Signs and Regimes: Rereading Feminist Work on Welfare States

Publication Date: 
May 2001
Social Politics, 8 (1): 1-23



This paper reviews and reconstructs recent feminist work on welfare states and social policy regimes. We argue that the concept of “regime” should be stretched to incorporate the way that signs organize the relations among subjects authorized to operate on the field of power. We focus on feminist debates over the status of “maternalism” in welfare movements and states to put forward our expanded, culturalist conceptualization of gender regimes.