Rethinking Feminist Political Economy: Global assembly Lines, Transformative Politics and Economic Justice in South Asia

In this seminar, Sandya K. Hewamanne analyses how former factory workers navigate global capitalism. The seminar is the first in our new SDG Asia seminar series that addresses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the Asian context.

Feminist political economists have long challenged dominant tropes of capitalism by focusing on lived experiences of economic activity and their potential to re-inscribe social worlds in ways that are more meaningful. Although these approaches led to innovative research on alternatives to capital, they also devalued alternatives created within capital by marginalized groups of people across cultures. Drawing on research in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India, Sandya Hewamanne focuses on former global factory workers’ complex economic decision-making and practices within global capitalist projects to explore the possibilities for transformative politics and movements of economic justice. She shows that alternative imaginations of socioeconomic realities do not have to be entirely separate from capital. Feminist political economic approaches should therefore seriously consider the transformative potential of marginalized women’s economic activities within capitalist projects.


Sandya K. Hewamanne is Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Essex. Her talk is the first in the new SDG Asia Seminar Series, a collaboration between the Network for Asian Studies and the Oslo SDG Initiative.

Tags: SDGs, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Feminism, Labour, Capitalism
Published June 1, 2019 1:03 PM - Last modified July 28, 2020 9:45 AM