mainstreaming gender in Directorate-General for Research, European Commission
This chapter critically examines the European Commission’s work of governing. Taking the policy programme of Gender Mainstreaming (GM) as an example, Rosalind Cavaghan shows how officials in different units within DG Research interpreted their policy work and the consequences these interpretations subsequently had on governing practices. Her starting point is to argue that existing analyses of EU gender equality policy which focus on legal norms or on formalist accounts of Europeanisation have missed important practices of interpretation. Drawing upon gender theory, Interpretive Policy Analysis and Sociology of Knowledge literatures, she argues that we cannot understand how EU GM policy really works unless we un-pack the spaces, processes and actors involved in the constant renegotiation of the EU. Overall, her findings highlight how European Commission policy is re-made and experienced through interactions between documents and persons which vary across different locations and between sub-units within the same DG. By contrast, an understanding of DG Research as a uniform space would gloss over these processes of contestation and the different mechanisms observable across them.
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