2 March: GPS Seminar by Professor Shirin Rai, University of Warwick
Feminist Everyday Political Economy: Space, Time and Violence
Abstract: It goes without saying that feminist International Political Economy (IPE) is concerned in one way or another with the everyday – conceptualised as both a site of political struggle and a site within which social relations are (re)produced and governed. Given the longstanding grounding of feminist research in everyday gendered experiences, many would ask: Why do we need an explicit feminist theorisation of the everyday? After all, notions of everyday life and everyday political struggle infuse feminist analysis. This article seeks to interrogate the concept of the everyday – questioning prevalent understandings of the everyday and asking whether there is analytical and conceptual utility to be gained in articulating a specifically feminist understanding of it. We argue that a feminist political economy of the everyday can be developed in ways that push theorisations of social reproduction in new directions. We suggest that one way to do this is through the recognition that social reproduction is the everyday alongside a threepart theorisation of space, time, and violence (STV). It is an approach that we feel can play an important role in keeping IPE honest – that is, one that recognises how important gendered structures of everyday power and agency are to the conduct of everyday life within global capitalism.
Shirin Rai is a Professor in the department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick. She is the Director of the Warwick Interdisciplinary Research Centre for International Development. Her research interests are in performance and politics, political institutions and the political economy of development. Her latest book is Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament (with Carole Spary, 2019). Currently, she is Senior Fellow at ICAS: MP, New Delhi, where she is writing a book on Depletion: the human costs of caring.