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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.


James Brassett, Juanita Elias, Lena Rethel, and Ben Richardson

I-PEEL: The International Political Economy of Everyday Life locates the study of international political economy (IPE) in the context of everyday life. It provides a fresh introduction to IPE, and highlights the relevance and prominence of IPE in the real world. In addition, the text establishes the conceptual and theoretical techniques required to engage with the IPE discipline and how those can help us understand the complexity of everyday power relations. Also, it prompts ethical self-reflection by asking if everyday economic relations are ‘right’ or ‘good’. The text starts off with an introduction to the topic. The first main chapter considers clothes. The next few chapters cover food, debt, and care. After that comes a chapter that looks at the concept of the ‘city’, followed by social media. The last two chapters present the idea of ‘share’ and humour. They are followed by a Conclusion.


This chapter examines various strands of feminist theory, with particular emphasis on three feminist criticisms of the way mainstream political theories attend, or fail to attend, to the interests and concerns of women. The first argument focuses on the ‘gender-neutral’ account of sex discrimination, the second is concerned with the public–private distinction, and the third claims that the very emphasis on justice is itself reflective of a male bias. These arguments represent three of the most sustained points of contact between feminism and mainstream political philosophy. The chapter also considers two different conceptions of the public–private distinction in liberalism: the first deals with the relationship between civil society and the state, or between the social sphere and the political sphere; the second emphasizes the right to privacy. It concludes with an analysis of the ethic of care as opposed to the ‘ethic of justice’.


Melissa Parker and Cristin Fergus

This chapter assesses what the diseases of poverty are. Infectious diseases of poverty are widespread in low-income countries. As a result, under-five child mortality is often higher and life expectancy lower in these countries, compared with middle- and high-income countries. There are long standing disagreements about the most effective way to combat diseases of poverty in low-income countries. In particular, there is an enduring debate about whether selective biomedical interventions (such as deworming for neglected tropical diseases) should be the main focus of public health programmes or whether the most effective way forward is to develop a comprehensive approach which strengthens all levels of the health system, including primary health care units, while simultaneously improving access to clean water and sanitation facilities. Many populations no longer live in abject poverty, and the causes of death and disability have changed from infectious diseases to non communicable diseases. These changes are often described as an epidemiological transition. However, it has also been noted that a transitional period frequently occurs in which populations experience the 'double burden' of long standing infectious diseases alongside chronic, non communicable diseases.


Paul Kirby

This chapter examines the power of gender in global politics. It considers the different ways in which gender shapes world politics today, whether men dominate global politics at the expense of women, and whether international—and globalized—gender norms should be radically changed, and if so, how. The chapter also discusses sex and gender in international perspective, along with global gender relations and the gendering of global politics, global security, and the global economy. The first case study in this chapter considers the Kurdish Yekîneyên Parastine Jin (Women's Protection Units) and the role of women in political violence. The second case study examines neo-slavery and care labour in Asia.