Towards a trans-inclusive critical IPE? Or why trans oppression matters for understanding capitalism and social reproduction

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Recent scholarship within queer IPE has highlighted the intimate links between sexuality and capitalism, as well as the insights offered by queer approaches to the study of the global economy. This paper critically advances this literature by examining the political economic foundations and facets of trans oppression. Against the backdrop of an (anti-) “trans culture war” in the UK, gender-critical and other trans-exclusionary feminist discourse has sought to cleave trans people from class struggle and to portray trans activism as separate from, and in conflict with, the goals of the feminist movement. This discourse, I contend, is indicative of a broader lack of understanding about the ways in which trans oppression links to other forms of gender oppression under capitalism. The paper argues that feminist IPE, and specifically social reproduction theory, offers a powerful toolbox with which to illuminate the material bases of gendered, racialised and sexualised inequalities within the global economy, including those experienced by trans people, and to uncover their co-constitutive character. However, theorising trans oppression in/through feminist IPE will require scholars to engage more deeply with queer and trans theorising, specifically accounts of heteronormativity and the body, and to relinquish the cis- normative attachments that shape some accounts of gender, capitalism, and social reproduction, notably within the Marxist feminist tradition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCapital & Class
Early online date21 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Feb 2024


  • trans oppression
  • LGBTQ+ rights
  • feminist IPE
  • social reproduction
  • queer theory
  • Marxist feminism


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