Just care! Rethinking the uneven geographies of care


  • Rivka Saltiel
  • Anke Strüver




intersectional effects, care ethics, social justice, pandemic, capitalism, biopolitics


After COVID-19 was characterised as a pandemic in spring 2020, care and care work became very dominant topics in public discourse in Western Europe. Against this backdrop, the paper turns to the underlying social structures and conditions of caring relations and aims to go before and beyond the pandemic. The serious occasion of the COVID-19 pandemic and its unjust social effects will be taken as a starting point to engage with social theory to discuss pre-existing uneven ‘geographies of caring relations’ in capitalist societies, which pandemic-related measures are built on. For this, the paper draws on Joan Tronto’s extended thoughts on critical feminist care ethics, emphasising her notion of caring-with as the possibility to trust in caring relations based on interdependencies and solidarity, and argues for explicitly linking caring relations to questions of social justice. This framework stresses the foundations of social injustice and shifts the perspective from individual caring subjects and places (‘who and where’) to unjust social structures (‘how’). Moreover, it challenges dominant biopolitics and care economies by way of an insourcing of caring relationships. By conceiving care as part of social theory and not only social analyses, care ethics provide a normative framework for geography and beyond to imagine and practise social change.




How to Cite

Saltiel, R., & Strüver, A. (2022). Just care! Rethinking the uneven geographies of care. ERDKUNDE, 76(3), 161–170. https://doi.org/10.3112/erdkunde.2022.03.01