Critical Realism, Feminisms, and Degrowth: A Plea for Metatheory-Informed Pluralism in Feminist Ecological Economics

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


In this paper, I defend the view that pluralism in economics needs to be metatheory-informed and that critical social scientists must reflect upon their underlying ontological, epistemological, methodological, and ethical assumptions. As a feminist ecological economist interested in making degrowth (more) feminist, I ask to what extent a critical realist metatheory can ‘philosophically underlabour’ a feminist degrowth approach. This paper introduces critical realism (CR) and critically examines it in ecological economics, degrowth, and feminist economics debates. Subsequently, I draw on the example of care to show how a CR metatheory can elucidate how the deep, underlying structure of separation in economics is responsible for the devaluation of care. I conclude that if combining a realist-relational ontology, an intersectional and postcolonial feminist standpoint epistemology, critical methodological pluralism, and an ethical foundation centring around the sustainability of life, a CR metatheory can serve a feminist degrowth approach well.
Seiten (von - bis)23–42
FachzeitschriftInternational Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2022