Ritu Dhungana

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Political Science

Committee Chair

Christina Fattore

Committee Co-Chair

Scott Crichlow

Committee Member

Ann Oberhauser

Committee Member

Trisha Phillips

Committee Member

Karleen West


This study examines the partnership between foreign capital (FDI) and state in manipulating women's labor. In this dissertation I have two research questions: My first research question is to determine whether the interaction between states and FDI renders workers vulnerable and unprotected. Other scholars have shown that states have been willing to relax labor laws (and offer non labor-related incentives) in order to attract FDI. My hypothesis is that cultural patriarchy intensifies this relationship between states and FDI, and further weakens the labor laws. My second research question is to identify the causal factors that bring about change in the relationship between states and FDI, and minimize the influence of historical patriarchy. My hypothesis is that, in certain environments, cultural patriarchy has been mitigated by the rise of women's civic engagement. I show that grassroots movements and increased civic participation among women leads to states adopting labor laws that will specifically protect all women workers, especially the most vulnerable ones located in FDI industries. Feminist Methodology approach and gender analysis is utilized to examine the labor policies pertaining to women as workers in the global production. The key to my employment of a feminist approach is to challenge the predominant androcentric views and ways that are perpetuated by the global production.