Madlaine Moore

Contact Details




ICDD Kassel, Germany

PhD Project Title

Common Ground? Exploring struggles over water through the lens of Social Reproduction Feminism

Abstract of PhD Thesis

My project explores contemporary struggles over water through the lens of social reproduction feminism (SRF). I propose that social movements, as moments of collective contestation, provide an important entry and vantage point to the study of our current conjuncture of neoliberal capitalism. Broadly speaking, current critical studies of the (post)-crisis world tend to be either top-down studies on hegemony exploring how capitalism survived, ignoring the numerous social movement that occurred, or they fall into social movement studies and tend to lack a systematic theory of capitalist relations (there are obviously some exceptions). To fill these gaps and bring these two schools of thought into coversation I outline how a theoretical framework based on social reproduction feminism and a claim of internal relations can situate such struggles as an entry point to unpacking our current conjuncture.

I argue that there are certain tendencies that neoliberal capitalist relations – especially post crisis – have sharpened such as the contradiction between social reproduction and accumulation strategies, the exhaustion of the environment and political (or legitimation) crises. Social movements that are centred on water tend to capture these dynamics, with water being both a crucial input to production and space of potential accumulation but also central to life itself. Many of these movements have been successful and/or mobilised people in novel and expressive ways. This, I want to suggest, is because in contestation over water more than its mere use is at stake. At issue is the question of how we are to survive, or, more specifically, who should survive under conditions of neoliberal capital, as well as questions about democratic decision-making, community control and the legitimate use of scarce resources. I suggest that the recent struggles over water are paradigmatic of our contemporary conjuncture and stuyding them can add to our understanding of the broader social whole. However, to fully capture this relationship necessitates an analytical framework that highlights the relations between things rather than separates them from one another. SRF, via it’s claims of internal relations, and a non-additive social whole, demands a different way of studying social movements – placing it in relation to, and studying it through, the whole and the whole through it. The case of the Irish Water Charges Protests and the Anti-Fracking movement in Australia are used as case studies.

Area of Interest

Critical political economy, social reproduction feminism, social movement studies

Educational Background


Master of Labour Policies and Globalization, Kassel University/Berlin School of Law and Economics, Germany


Bachelor of Arts (Honours in political science), Melbourne University, Australia


Bachelor of International Relations, Latrobe University, Australia


Diploma of Languages, Latrobe University, Australia

Professional Experience

since 2017

Managing Editor, Global Social Policy Journal


Researcher (Contract), Fredrich Ebert Stiftung


Tutor and seminar development, Kassel University


Field Organiser, Community and Public Sector Union, Australia


Research Assistant, Melbourne University, Monash University

Social/Political Activities

  • Active Trade Union Member



Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung PhD scholarship


Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Scholarship for international Masters students


Latrobe University Excellence Scholarship


  • Moore, M. 2017, ‘The enforcement of workers’ rights through conditional or promotional trade agreements: A Comparison of US and EU social chapters.’ In ed. Scherrer, C. Enforcement Instruments for Social Human Rights along Supply Chains, Labour and Gloablization, Rainer Hampp Verlag, Germany

Conference Papers:

  • Historical Materialism, London, November 2017 (forthcoming)                              Co-organized a panel on 'A Historical Materialist perspective on social movements as struggle'. My paper as part of this panel is titled: "Reproductive unrest: neoliberalism and social unrest in (post)-crisis Europe".
  • IIPPE, Berlin, September 2017 (forthcoming)                                                              (With Anne Engelhardt): "A constant tug of war: Neoliberalism and social unrest in (post)-crisis Europe".
  • ESA conference, Athens, August 2017                                                                          (With Anne Engelhardt): "Where is it kicking off?: Integrating materialist state theoriy into contemporary social movement studies." 
  • Critical Perspectives on Social Movements doc workshop: July 2017, Kassel                 "Common Ground: Studying water-based social movements under neoliberalism".
  • Alternative Futures 2017 - April 2017                                                                               (With Anne Engelhardt): "A critical social movement theory: Dynamics and conjunctions of social movements as class struggles, outlining a theoretical framework for a way forward".
  • 11th Global Labour University Conference South Africa - October 2016                        "The Contradictions Underpinning the Relation of Nature an Labour: An Empirical Study of the (lack of) relationship between anti-fracking movement and Trade Unions in Australia".
  • Critical Political Economy Research Network Mid-term Conference Ljubljana - May 2016                                                                                                                    "Are ontological differences enough? Ontology and praxis in pre-figurative politics."
  • 9th Global Labour University Conference Berlin - May 2014                                "Maintaing Reciprocity: the ins and outs of Unionism" which explores the possibility and importance of developing a transnational unionism rather than a global solidarity.