Special Issue "The Body Politic: Women’s Bodies and Political Conflict"

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 March 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Alison Gash
Guest Editor
Political Science, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
Interests: legal advocacy; public policy; race; gender; LGBTQ+; disability; family/children

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

This Special Issue centers on the ways in which women's bodies serve as a narrative and frame for contentious politics. Judicial nominations, presidential campaigns, policy debates, and local conflicts—across a wide variety of policy contexts—focus on women's bodies as a platform for political contestation. Yet, despite the centering of politics on the subject of women's bodies, women continue to be deprived of basic protections and liberties. Even as their bodies are used to catalyze political momentum, women face an uncertain, and often hostile, audience from institutions and public officials. This is especially true for poor women, women of color, and women who identify as LGBTQIA. The politics of abortion and reproductive choice provide textbook examples of this relationship. In the United States, for instance, electoral battles and federal court nominations revolve around interpretations of and commitments to Roe v. Wade. Yet, poor women and women of color continue to bear the costs of restrictive reproductive rights policies—and at the same time are maligned by public debate. We see this at play in a range of policy arenas—health care, employment, and family planning to name a few—where women's bodies are the subject of policy campaigns, but where women's welfare is neglected or subverted. 

We are accepting manuscripts that interrogate these kinds of political dynamics in a variety of policy domains and locations. For instance, we are interested in manuscripts that explore the context for these conflicts; the ways in which these debates further exclude and silence minoritized women; the implications for governance, democratic participation, and the "rule of law," to name a few. We are hoping to catalyze important conversations both inside the academy and beyond about the problematic use of women's bodies as a political wedge and the continued erasure of women's experiences—particularly women who are vulnerable to multiple and intersecting forms of exclusion.

Prof. Alison Gash
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Laws is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • women
  • politics
  • policy
  • law
  • race

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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