Exploiting the Limits of Law : Swedish Feminism and the Challenge to Pessimism book cover
1st Edition

Exploiting the Limits of Law
Swedish Feminism and the Challenge to Pessimism

ISBN 9780754649359
Published May 28, 2007 by Routledge
244 Pages

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Book Description

Moving beyond the question of whether an area of scholarly investigation can truly be characterized as 'legal', Exploiting the Limits of Law combats the often unhelpful constraints of law's subject-matter and formal processes. Through a process of reflection on the limits of law and repeated efforts to redraw them, this book challenges the general sense of pessimism among feminists and others about the usefulness of law as an instrument of change. The work combines theoretical analysis of the law's boundaries with investigation of the practical settings for changing legal and policy environments. Both the empirical focus of this volume, and its underlying theoretical concern with the limits of the law and its gender implications, render it of interest to legal scholars throughout the world, whether of EU law, feminism, social policy or philosophy.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Reflecting the Epistemology of Law – Exploiting Boundaries, ÅsaGunnarsson, Eva-MariaSvensson, MargaretDavies; Chapter 2 Boundary-Work in Legal Scholarship, Eva-MariaSvensson; Chapter 3 An Apparent Boundary Between Law and Politics, ÅsaPersson; Chapter 4 Legal Texts as Discourses, JohannaNiemi-Kiesiläinen, PäiviHonkatukia, MinnaRuuskanen; Chapter 5 Beyond Constructed Boundaries in Criminal Law Discourse, MonicaBurman; Chapter 6 Children Crossing Borders – On Child Perspectives in the Swedish Aliens Act and the Limits of Law, EvaNilsson; Chapter 7 Challenging the Heteronormativity of Law, GörelGranström; Chapter 8 Social Insurance Law – The Core of Swedish Welfare Law, RuthMannelqvist; Chapter 9 Challenging one Fundamental Norm in Labour Law – the Exception of the Employer’s Family and Home, CatharinaCalleman; Chapter 10 Exclusion of Solo Mothers in the Welfare State, LenaWennberg; Chapter 11 Gender Equality and the Diversity of Rights and Obligations in Swedish Social Citizenship, ÅsaGunnarsson; Chapter 12 Notes Towards an Optimistic Feminism, MargaretDavies;

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Åsa Gunnarsson is Professor of Tax Law at Umeå University, Sweden. Eva-Maria Svensson is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Göteborg, Sweden, and Professor of Law at the University of Tromsø, Norway. Margaret Davies is Professor of Law at Flinders University, Australia.


'This book deepens our understanding of Swedish legal feminism by contextualising it within the paradigms and epistemologies of Nordic legal scholarship. The authors’ thoroughgoing excavation of the field and their sustained, feminist challenge to the boundaries and limits of accepted legal knowledge, are both thought-provoking and inspiring.' Professor Rosemary Hunter, University of Kent, UK and Chair, Working Group on Gender and Law, Research Committee on Sociology of Law 'This joint Swedish-Australian edited book is useful and inspiring for those generally interested in contemporary understandings of law in a changing world. It takes advantage of the fact that this world is legally plural. The challenges to Nordic understandings of law and to feminist pessimism offered in the diverse theoretical and practice oriented contributions are both timely and uplifting.' Professor Hanne Petersen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 'Exploiting the limits of law is a well-edited collection of exciting articles moving beyond the disciplinary question of what exactly should or could be characterised as 'legal' studies. The book offers very helpful critical analysis for all those interested in Scandinavian realism, legal dogmatics, current developments in welfare state feminism and the shortcomings of critical legal studies in the Nordic context, from a feminist point of view. It also contributes to the critical discussion on how to approach the question of law and politics, and how to challenge the social inequalities and power structures that reproduce gender inequalities and sexual hierarchies. The book is very suitable for use as course material in EU law, feminist jurisprudence, social policy, history of law and women's law.' Feminist Legal Studies