This panel invites papers mobilizing critical feminist theory to examine the normative foundations of the politics and economics of austerity regimes.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the political and economic project of austerity has been reinforced as the normative avenue towards fiscal consolidation and economic recovery across various national contexts and geographies. The variegated emergence of national austerity regimes has increased households' livelihood needs and material insecurity, while also intensifying patterns of social polarization and economic inequality. These phenomena entail effects of structural patterns of austerity, which mainly target the redistributive and care institutions of the state. As an effect, austerity has a larger impact on those who depend relatively more on those institutions - unsurprisingly, these effects are rather unequal along the lines of class, race and gender. This panel aims, primarily, to bring together feminist-based analyses of the politics and economics of austerity regimes. Drawing on feminist theory, this panel's contributions will critically examine: 1) the contingent nature of economic crises and the gendered normative foundations of austerity narratives and discourses; 2) the differentiated impact of austerity regimes and the reconfiguration of hierarchies of privilege and subordination across the divides of gender, class and race; 3) the mutually constitutive relationship between processes of state restructuring and forms of gendered embodiment of austerity policies, and, 4) the gendered underpinnings of forms of collective resistance and protest to the politics of austerity. This panel will mobilize and explore critical feminist theory to expand the theorization of the economic and political project of austerity, addressing in particular the often-concealed links between gender regimes and the contested nature of economic orthodoxies.