This essay evaluates the rise of recognition as an important analytical category in critical theory for understanding the normative grounds of social and political struggles for global justice in the contemporary world. It begins with a discussion of different variants of the recognition paradigm (Nancy Fraser, Axel Honneth, and Judith Butler) in order to argue that none of them can adequately account for the formation of various female subjects of globalization. It then addresses the following questions: How does the account of normativity in the recognition paradigm ironically consolidate and reinforce the oppressive dynamic of power in contemporary globalization? How are progressive policies for global human development focusing on women and their supporting human rights instruments necessarily woven into the processes and technologies of power that capitalize humanity?

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