Professor Jacqui True wins international best book award

The Political Economy of Violence Against Women Book Cover
The Political Economy of Violence Against Women (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012)

Warmest congratulations to Professor Jacqui True, whose book, The Political Economy of Violence Against Women, (OUP, 2012), has won the American Political Science Association's Human Rights Best Book Award. The citation prepared by the judging committee reads as follows:

‘After reviewing 23 books, which were published in 2012, members of the American Political Science Association Human Rights Best Book Award Committee (Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat, Bethany Barratt, Mahmood Monshipouri, and Chair, Christian Davenport) have selected Jacqui True, The Political Economy of Violence Against Women, New York: Oxford University Press, 2012 as the winner of the 2012 best book on human rights.

This book examines the political economy of violence against women by providing new perspectives on violence. The pandemic of violence against women has been on the agenda of feminist groups for some time and started to be recognized as a human right issue by the international human rights regimes since the 1990s. Despite some expansive definitions of violence against women, which include economic violence, the common understanding of the term has been limited to physical violence, which is then seen as a violation of physical integrity rights.

True’s book frontally addresses this disjuncture by driving attention to the economic and political discrimination against women, and economic inequalities in general, and offers a structural explanation for violence against women. She provides empirical evidence that supports theoretical arguments about the interdependency of rights and that challenges the false separation or compartmentalization of the public and private domains.

True rejects any “cultural” arguments that condone practices judged by women’s movements and human rights defenders to be abusive or violent to women. Political economy, rather, lays bare the material foundation and underlying vested interests of many cultural norms and practices.

Using cross-national evidence/data on violence against women, True finds that although there are global patterns of violence against women, violence happens in local, often highly female-averse, contexts. Forging local coalitions is a critical aspect of gaining momentum, especially coalitions with strategically situated people, including men.

Theoretically sound and empirically grounded, this book merits particular attention in light of the fact that policy change is unlikely to succeed without societal support. The Political Economy of Violence Against Women is one of the most authoritative accounts of women’s rights in an age of globalizing economy.

Looking to the future, the book offers valuable policy alternatives and strategies. It is with great pleasure that the committee members have chosen this book as the winner of the 2012 APSA best book award in human rights.'

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