PhD Project: Feminist-Ecological Economy of Time

Hanna Völkle  (University of Vechta)

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Knobloch (University of Vechta)


Implementing sustainable economics on a global level continues to be an unsolved task. What are the reasons for this and where do we have to start in order to achieve it? Socio-ecological transformation approaches are possible answers to multi-level crises, anti-democratic dynamics, resource scarcities and growing social inequalities. Ideas of future-orientieted economies are often discussed along the lines of a gender-just division of care and employment as well as socio-ecological aspects. Ecological and feminist economics need to be considered together in order to make sustainable change designable and to make visible hitherto largely invisible externalization costs. "Feminist and ecological economics argue that mainstream economic thinking has historically ignored issues of gender and the environment" (Mary Mellor).

An important aspect is the economy of time, which is mainly treated through the equation time is money. In capitalist systems, only commodified time has a countable value. Market-oriented systems thus disembody individual time. But who still has (embodied) time for caring for relatives, social engagement, or climate-friendly mobility? In my PhD project, feminist and socio-ecological approaches to the economics of time will be brought together and a possible extension for sustainable economic and transformation concepts will be derived from them.