The best books on feminist political economy

The Books I Picked & Why

If Women Counted: A New Feminist Economics

By Marilyn Waring

If Women Counted: A New Feminist Economics

Why this book?

A great—and very readable--explanation of how unpaid work, including care for dependents, has been rendered economically invisible. You may consider the “national income accounts” a hopelessly boring topic. This book will change your mind, and economists today are actually paying attention to it. Sooner rather than later the very concept of “income” is going to be redefined.


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Beyond Economic Man: Feminist Theory and Economics

By Marianne A. Ferber, Julie A. Nelson

Beyond Economic Man: Feminist Theory and Economics

Why this book?

This classic anthology reveals “rational economic man” as a naked and misshapen emperor pretending to be grandly dressed. While unpacking the androcentric (and plain old sexist) assumptions of conventional economic theory, it also provides rich examples of new ways of explaining the links between gender, care, and inequality.


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Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought

By Naila Kabeer

Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought

Why this book?

Take a look at gender inequality from the perspective of the Global South. Naila Kabeer combines creative theorizing with insights from field research. She’s not afraid to challenge the conventional wisdom about sweatshops and insists that even factory jobs that are poorly paid by Western standards can increase women’s autonomy and bargaining power.


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The Care Manifesto: The Politics of Interdependence

By The Care Collective, Andreas Chatzidakis, Jamie Hakim, Catherine Rottenberg

The Care Manifesto: The Politics of Interdependence

Why this book?

You may not agree with everything in this book (I don’t) but its extraordinarily compelling critique of profit worship built on utter disregard for the well-being of others illustrates powerful synergies between patriarchal and capitalist norms. At the same time, the care collective offers powerful examples of the ways in which people sometimes rally quite effectively around principles of mutual aid.


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Gender, Development and Globalization: Economics as if All People Mattered

By Lourdes Beneria, Günseli Berik, Maria Floro

Gender, Development and Globalization: Economics as if All People Mattered

Why this book?

It’s a great and up-to-date overview of gender inequality on a global scale, covering paid and unpaid work, public policies, and the impact of patriarchal institutions. It also explains why current trajectories of economic development are both inadequate and unsustainable.


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