“Do feminist accounts of austerity, women and inequality need to be rethought?”

In our currencylatest special issue on ‘the politics of austerity’, Lisa Adkins asks “What can money do?“. In light of the financialisation of the economy, what does it mean for feminists to put their faith in the redistribution of resources (such as money) to deliver justice? Read on for a short extract and click on this link to download the article in full (available for free until 31st March).

“While I certainly do not deny that the contemporary present is characterised by extreme forms of inequality, in this article I seek to open out the question of exactly how conditions of austerity, economic crisis and ongoing recession may be entangled in socio-economic inequalities via a consideration of the changing capacities of resources. I demonstrate how arguments that the ongoing crisis is extending and intensifying already existing inequalities bracket a consideration of the shifting capacities of resources. I also argue that in so doing, such arguments close off the possibility that the dynamics of socio-economic inequalities may also be changing. In opening out the issue of the changing capacities of resources, this article also confronts a further assumption at play in existing analyses of the economic crisis, recession and austerity. This is the supposition that socio-economic injustices linked to the ongoing economic crisis and to programmes of spending cuts associated with austerity can be redressed via a strategy of the redistribution of resources. But in this article I ask: if the shifting capacities of resources are taken into account in the analysis of crisis, recession and austerity, can such a position be maintained? Can a strategy of the redistribution of resources achieve and deliver socio-economic justice in today’s crisis-ridden reality? Do feminist accounts of austerity, women and inequality need to be rethought?”

Adkins, Lisa (2015), “What can money do? Feminist theory in austere times”, Feminist Review, 109, 31-48.

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