Handbook on the International Political Economy of Gender
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Handbook on the International Political Economy of Gender

Edited by Juanita Elias and Adrienne Roberts

This Handbook brings together leading interdisciplinary scholarship on the gendered nature of the international political economy. Spanning a wide range of theoretical traditions and empirical foci, it explores the multifaceted ways in which gender relations constitute and are shaped by global politico-economic processes. It further interrogates the gendered ideologies and discourses that underpin everyday practices from the local to the global. The chapters in this collection identify, analyse, critique and challenge gender-based inequalities, whilst also highlighting the intersectional nature of gendered oppressions in the contemporary world order.
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Chapter 27: Marketization, commodification and privatization of care services

Tiina Vaittinen, Hanna-Kaisa Hoppania and Olli Karsio

Abstract

This chapter considers the connections between commodified care, transnational capitalism and the neoliberal restructuration of the welfare state. Understanding care beyond feminized work and in terms of services and structures allows us to engage with the economy of care beyond the realm of the household. This is particularly important in an era of globally ageing populations. The authors first describe and define the processes of commodification and marketization of care. They illustrate these concepts with empirical examples from the Nordic welfare state, focusing on elderly care. They then elaborate through feminist economics how treating care as a market product is in many ways problematic. The chapter argues that the failure to take seriously the problems of commodified care in national social policies further increases the racialized and gendered hierarchies of the global care economy exposed by feminist economics and IPE.

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