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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.