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Contesting the Dominant Paradigm: Feminist Critiques of Liberal Legalism

Hunter, Rosemary (2013) Contesting the Dominant Paradigm: Feminist Critiques of Liberal Legalism. In: Davies, Margaret and Munro, Vanessa, eds. The Ashgate Research Companion to Feminist Legal Theory. Ashgate, Farnham, pp. 13-30. ISBN 978-1-4094-1859-7. (KAR id:35679)


The concept of ‘liberal legalism’ refers to a set of assumptions found within law in societies and regimes (such as the international legal order) in which liberalism is the dominant political philosophy. These assumptions broadly concern: (a) the nature of the legal person; and (b) the role of law. This chapter will provide an account of both of these aspects of liberal legalism, and the feminist critiques to which they have been subject. Feminist critiques have been mounted from a variety of positions, ranging from liberal feminists challenging law to live up to its promises, to radical and postmodern feminists who, for different reasons, trenchantly reject the validity of the assumptions of liberal legalism. The chapter focuses on feminist critiques of liberal legalism rather than on internal debates within feminism, although these debates are evident in the different diagnoses of and responses to the perceived problems of liberal legalism.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: liberal legalism; feminist critique; legal person; law and society
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Rosemary Hunter
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2013 09:51 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:12 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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