global food insecurity and environmental degradation necessitate expanding resources and fostering innovation in agriculture to accelerate food production in a sustainable manner, while also supporting poverty reduction. Achieving this will require increased recognition of the centrality of small-scale farming, short-term humanitarian action, and longer term policies for sustainable agricultural innovation systems (SAIS).

Equipping Democracy to Deliver Sustainable Development

Halina Ward
Environmental and social challenges like climate change are accelerating faster than the ability of current forms of democracy to cope. This think piece raises four challenges faced by democracy in dealing with climate change. First, there is a need for long-term thinking to ensure that actions are taken now to forestall the risk of possibly extreme climate change. Second, politicians tend to prioritize economic growth over societal goals where progress is difficult to measure. Third is the challenge of retaining and nurturing an active commitment to vibrant democracy while allowing expertise—and science—space to offer insights and inform policy. And finally, climate change demands a globally coordinated response. If democracy is to survive and thrive, it will likely have to outperform any currently or potentially competing political system in relation to such challenges.

Gender in the Green Economy

Candice Stevens
In the absence of appropriate social policies, the green economy may exacerbate existing gender inequities to the detriment of overall sustainability.The author suggests policies that would assure a fuller role for women, including putting female empowerment at the centre of development assistance programmes that aim to promote the green economy in developing countries; mandating business to adopt family-friendly practices to increase women’s participation in green jobs; giving women special skills training to work in the green economy; and enacting quotas to get more women onto corporate boards and in top-level management positions in industry and government to increase their influence over the shape of the green economy.

Transforming Extractive Industries in the Philippines: Locating Spaces for People’s Participation in Mining Policies

Marie Joyce Godio
Many in the Philippines consider mining an important industry that generates employment, taxes and foreign exchange earnings. But such economic potential is not translating into the well-being of local communities. More often than not, resource extraction is associated with social conflict and environmental degradation. The 1995 Philippine Mining Code requires environmental monitoring and includes provisions for public consultation. According to the author, however, these processes are often mired in corruption; a lack of transparency and consultation means that the communities most affected are deprived of their right to determine how best to use their resources and the freedom to define their own development.


Green Economy and Sustainable Development Video with Spanish Subtitles

The first video in the series Bringing the Social to Rio+20, Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social, is now available with Spanish subtitles.


Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social DVD

The six films in the series, Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social, are available on a DVD.

UNRISD Library: 2010-2011

This CD-Rom contains catalogue information for UNRISD publications from 2010 to 2011. Papers, newsletters and other reports are available in PDF.


Presentations at UNRISD's Official Side Event at Rio+20

Two presentations made at UNRISD's Official Side Event at Rio+20 are available: Peter Utting's PowerPoint presentation and Darlene Miller's speech on Social Dimensions of the Green Economy.

Presentation on Gender and Agrarian Change

Shahra Razavi's PowerPoint presentation at the China Agricultural University on Gender and Agrarian Change is available.


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