A Feminist International Policy - What's in the name?

A Feminist International Policy

Whats in the name?


We explore this question, amongst others, at CAIDPs 2018 conference, Gender Equality, Inclusive Governance and the Law: Aligned for a Better World Jan 22nd and 23rd in Ottawa.  In the lead up, we have asked Canadian thought leaders to weigh in on whats in the name.  Here, we ask Rohinton Medhora to tell us what he is thinking about. Rohinton is President of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), an independent, non-partisan, interdisciplinary think tank on global policy making. Recent work on innovation strategies, international trade, cyber governance, and development policy has been exactly about bringing innovative approaches to law and economic policy, so that the outcomes of these national-global processes lead to sustained, broad-based prosperity.

Rohinton weighs in below…

In a few words, what’s up with the world?

The globalization of the past three decades has been unbalanced – high in movement of finance and the spread of information and communications technologies; medium in trade in goods and services; and low in movement of people and the development of regulatory and other policy responses at the national and supranational levels.  Its impacts have been predictably unbalanced too, benefiting privileged groups disproportionately, at the expense of the disadvantaged.  Just as predictably, support for globalization has fallen in many parts of the world particularly in the West.

How is Canada coming to grips with it?

Canada’s focus on a progressive, feminist foreign policy, within which development policy is couched, might be seen in this context (there is also no doubt a strong normative element driving this change).  Although the operationalization of this approach is a work in progress, the channels through which this core shift in philosophy might be implemented are evident – trade and economic agreements; institutions responsible for export credit and commercial development finance; the international assistance program; and participation in multilateral institutions (The Bretton Woods trio) and processes (the G20, COPs.)

What do you think about Canada’s approach?  Is it appropriate for these complex times?

If this recalibration is about, for example, introducing social considerations into trade agreements, managing global capital movement more sensibly, developing regimes to promote green technologies and their spread, building up an arsenal of domestic social policies, and, more broadly, creating a national consensus around a country’s place in the world, then it will be time well spent. 

Above all what do we need to pay attention to?

There is one wild card that no one appears to control. Technological change in areas come to be known as the fourth industrial revolution proceeds apace. We do not know all the risks and opportunities that this movement presents, and—crucially—to whom they will present themselves. But technology is at least as powerful a driver of economic change as government policy is, and its governance will loom large in coming years.

If you haven't registered yet, you still have a short time to reserve your spot at  CAIDPs 2018 conference,

Gender Equality, Inclusive Governance and the Law: Aligned for a Better World!