Carole Pateman: Democracy, Feminism, Welfare

Routledge
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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:

Democracy

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.

Women

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.

Welfare

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.

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About the author

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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Mar 1, 2013
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Pages
234
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ISBN
9781136683206
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Civics & Citizenship
Political Science / General
Political Science / Political Process / General
Political Science / Political Process / Political Parties
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Discourse

Shapiro was one of the first theorists to demonstrate convincingly, and in a manner that has had a long-standing impact on the field, that language is not epiphenomenal to politics. Indeed, he shows that language is constitutive of politics. From his frequently-cited article on metaphor from the early 1980s to recent work on discourse and globalization, Shapiro has shown that politics happens not only with and through the use of language, but within discourse as a material practice.

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Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba’s (1963) famous work on ‘The Civic Culture’ established a long-held but ultimately counterproductive relationship between culture and politics, one in which culture is an independent variable that has effects on politics. Samuel Huntington’s (1998) (in)famous polemic, ‘The Clash of Civilizations’, only pushes this relationship to its breaking point. Shapiro’s rich and numerous writings on culture provide a powerful and important antidote to this approach, as Shapiro consistently shows (across wide-ranging contexts) that politics is in culture and culture is in politics, and no politically salient approach to culture can afford to turn either term into a causal variable.

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While violence is surely not a theme foreign to political studies, no one has done more or better work in contemporary political theory to bring violence into play as a central term of political thought and to expand our understanding of violence. By reconceptualizing and reinterpreting this term, Shapiro’s work has helped us to rethink the very boundaries between political theory and international relations as putatively separate subfields of political science. And it explains why both political theorists interested in International Relations and International Relations scholars concerned with a broader understanding of international politics must both start with Shapiro’s work as required reading.

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