Isabella Bakker is a Professor at York University where she was the first woman Chair of the Department of Political Science. A leading authority in the fields of political economy, public finance, gender and development, her work was recognized when she was named a Fulbright New Century Scholar in 2004. She has held visiting professorships at a number of institutions including the European University Institute, New York University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has also held consultancies with the Canadian and Ontario governments, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the United Nations as well as with numerous women’s advocacy groups dedicated to advancing economic and social justice.
Throughout her career, Dr. Bakker’s policy and advocacy work has been committed to the enhancement of democratic dialogue, equitable global social change and gender equality. She has consistently explored and developed new national and international mechanisms and processes needed to improve governance so as to promote the empowerment of women in an era of intensified globalization.
Her pioneering contributions in scholarly and advocacy work integrate public policy, economics, international studies and gender-based analysis have resulted in numerous articles and books, notably: The Strategic Silence: Gender and Economic Policy, Rethinking Restructuring: Gender and Change in Canada, Power, Production and Social Reproduction: Human In/security in the Global Political Economy, and most recently, Beyond States and Markets: The Challenges of Social Reproduction.
Her work over the last decade and a half has involved an increasingly important sphere of research: the complex interplay between gender and (international) public policy, and in particular how macroeconomics, especially fiscal policy influences gender questions. Her continuing work rests upon an assumption supported by research carried out by United Nations agencies, that more gender-sensitive and socially equitable economic policies produce more optimal frameworks for human development. Her research agenda therefore addresses three sets of broad questions: what policies contribute to more equitable, socially just and sustainable development? What is the role of gender in the global economy, particularly given that the majority of the world’s poor are women and children? And, what is the link between macroeconomic policies, social development and gender equality?