Neoliberal care policy: what type of care regime does the EU promote explicitly and implicitly

Aktiviteetti: Konferenssiesitelmä


Capitalism maintains a false dichotomy between (paid) productive and (unpaid) reproductive labour to absolve itself from care provision in the public sphere (Bakker, 2003). Late capitalist states adopt a familialistic policy approach (Brown, 2015), disinvesting from social welfare, forcing women into the paid workforce due to economic necessity and ‘externalizing care work onto families and communities while diminishing their capacity to perform it’ (Fraser, 2016). Policy design at both the national and EU levels contributes to this state of affairs, as the refamiliarization of social reproduction in the EU (Kantola and Lombardo, 2017) has resulted in a ‘care deficit’ (Hochschild, 2000). Following the 2008 economic crisis, EU care polices have become have even further neoliberalised, as state provisions of public services in areas such as childcare, health and eldercare were cut, and there was a reduction of state support for carers (Cavaghan and O’Dwyer, 2018).
‘Global care chains’ (Hochschild, 2000), where care labour displaced from one country due to the migration of cheap, female, migrant care workers, must be replaced by the labour of even poorer or more disadvantaged women, exist also in the EU internal context. Indeed, the continued operation of the economic system in some Western EU member states depends on the availability of migrant carers from further East, whose presence is mediated by a specific intra-EU border regime built on simultaneously allowing free labour movement and excluding cross-border workers from certain social and labour rights entitlements (Uhde and Ezzedine, 2020).
The proposed paper analyses EU policies in the areas of social policy, gender equality and macroeconomic policies and their implications to explore how the EU constructs the concept of ‘care’ and who it deems responsible for carrying out the work of social reproduction, as well as the implications of these constructs on its policies. It will focus on the ignorance of the crisis of social reproduction and the class-blind nature of the EU’s social, economic, freedom of movement and gender equality policies and argue that these result in the (further) marketization of care and disproportionately impact women from lower socio-economic classes.
Aikajakso17 syysk. 2021
Tapahtuman otsikkoCentre for Applied Philosophy, Politics & Ethics (CAPPE), University of Brighton, Annual Conference 2021
Tapahtuman tyyppiConference
SijaintiBrighton, Iso-BritanniaNäytä kartalla
Tunnustuksen arvoInternational