Social Reproduction Working Group

Drafts on Social Reproduction

Aim and Description

The Social Reproduction Working Group is focused upon offering research, critique and policy options for social reproduction, broadly interpreted, with special attention to the variegated vulnerabilities associated with the current crisis and continuing recession. Its work covers the general understanding and theory of social reproduction, both as conceptualized in Marxism, as the reproduction of class relations, and in feminism, as including human reproduction and care. The WG will cover social reproduction, across sectoral, national and global aspects, and how to situate these both historically and contextually. The WG will incorporate detailed comparative and sectoral studies of both social policy and welfare provision and physical and social infrastructure, and how they relate to shifting economic, political and ideological circumstances, not least financialized neoliberalism. There is a strong commitment both to interdisciplinarity and to drawing out the policy and activist implications of the WG’s scholarship.


Hannah Bargawi is the Joint Head of SOAS Economics and Senior Lecturer in Economics at SOAS, she joined the department in 2013. She teaches modules in Gender Economics and Development Economics and has regional expertise in the Middle East and North Africa as well as sub-Saharan Africa, especially East Africa. Dr. Bargawi’s research spans a number of different areas, including employment-focused and gender-sensitive macroeconomic policies; agrarian change and commodity chain research; and issues surrounding gender and work in the developing world. Dr. Bargawi recently co-edited a book, together with Giovanni Cozzi and Susan Himmelweit, entitled Economics and Austerity in Europe: Gendered Impacts and Sustainable Alternatives published by Routledge.

Matthew Cole is a PhD candidate in the Work and Employment Relations Division of Leeds University Business School (LUBS). He is  funded by the LUBS studentship. He is also a member of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BURIA). His research aims to investigate the politics of service production in the UK hotel sector through combining political economic and ethnographic approaches to the labour process. He is also interested in the Neue Marx-Lektüre, the CSE debates on value theory, and political economic approaches to the work of social reproduction.

Hannah Cross (Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster) is a Lecturer in International Relations and an editor of the Review of African Political Economy. Her research focuses on international labour regimes, migration policy and development. Publications in this area include Migrants, Borders and Global Capitalism: West African Labour Mobility and EU Borders (Routledge, 2013) and ‘Finance, Development, and Remittances: Extending the Scale of Accumulation in Migrant Labour Regimes’, Globalizations, 12 (3), 2015. Hannah’s more recent writing rethinks the political economy of migration and labour mobility in regional patterns in West and Southern Africa, with social reproduction at the core of its theorisation.

Ben Fine (Department of Economics, SOAS) Having worked on the Fessud project on the material culture of financialisation and its impact on well-being in general and on provision of housing, water and pensions in particular, Ben’s contribution to the WG will be focused on addressing social reproduction through critical examination of how to situate it in relation to the value of labour power. This will bring together a range of theoretical and empirical research to establish what are the social norms underpinning the value of labour power, how they are related both to the variegated vulnerabilities of financialised neoliberalism and to the interaction between market and non-market forms of provision.

Sue Himmelweit (Department of Economics, Open University) is a feminist economists who has worked on theoretical and policy issues to do with care for many years. Her interests in this working group would be to investigate how financialisation is tied up with current changes in the the forms and norms of social reproduction, particularly with respect to care.

Amy Horton is a PhD candidate at the School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London. Her research addresses the financialisation of eldercare, with regard to debt, property assets, and labour. It also explores efforts by social and labour movements in the US and UK to challenge the undervaluing of care. This builds on previous work as a policy researcher and campaigner on finance and global justice.

Feyzi Ismail is Senior Teaching Fellow in Development Studies at SOAS. Her areas of teaching and research include neoliberalism, NGOs and social movements, and politics and development in Nepal and South Asia.

Lena Lavinas is Professor of Welfare Economics at the Institute of Economics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Senior Researcher (Level 1) at the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPQ). Most of her research focuses on: 1) the relationship between macroeconomics and the design of social policies; 2) poverty and redistribution issues; 3) comparative analysis of welfare regimes in Latin America; 4) gender inequalities. Her current research project addresses the impacts of financialisation on welfare regimes.

Lorena Lombardozzi is a PhD researcher in Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies -SOAS, University of London.  Her research looks at the impact of commodities commercialization on food system. Her research interests include Political Economy, GenderEconomics and Agricultural Economics.

Manuel Montes is Senior Advisor on Finance and Development at the South Centre, was Chief of Development Strategies, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) until 2012.  He had been in the faculty of the School of Economics, University of the Philippines. His recent research has been in areas of macroeconomic policy, development strategy, income inequality, climate change financing and industrial policy. Two recent chapters in collected volumes are: “The MDGs versus an Enabling Global Environment for Development: Issues for the Post-2015 Development Agenda” (January 2016) and “Throwing Away Industrial Development Tools: Investment Protection Treaties and Performance Requirements” (November 2015, with KInda Mohamadieh).

Johnna Montgomerie is Head of Department and Reader in International Political Economy in the Department of European and International Studies at King’s College London. Her research interests are in financialisation, credit and debt trends within the household sector and innovative methods. She has published extensively on debt, financialisation, households and austerity, see:  Since September 2013, she has established the Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) degree programme by building a new curriculum, designing and delivering in political economy.

Sirisha C. Naidu is Associate Professor of Economics at Wright State University, USA. Sirisha’s research intersects development, feminist and ecological concerns. Her interest in social reproduction is in applying a critical pluralist perspective to uncover the mechanisms through with marginal peasants and the working classes navigate and cope with economic precarity and environmental degradation. She is currently working on the interrelationship between market and household provisioning in agrarian economies.

Some papers:

  • Naidu, Sirisha C., & Ossome, Lyn. 2016. Social Reproduction and The Agrarian Question of Women’s Labour in India. Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy5(1): 50-76.
  • Naidu, Sirisha C., & Ossome, Lyn. Work, Gender and Immiseration in South Africa and India. Forthcoming in Review of Radical Political Economics.
  • Naidu, Sirisha C. 2016. Domestic Labour and Female Labour Force Participation: Adding a Piece to the Puzzle. Economic and Political Weekly, 51(44&45): 101-108.

Keith Paterson Following a working life in NHS planning, addictions services and latterly community development in areas of urban deprivation in Aberdeen, he is studying for a PhD at the University of Aberdeen aimed at developing a cultural political economy of household debt in low to middle income households, institutions, markets and the state.  His interest in the social reproduction group stems from this work and in particularly how social reproduction and financialisation can be linked to cultural political economy.

Frederick Harry Pitts holds an ESRC-funded PhD in Global Political Economy from the University of Bath, and teaches social theory and global business at the University of Bristol. His research explores critical perspectives on changes in contemporary labour and the future of capitalism, with reference to the empirical study of work in the cultural and creative industries.

Alfredo Saad-Filho is Professor of Political Economy at SOAS, University of London, and was a senior economic affairs officer at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. He has published extensively on the political economy of development, industrial policy, neoliberalism, democracy, alternative economic policies, Latin American political and economic development, inflation and stabilisation, and the labour theory of value and its applications.

Sara Stevano is a Research Associate at King’s College London. She is a development and feminist political economist working on the political economy of work, the political economy of well-being (food, nutrition and health), households and development policy. Sara’s work is on Africa, with country specialisation on Mozambique and Ghana. She uses a social reproduction framework to analyse work and employment trajectories.

Newman Tekwa is a PhD researcher at the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) in Social Policy, based at the University of South Africa (UNISA).  His research explores the intersection of social policy; gender equality and welfare in the Global South. Newman’s research is framed within the Transformative Social Policy (TSP) perspective in which social reproduction is conceptualized as one of the four functions of social policy including production, social protection and redistribution. Within the TSP framework, land and agrarian reform is conceptualized as a social policy instrument to achieve developmental outcomes including gender equality. Our recent publication in the areas include: Gender, Poverty and Inequality in the Aftermath of Zimbabwe’s Land Reform: A Transformative Social Policy Perspective.

Catherine Weiss is a PhD Candidate at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia and a visiting doctoral student at the Centre de l’Enseignement, de Documentation et des Recherches pour les Etudes Féministes (CEDREF) at Paris Diderot – Paris 7 University. Her research in feminist political philosophy includes an intellectual history analysis of the idea of prostitution as a form of “care”, and the role of social reproduction as a precursor to this idea. She is also interested in the links between prostitution and domestic service, and theorising the relationship between these forms of “work”, particularly in the context of the political economy of migration.

Ed Yates is a PhD researcher in the Centre for Sustainable Work & Employment Futures, based at the University of Leicester.  His research explores the conditions of young workers in local labour markets in the UK, specifically with regard to the actions of the state, and local employers.

Hanna Ylöstalo is senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Turku, Finland. She has carried out research about gender and diversity in work organizations, gender equality policy, gender and economy, and welfare state reform in Finland. Her main research interests include gendered society-economy relations as well as the role of knowledge in contemporary politics and policy making. Ylöstalo’s ongoing research project, titled  Missing “Plan F” – A battle between knowledge, economy and equality in the changing welfare state is concerned with the changing conditions of gender equality policy in Finland in the context of austerity. She is also interested in gender budgeting and has developed methods and practices for gender budgeting in the Finnish state administration together with Dr Anna Elomäki.