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The Routledge Handbook of Feminist Economics (Routledge International Handbooks)

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We are delighted to have finalized the Handbook of Feminist Economics project we began in summer 2018. We set off with the goal of taking stock of the accumulated wisdom on feminist economics from the social provisioning perspective to feminist economics, delineated by Marilyn Power in 2004. Power’s short piece inductively identified common starting points in emerging feminist economics scholarship and traced their roots to institutionalism, political economy, and the capability approach. We consider the social provisioning approach (SPA) as the alternative to methodological individualism and its associated features in mainstream (neoclassical) economics. We asked the contributing authors to review heterodox frameworks and the empirical analyses feminist economists have developed, as well as the scholarship deriving from the SPA, and to identify future research directions in this alternative strand of feminist economics.

The Handbook was substantially completed before the Covid-19 crisis. The crisis has starkly brought to the fore the centrality of the SPA, as it illustrated the importance of paid and unpaid care work, the intersectional identities and inequalities in shaping livelihoods and well- being outcomes, and heightened awareness of ethical values in guiding research and policy. Restrictions of movement across and within borders highlighted the vulnerability of lives and livelihoods of low-income workers everywhere. Covid-19 also revealed the intertwined nature of environmental and human health and the need to heed integrity and health of ecosystems to avert future pandemics. Moreover, the ensuing public health and economic crisis underscored the failures of the economic system in meeting people’s healthcare and livelihood needs. The International Association for Feminist Economics’ (IAFFE’s) posting of the statement of univer- sal provisioning in early May 2020 and the emerging Covid-impacts research are testimony to the coalescence of feminist economists’ voices around the social provisioning methodology. The brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others catalyzed broader awareness of racism globally and in economics. The unfolding protests and discussion pushed to the forefront scholarship that was on the margins, and underscored the foundational nature of having an intersectional lens and analysis of systems of power—once again confirming the centrality of nonmainstream approaches.
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