Carole Pateman: Democracy, Feminism, Welfare, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Carole Pateman

Democracy, Feminism, Welfare, 1st Edition

Edited by Terrell Carver, Samuel A. Chambers


234 pages

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Carole Pateman’s writings have been innovatory precisely for their qualities of engagement, pursued at the height of intellectual rigour. This book draws from her vast output of articles, chapters, books and speeches to provide a thematic yet integrated account of her innovations in political theory and contributions to the politics of policy-making. The editors have focused on work in three key areas:


Pateman’s perspective is rooted in a practical perspective, enquiring into and speculating about forms of participation over and above the ‘traditional’ exclusions through which representative systems have been variously constructed over time. Her work pushes hard on theorists and politicians who make easy assumptions about apathy and public opinion, who bracket off the workplace and the home, and who see politics only in partisan activity, voter behaviour and governmental policy.


Pateman’s innovatory and still-cited work on participation antedates the feminist revolution in political theory and many of the practical struggles that developed through the later 1970s. While woman-centred, her concerns were always worked through larger conceptions of social class, economic advantage, power differentials, ‘liberal’ individualism and contracts including marriage. Her feminism was innovative in political theory, and within feminism itself. As a feminist Pateman defies categorization, and her concepts of ‘the sexual contract’ and ‘Wollstonecraft’s dilemma’ are canonical.


Pateman’s innovation here is an integration of welfare issues – in particular the proposals for a ‘basic income’ or for a ‘capital stake’ – into her broad but always rigorous conception of democracy. This is argued through in terms of citizenship, taken as the result of a social contract. In that way Pateman puts liberalism itself through an imminent critique, drawing in the practicalities and risks of life in late capitalist societies. Her theory as always is political, taking in neo-liberal attacks on ‘welfare states’ and the stark realities of international inequalities. Pateman’s career achievements in democratic and feminist theory are brought productively to bear on debates that would otherwise occur in more limited, and less provocative, academic and political contexts.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Pateman's Innovations Terrell Carver and Sam Chambers Part 1: Democracy and Political Theory 1. Political Culture, Political Structure and Political Change 2. A Contribution to the Political Theory of Organizational Democracy 3. Political Obligation and the Sword of Leviathan 4. If Voting Could Change Anything, it Would be Illegal 5. Feminism and Democracy Part 2: Women in Political Theory 6. The Shame of the Marriage Contract 7. Sex and Power 8. Equality, Difference, Subordination 9. Three Questions about Womanhood Suffrage Part 3: Political Theory of Welfare 10. Wollstoncraft 11. The Legacy of T.H.Marshall 12. Freedom and Democratization 13. Another Way Foreward 14. An Interview with Carole Pateman Interview questions from Terrell Carver and Samuel A Chambers

About the Editors

Terrell Carver is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Bristol, UK. He has published extensively on theoretical and substantive issues relevant to Marx, Engels and Marxism, and to sex, gender and sexuality.

Samuel A. Chambers is Associate Professor at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA. He writes broadly in contemporary thought, including work on language and media, popular culture and the politics of gender and sexuality.

About the Series

Routledge Innovators in Political Theory

Routledge Innovators in Political Theory focuses on leading contemporary thinkers in political theory, highlighting the major innovations in their thought that have reshaped the field. Each volume collects both published and unpublished texts, and combines them with an interview with the thinker. The editorial introduction articulates the innovator’s key contributions in relation to political theory, and contextualises the writer’s work. Volumes in the series will be required reading for both students and scholars of 21st century politics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General