Nancy Folbre, "The Rise and Decline of Patriarchal Systems: An Intersectional Political Economy" (Verso, 2021)


Nancy Folbre’s The Rise and Decline of Patriarchal Systems: An Intersectional Political Economy (Verso, 2021) asks the questions of why and under what conditions overlapping systems of exploitation persist and decline. Folbre adds this book to a long repertoire of studying the economics of care, social reproduction, household-state relations, and women’s coalition building. In making sense of the gender-skewed outcomes of capitalist development, the undervaluation of care, and the dynamics of social reproduction, Folbre draws from various economic and sociological perspectives to introduce an analytical framework attuned to the multiple layers of patriarchal systems of control. The book’s theoretical toolbox (Part 1) is particularly valuable for those interested in key concepts and theories in feminist political economy. The Reconstructed Narratives (Part 2) engages readers with polemics on gendered dynamics of bargaining power, the disciplining of social reproduction labor, the intertwined nature of affect and care, and prospects for progressive collective organizing.

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Dhouha Djerbi

Dhouha Djerbi is a PhD candidate at the Department of International Relations and Political Science at the Geneva Graduate Institute.

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