Liberalism, Universalisms and Democratic Feminist Politics

Geraldine Pratt

in Working Feminism

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780748615698
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671243 | DOI:
Liberalism, Universalisms and Democratic Feminist Politics

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This chapter argues that, even at their most radical, feminist critics of liberalism rarely leave the spaces of paradox produced by contradictions and inconsistencies inherent to liberal capitalist societies: between the promise of universalism and the particularity of actual citizenship and the administration of justice. It reviews feminist criticisms of liberalism and individual rights and arguments about the ways that space sustains and naturalises illiberal practices in liberal societies. Drawing on Laclau, Butler, Zizek and Young, it considers how two geographies operate within recent efforts to rethink universality, and democratic feminist politics and solidarity, namely, the metaphors of ‘empty space’ and ‘webbed connections’.

Keywords: Liberalism; space; individual rights; empty space; webbed connections; universality

Chapter.  9244 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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