Beyond the Business Case: A Community Economies Approach to Gender, Development and Social Economy
Stephen Healy, 2013
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This paper makes a case for reconfiguring current gender and development initiatives that rest on the business case for investing in women as “smart economics » toward non-capitalist practices and ideals associated with the social and solidarity economy. Drawing upon the Community Economies approach of “taking back the economy, » we identify the limitations and possibilities for appropriating toward alternative ends the ideals of care, cooperation and interdependence invoked in business-case gender policy frameworks. While cognizant of the potential for cooptation of projects of social economy given the neoliberal economization of social relations that characterizes the business case for gender equity in development, we also locate space to imagine some innovative forms of social economy that can emerge within development’s own fragmented discourses and practices. Finally, we offer some suggestions for connecting gender and development to a politics of ethical transformation toward non-capitalist subjectivities that engages gender with a social and solidarity economy framework.
Community economies’ website www.communityeconomies.org