Professor Diane Perrons

Professor Diane Perrons

Professor Emerita in Feminist Political Economy

Department of Gender Studies

+44 (0)20 7955 7899
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Key Expertise
globalisation; gender; inequality; economic crises and austerity

About me

Diane Perrons is Professor Emerita in Feminist Political Economy. Her research focuses on the gender dimensions of economic inequality and the social and spatial implications of economic change paying particular attention to economic crises, austerity and socially equitable recovery. She co-directed the Gender, Inequality and Power Commission and is a member of the UK Women’s Budget Group Policy Advisory Group

She is part of the supervisory team of Magda Muter.

Expertise Details

globalisation; gender; inequality; economic crises and austerity; labour markets; care and social reproduction; and socially equitable recovery


I have two main areas of research focus – the gender dimensions of economic change and inequality and socially inclusive and sustainable alternatives.

Is austerity gendered? Polity Press, February 2021.

Austerity has dominated the policy agenda in the past decade. Although it appeared to end with the COVID-19 pandemic, a return to harsh cutbacks in the future cannot be ruled out.

In this book I try to show that while austerity policies had devastating effects on many people's lives, their gendered dynamics are particularly evident: budget cuts have been overwhelmingly aimed at services used by women. I also show how the gender aspects of this economic and social catastrophe intersected with a range of other factors, making the experience of austerity very different for different groups - and highly unjust. Not only that, it undermined responses to COVID-19.

I critique the justifications for austerity policies and argue that there are alternatives that can re-invigorate economies and societies post-pandemic, and avoid a return to austerity.


My new project builds on the work of Karl Polanyi and Nancy Fraser to develop an integrated framework for understanding how the contemporary crises in the environment, social reproduction and finance and consider alternatives for progressive, sustainable and inclusive policies.



  • Is Austerity Gendered?. Bristol: Polity Press (2021)
  • Gender, Migration and Domestic Work. Masculinities, male labour and fathering in the UK and USA. Basingstoke. MacMillan. By Majella Kilkey, Diane Perrons and Ania Plomien (2013)
    As the rich have got richer and households have become busier, demand for commoditized household services has increased. While much is known about maids and nannies, this book is distinctive in focusing on masculinized domestic services.

  • Gender Divisions and Working Time in the hew Economy. Changing Patterns of Work, Care and Public Policy in Europe and North America. Edward Elgar (2006). Edited collection with Colette Fagan, Linda McDowell, Katherine Ray and Kevin Ward.

  • Globalisation and Social Change. People and Places in a Divided World. London: Routledge (2004)
    While there are spectacular new landscapes throughout the world, work and incomes are polarized between highly paid knowledge workers and low paid workers who directly or indirectly cater to their needs, sustaining uneven development at every level: international, national, regional, urban and interpersonal. The book draws on ideas about the new economy, risk society, welfare regimes and feminist political economy to explain these growing social and spatial divisions.



  • Perrons, D. (2015) 'Gendering the inequality debate', Gender and Development, 23 (2). 207-222.
  • Perrons, D (2015) 'Gender equality in times of inequality, crisis and austerity: towards gender-sensitive macroeconomic policies' in: (eds) Bettio, F and Sansonetti, S, Visions for Gender Equality, European Commission, Luxembourg 16-20
  • Perrons, D (2014) 'Gendering inequality: a note on Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century', British Journal of Sociology, 65 (4) 667-677
  • Kilkey, M., Plomien, A., and Perrons, D. (2014) 'Migrant men's fathering narratives, practices and projects in national and transnational spaces: recent Polish male migrants to London', International Migration. 52 (1). 178-191
  • Dunford, R. and Perrons, D. (2014)  Power, Privilege and Precarity: the Gendered Dynamics of Contemporary Inequality, in M.Evans et. Al (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Feminist Theory. London: Sage
  • Perrons, D. and Plomien, A. (2013) Gender, Inequality and the Crisis: Towards More Equitable Development, In Karamessini, M and Rubery, J. Women and Austerity The Economic Crisis and the Future for Gender Equality, London: Routledge
  • Perrons D and Dunford, R. (2013) Regional development, equality and gender: Moving towards more inclusive and socially sustainable measures, Economic and Industrial Democracy, 34 (3) 483-499
  • Perrons, D. (2012) Regional performance and inequality: linking economic and social development through a capabilities approach, Cambridge Journal of Regions Economy and Society, 5, 15-20
  • Perrons, D. (2012) ‘Global’ financial crisis, earnings inequalities and gender. Towards a more sustainable model of development, Comparative Sociology, 11, 202-226
  • Perrons, D., Plomien, A. and Kilkey, M (2010) Migration and uneven development within an enlarged European Union: Fathering, gender divisions and male migrant domestic services, European Urban and Regional Studies, 17, 197–215
  • Perrons, D. and Plomien, A. (2010) Why socio-economic inequalities increase? Facts and policy responses in Europe, Report for the European Commission EUR 24471 EN,
  • Perrons, D. (2010) Gender, Work and Poverty in High Income Countries, in S. Chant (eds) International Handbook on Gender and Poverty, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar 409-414
  • Perrons, D (2009) 'Spatial and Gender Inequalities in the Global Economy: A transformative perspective, in O. Kramme and P. Diamond' (eds) Social Justice in the Global Age, (London: Polity).