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Dear Colleagues,


I am writing to invite you to contribute to a special issue on “Gender and Governance in Developing Economies” to be published in Business Ethics: A European Review  (check this link for the journal description ( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-8608 ). 

We are currently soliciting the submission of a 5-6 Page Proposal by February 2016 around various topics related to our special issue theme (detailed in the call below) to be considered for inclusion in the special issue.

Please feel free to circulate this call to colleagues who might be interested.




(BEER, SSCI.778, Wiley, Open Access Gold)


Special Issue Title:

Gender and Governance in Developing Economies


Special Issue Editors:

Charlotte M. Karam, American University of Beirut

Fida Afiouni, American University of Beirut
Beverly Dawn Metcalfe, University of Manchester


Call for Papers



Potential core idea:  In this special issue we wish to advance knowledge on gender and governance in developing economies. Our aim is to synthesize current perspectives and conceptualizations of gender and governance in developing economies, not countenanced before. This critique includes unveiling the complex and intersecting dynamics of gender and governance, at the organizational, national, international, and transnational levels, that help constitute, and reconstitute diverse governance systems in contemporary stages of global capitalism. This involves a radical departure from many organization based critiques. An organization lens in our view is limited, as our approach encourages a holistic and nuanced contextual stance that includes the multi-layered systems of governance in diverse geographical states. This also has implications for gendered power relations between stakeholders, and other difference dimensions (race, ethnicity, class) that shape gendered processes of governance, participation and organization in developing societies.


To date, much scholarship on governance is underpinned by Global North perspectives (that is, developed states) (Connell, 2007; Smith 1999; Jackson 2013; Özkazanç-Pan, 2008). A key theoretical flaw in contemporary scholarship on gender and governance, and related literatures on political governance, are confined to assessments in Europe. An example of this is writings on Gender Mainstreaming (GM). Conceptual refinements have largely been based on research within the European Union. Similarly, debates regarding the applications and outcomes of GM efforts have largely occurred between European scholars, activists and development practitioners, who have collectively promoted a Global North and colonial logic for governance (e.g., Walby, 2005, Verloo, 2006; Bauer, 2008; Dahlerup, 2008; Hafner- Burton & Pollack, 2002). This is significant, as governance is conceptualized and critiqued primarily through recourse to board governance. The politics of governance is underplayed, and the institutional frameworks for governance at the global relationships level are also underplayed (Hulme et al 2015). Worryingly, international organizations, especially the United Nations (UN), are using European GM templates, as an exemplar for guiding policy, in both public administration and private institutions. In the complex transnational organization of very diverse stakeholders, the politics of governance and what it means in diverse states are subtly being silenced, and encouraged to do so by leading development institutions. While we would not restrict exemplar papers that have sophisticated critiques of Global North (Walby, 2005, Reilly, 2010) writings, there is a need to examine how, and why, Global North perspectives are reinforced. In doing this we need to look beyond the  dominant gender and governance writings, and permit space for the Global South to explore mechanisms and frameworks for governance outside of neo-liberal, American and Eurocentric conceptualizations (see Bexell, 2012). While some would say that the Washington Consensus is being eroded as a global discourse, how we move forward and include plural positions is crucial. This is timely given that we are in a transition stage with new UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) measures, that places women’s empowerment as key to inclusive governance and democratic reform processes (see Hulme et al 2015, Nussbaum et al, 2003). The challenge in integrating gender and governance into the post-2015 development framework is thus to translate multiple and diverse governance systems into concrete and measurable global development goals and targets.


The emerging debates concerning relevant organizational, public, and international policies involved in gendering governance, highlight the complexities of stakeholders involved (Rai , 2008, Metcalfe, 2011), and the potential for variations of governance organization in diverse geo-political contexts (Pollack & Hafner-Burton,  2000). One such sociocultural practice, for example, is tied to the variant interpretations of public and private patriarchy and how this impacts women’s participation (see Walby 1990). The diversity of governance machineries is aligned with different political systems, the stages of the development of a state, and consequently, organizational policies that may counter the patriarchal forces shaping women’s identity and participation in decision making and governance. The dynamics of gendered governance systems, and the power relations amongst key stakeholders and policy makers (i.e., international organizations, state governments, NGOs, private/MNC and SMEs); need to be critically evaluated, in order to assess how policies potentially impact inclusion, and organizing processes for good governance (see Bexell, 2012).


A central thread that also needs fuller evaluation is research by policy specialists concerning the ‘relationship’ between governments and civil society, what are their strategies, who can participate, and who is left out of civil society activities, or more worryingly, how are Civil Society Organizations controlled (Banerjee, 2008; Blowfiled and Frynas, 2005)? Relationality has long been addressed in feminist scholarship, as they are fundamental to exploring power and agency (for example, Nussbaum et al, 2012, Metcalfe, 2011). However, relationality as a concept, and critique of how it is linked to gendering governance is still emerging (see Hickey, 2014).


Relatedly, the role of diverse organizations in shaping and administering human rights initiatives (e.g., education, health, and community development), ethical codes of conduct, and responsible leadership in global MNCs is becoming increasingly important (Matten and Crane, 2005). The role of business in issues of state governance and their alliance with international agencies (e.g., UN and World Bank) require new investigations to critically examine the ways by which business-civil society-government relations can protect civil, social and political rights (or not) through policy issues that impact women’s status, participation or exclusion (see Grosser and Moon, 2005, Lombardo and Forest 2015).


This special issue therefore, aims to broaden the governance debate by providing multilayered critiques, the complexity of power relations between diverse stakeholders, through insights from developing economies. In doing so, we want to provide a forum to advance knowledge, and for scholars and practitioners to rethink a global ‘relational ethic’, one that is fundamental to economic and social development. We invite researchers to consider and debate the ‘activities’ ‘relationships’ and the ‘role’ of all diverse stakeholders involved in shaping gender and governance systems in developing countries.


Acknowledging that gender and governance is a fluid concept, formed by interlocking systems of power and diverse meanings and translations, we encourage contributions from interdisciplinary fields are welcome, especially from the Global South. We encourage papers from multidisciplinary perspectives including ethics, corporate citizenship and CSR literature, gender studies, feminist economics, development studies, management and organization studies, political science, sociology, and other related fields. We encourage papers that review global institutions, international NGOs, multinational corporations (MNCs), state governments, civil society organizations, social movements, as well as local embedded small-to-medium size enterprise (SME) dynamics (see Karam and Jamali, in press). We are looking for original thought-provoking contributions that take indigenous gender dynamics into consideration in order to critically reflect on various multi-level factors that shape gendered governance, and/or provide opportunities to advance gender and governance writings in diverse geographical territories. We invite both conceptual and empirical papers.


Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:


·        The role of CSR in advancing gender mainstreaming or gender and governance issues in local SME and in local MNC initiatives.

·        The role of indigenously generated HR or management initiatives and/or discourses in generating positive change around gender and governance in work settings.

·        Contemporary and leading examples of local businesses advancing gender, governance and equity considerations and practices in the developing world.



·        The role of international organizations in supporting good governance through gender sensitive planning, including strategies for SDG assistance

·        The role of women’s organizations in contributing to social movements to establish better policies and practices related to gender and governance.

·        The role of, and interactions between, multiple stakeholder-partners in gender mainstreaming strategies and organization.

·        The role of legislative frameworks that shape ethics and governance systems.

·        The role of institutional frameworks at state level for managing equality, and the diverse social and cultural dynamics that shape governance policy and practice as well as women’s participation in the processes of governance policy.



·        Gender, politics and governance machineries at the local, organizational, national, regional, or international levels.

·        Southern critiques of gender mainstreaming initiatives, at the global, national or organization level.

·        The role of international organizations in supporting good governance through gender sensitive planning and interventions.

·        Transnational women’s movements, social justice, ethics and development.


Submission Instructions

Questions related to the special issue should be addressed to Dr. Charlotte Karam ([log in to unmask]). Authors are invited to submit their proposals to Dr. Karam directly indicating that this is a proposal for this Special Issue.

The full papers should be submitted through the Business Ethics: A European Review (BEER) Scholar One Submission System, also indicating that this is a submission to the Special Issue. Submitted papers should follow the Business Ethics: A European Review Guidelines for authors. Submissions should include an abstract of 100-150 words, followed by 3-5 keywords. The manuscript should not contain any indication of authorship and should be submitted separately from the title page with full author information for contact. Business Ethics: A European Review uses the citation and reference system of the American Psychological Association (APA) and any paper published in Business Ethics: A European Review can be taken as an example. 

Special Issue Timeline and Deadlines

Target Dates

Submission of 5-6 Page Proposal                                               15 February 2016

Notification of Suitability / Fit                                                         15 April 2016

Submission of First Draft                                                                15 November 2016

Resubmission of Final Draft                                                          15 February 2017




Banerjee, S. B. (2008). Corporate social responsibility: The good, the bad and the ugly. Critical Sociology, 34(1), 51–79.

Bauer, G. (2008). 50/50 By 2000: Electoral Gender Quotas for Parliament in East and Southern Africa. International Feminist Journal of Politics 10 (3): 347-367.

Bexell, M. (2012). Global Governance, Gains and gender UN–business partnerships for women's empowerment. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 14 (3): 389-407.

Blowfield, M. & Frynas, J. G. (2005). Editorial setting new agendas: Critical perspectives on corporate social responsibility in the developing world. International Affairs, 81 (3), 499–513.

Connell, R. (2007). Southern theory: The global dynamics of knowledge in social science. Cambridge: Polity.

Dahlerup, D. (2008). Gender Quotas: Controversial but Trendy. On Expanding the Research Agenda, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 10 (3): 322–28

Grosser, K., & Moon, J. (2005). Gender mainstreaming and corporate social responsibility: Reporting workplace issues. Journal of Business Ethics, 62 (4): 327–340.

Hafner-Burton, E. M., & Pollack, M. A. (2002). Mainstreaming gender in global governance. European Journal of International Relations, 8 (3): 339–373.

Hickey, S. (2014). Thinking about the politics of inclusive development: towards a relational approach, ESID Working Paper No. 1.

Hulme, D.,  Savoia, A. & Sen, K. (2015). Governance as a Global Development Goal? Setting, Measuring and Monitoring the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Global Policy, 6 (2): 85–96.

Jackson, T. (2013). Reconstructing the indigenous in African management research. Management International Review, 53 (1), 13–38.

Karam, C.M. and Jamali, D. (in press).  A Cross-Cultural and Feminist Perspective On CSR in Developing Countries: Uncovering Latent Power Dynamics. Journal of Business Ethics. DOI: 10.1007/s10551-015-2737-7.

Lombardo, E. & Forest, M. (2015). Europeanization of gender equality policies: A discursive–sociological approach. Comparative European Politics, 13: 222–239.

Matten, D. & Crane, A. (2005). Corporate Citizenship: Toward an Extended Theoretical Conceptualisation. Academy of Management Review, 30 (1), pp. 166 - 179.

Metcalfe, B.D. 2011. Women empowerment and development in Arab Gulf States: A critical appraisal of governance, culture and national Human Resource Development (HRD) frameworks. Human Resource Development International, 14 (2): 131–148.

Nussbaum, M., Basu, A., Tambiah, Y., Jayal, N.G. (2003). Essays on Good Governance, Human Development Resource Centre, UNDP.

Özkazanç-Pan, B. (2008). International management research meets the rest of the world. Academy of Management Review, 33(4), 964–974.

Pollack, M.A. & Hafner-Burton, E. (2000). Mainstreaming Gender in the European Union’, Journal of European Public Policy, special issue on. Women, Power and Public Policy, 7(3): 432–56.

Rai, S. (2008). Analysing Global Governance, in Rai, S. and Waylen, G. (eds) (2008) Global Governance: Feminist Perspectives.

Sen, G. & Mukherjee, A. (2014). No Empowerment without Rights, No Rights without Politics: Gender-equality, MDGs and the post-2015 Development Agenda. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities: A Multi-Disciplinary Journal for People-Centered Development, 15 (2-3): 199-202.

Reilly, N. (2010). Women’s Human Rights. Cambridge: Polity.

Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. London: Zed books.

Verloo, M. (2006). Multiple Inequalities, Intersectionality and the European Union. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 13 (3): 211–228.

Walby, S. (1990). Theorizing patriarchy. Basil Blackwell

Walby, S. (2005). Gender mainstreaming: Productive tensions in theory and practice. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, 12(3), 321–343.



Rida Elias, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Management
Olayan School of Business
OSB Bldg., Office 318
American University of Beirut

Telephone: +961 1 350000 ext. 3771