Empowering governmentalities rather than women: The Arab Human Development Report 2005 and western development logics

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The researchers and writers of the Arab Human Development Report 2005 (AHDR 2005) include activists, social critics, intellectuals, and feminists who aspire for izdihar (flourishing) in the Arab world "based on a peaceful process of negotiation for redistributing power and building good governance." This passage suggests that the aims the AHDR 2005 shares with the previous three volumes are to encourage state apparatuses and officials to transform themselves by changing policies and surrendering some of the power and resources they have fortified vis-à-vis their citizenries. This article argues that rather than encouraging the rise of women or any group interested in political or social transformation, the AHDR 2005 works within a U.N. development framework that strengthens states and political elites in relation to their populations by constituting the former as the causes of underdevelopment and thus the primary agents for economic, social, and political improvement. © 2009 Cambridge University Press.





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Hasso, FS (2009). Empowering governmentalities rather than women: The Arab Human Development Report 2005 and western development logics. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 41(1). pp. 63–82. 10.1017/S0020743808090120 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/19492.

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Frances S. Hasso

Professor of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies

I am a Professor in the Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at Duke University with secondary appointments in the Department of History and Department of Sociology.  I taught in and directed the International Comparative Studies Program at Duke from 2010-2015 and was a member of the Oberlin College faculty from 2000-2010. I am Editor Emerita (2015-2018) of the Journal of Middle East Women's Studies. I have been a National Humanities Center fellow, an ACOR fellow, a Rockefeller fellow, and an SSRC/ACLS fellow. My research has additionally been supported by the National Science Foundation, American Sociological Association, Woodrow Wilson National National Fellowship Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Palestinian American Research Center, the Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (Leiden), The Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment, and Duke Arts & Sciences Faculty Committee Research Grants. My latest book, Buried in the Red Dirt: Race, Reproduction and Death in Modern Palestine, is released from Cambridge University Press as a Creative Commons Open Access monograph. Many of my publications are accessible open access through my personal website https://franceshasso.net/publications/. I can be reached at fsh5@duke.edu.

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