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May 09 , 2009

Civil Society and Gender Justice

Historical and Comparative Perspectives


Civil society and civic engagement have increasingly become topics of discussion at the national and international level. The editors of this volume ask, does the concept of "civil society" include gender equality and gender justice? Or, to frame the question differently, is civil society a feminist concept? Conversely, does feminism need the concept of civil society?

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This important volume offers both a revised gendered history of civil society and a program for making it more egalitarian in the future. An interdisciplinary group of internationally known authors investigates the relationship between public and private in the discourses and practices of civil societies; the significance of the family for the project of civil society; the relation between civil society, the state, and different forms of citizenship; and the complex connection between civil society, gendered forms of protest and nongovernmental movements. While often critical of historical instantiations of civil society, all the authors nonetheless take seriously the potential inherent in civil society, particularly as it comes to influence global politics. They demand, however, an expansion of both the concept and project of civil society in order to make its political opportunities available to all.

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