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Cover I-PEEL: The International Political Economy of Everyday Life

5. Care  

This chapter assesses feminist international political economy (IPE) insights about care. It begins by discussing military spouses and the vital everyday role that their care labour plays in sustaining the military as an institution. The chapter then looks at three interrelated debates that show the importance of care in everyday IPE: feminist work on social reproduction; the extent to which care can be commodified; and the heteronormative assumptions that underpin understandings of care. It also examines three crucial areas of feminist work on care that have informed IPE scholarship. These are the ‘care crisis’, how this crisis is experienced in everyday life as a form of depletion, and the transnationalization of commodified care labour in global care chains. Finally, the chapter reflects on how care can be measured through time use surveys and how policymakers have responded to the concerns raised by feminists about the significance of unpaid caring labour.

Chapter

Cover I-PEEL: The International Political Economy of Everyday Life

4. Debt  

This chapter focuses on the key themes of money and finance in international political economy (IPE) analysis. It describes the concepts of commodification, assetization, and financialization, and how they apply to the case of student debt. In many countries, borrowing money to pay for tuition fees and living costs is an expected part of going to university. Thinking about the emergence of personal indebtedness in the higher education system helps to foreground the international political economy of debt. The chapter then turns to other kinds of debt, including sovereign debt and household debt, and considers the reasons why people go into debt and why debts are repaid (or not). Using Islamic finance as a case study, it looks at alternatives to debt, such as non-conditional grants and risk-sharing contracts. Finally, the chapter reflects on the moral and power dynamics that underpin interest-bearing loans, as well as demands for debt cancellation.