The Ashgate Research Companion to Feminist Legal Theory  book cover
1st Edition

The Ashgate Research Companion to Feminist Legal Theory

ISBN 9780367075705
Published October 17, 2018 by Routledge
436 Pages

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Book Description

As a distinct scholarly contribution to law, feminist legal theory is now well over three decades old. Those three decades have seen consolidation and renewal of its central concerns as well as remarkable growth, dynamism and change. This Companion celebrates the strength of feminist legal thought, which is manifested in this dynamic combination of stability and change, as well as in the diversity of perspectives and methodologies, and the extensive range of subject-matters, which are now included within its ambit. Bringing together contributors from across a range of jurisdictions and legal traditions, the book provides a concise but critical review of existing theory in relation to the core issues or concepts that have animated, and continue to animate, feminism. It provides an authoritative and scholarly review of contemporary feminist legal thought, and seeks to contribute to the ongoing development of some of its new approaches, perspectives, and subject-matters. The Companion is divided into three parts, dealing with 'Theory', 'Concepts' and 'Issues'. The first part addresses theoretical questions which are of significance to law, but which also connect to feminist theory at the broadest and most interdisciplinary level. The second part also draws on general feminist theory, but with a more specific focus on debates about equality and difference, race, culture, religion, and sexuality. The 'Issues' section considers in detail more specific areas of substantive legal controversy.

Table of Contents

Contents: Editors’ introduction, Margaret Davies and Vanessa E. Munro; Part I Theoretical Questions in Feminist Legal Theory: Contesting the dominant paradigm: feminist critiques of liberal legalism, Rosemary Hunter; Feminism, law and materialism: reclaiming the ’tainted’ realm, Joanne Conaghan; Freedom, power, and agency in feminist legal theory, Nancy J. Hirschmann; Law’s truths and the truth about law: interdisciplinary refractions, Margaret Davies. Part II Concepts in Feminist Legal Theory: Equality and difference: fertile tensions or fatal contradictions for advancing the interests of disadvantaged women?, Elsje Bonthuys; ’What a long, strange trip it’s been’: feminist and queer travel with sex, gender and sexuality, Sharon Cowan; Theorizing race, theorizing racism: new directions in interdisciplinary scholarship, Jennifer C. Nash; Feminists rethink multiculturalism: resisting essentialism and cross-cultural hypocrisy, Sarah Song; In the name of God? Religion and feminist legal theory, Samia Bano. Part III Issues in Feminist Legal Theory: Gender and terrain: feminists theorize citizenship, Margot Young; International human rights law: towards rethinking sex/gender dualism, Diane Otto; A new frontline for feminism and international humanitarian law, Judith Gardam; Violence against women, ’victimhood’ and the (neo)liberal state, Vanessa E. Munro; The body, bodies, embodiment: feminist legal engagement with health, Marie Fox and Thérèse Murphy; Motherhood and law: constructing and challenging normativity, Susan B. Boyd; Marriage and civil partnership: law’s role, feminism’s response, Rosemary Auchmuty; Gendered power over taxes and budgets, Ã…sa Gunnarsson; From women and labour law to putting gender and law to work, Judy Fudge; Gender, justice and law in a global market, Ann Stewart; Women, migration and the constitutional underpinning of the European Union, Patricia Tuitt; Ecofeminism and the environment: international law and climate cha

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Margaret Davies is Professor of Law at Flinders University, Australia and Vanessa E. Munro is Professor of Law and Society at the School of Law, University of Leicester, UK.


’This wonderful collection provides a fitting tribute to the dynamism and diversity of contemporary feminist legal theory. Bringing together leading scholars, it achieves the admirable feat of simultaneously providing an authoritative and highly accessible introduction to a rich and evolving body of scholarship, whilst simultaneously advancing the field through numerous original insights. It deserves to be very widely read.’ Sally Sheldon, Kent Law School, UK ’This book is the essential companion for feminist or critical legal scholars seeking theoretically grounded, contemporary reflections on feminist legal thought. The chapters are a wonderful guide through key concepts and theoretical strands, introducing some of the foremost scholars in feminist (legal) thought, and, like all good companions, inviting an ongoing conversation about the directions and possibilities of feminist legal scholarship.’ Doris Buss, Carleton University, Canada ’This book will be a wise and feisty companion to all explorers of feminist legal theory. It offers readers not only fresh perspectives on familiar feminist debates about law, but also steers them securely in uncharted territory. The Companion manages all this in sparkling and accessible style, without glossing over the complexities of and contradictions in the field.’ Hilary Charlesworth, Australian National University, Australia