Drawing on interviews with informants from a diverse range of 16 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Portugal, Norway, Peru, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Nigeria, this book examines how child support systems often fail to transfer payments from separated fathers to mothers and their children. It lays out how these systems are structured in ways that render them ineffective, while positioning women as responsible for their failures.
The book charts the demise of child support as a feminist intervention, resituating it as gendered governance practice that operates by making the system inaccessible, failing to deliver outcomes, and condoning fathers’ irresponsibility. It identifies how the gender order is entrenched through child support failure and offers possibilities for feminist reform.
“This rich and troubling account of gendered governance captures a central paradox of neoliberalism: the simultaneous retreat of the state and an intensification of state power in governing vulnerable populations. This is feminist policy analysis at its finest.” Michael Orsini, University of Ottawa
Kay Cook is Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean Research in the School of Social Sciences, Media, Film and Education at Swinburne University of Technology.
2. Child support and gendered governance practice
3. Child support regimes and relevance
4. Sites of child support failure
5. Divergent views of success and failure
6. The interests served by failure
7. Rendering gendered social problems technical
8. The gendered offer of personal solutions