Special Issue "Evolving Challenges: An International Retrospective on Feminist Legal Theory"

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X). This special issue belongs to the section "Law and Gender Issues".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Rosemary Auchmuty
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Law, University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AE, UK
Interests: gender and law; sexuality; property law; legal history

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues

In 2015, it will be 25 years since Martha Fineman and Nancy Thomadsen published their ground-breaking collection, At the Boundaries of Law: Feminism and Legal Theory. The aim of this Special Issue of Laws is to explore the development and evolution of feminist legal theory, across a range of legal cultures, since feminist legal theory first entered the academy. The papers selected will collectively consider, across a range of jurisdictions, how legal scholarship and law itself have responded to a quarter-century of feminist insights and analyses of the gendered nature of law and society. We have much to learn from examining and comparing the shared histories of feminist legal scholars and their work to address the structural disadvantages faced by women within discrete legal systems, celebrating what has been achieved and noting what remains to be challenged.

Recent decades have seen radical change within many legal cultures, particularly in the areas of gender, sexuality, violence, work, and family. The law directly shapes fundamental facets of social relationships (such as caretaker/dependant, employer/employee, and citizen/state) and social institutions (such as family, workplace, and the body politic) We are interested in how feminist scholars within different legal cultures have challenged and changed these fundamental relationships, and institutions, as well as how they identified and addressed problems of gender equity and bias. Feminists have been at the forefront as architects and authors of such change, and this issue will look back at their struggles across a variety of world regions, offering an overview of successes and failures, as well as identifying challenges for the future.

The scope will be historical and, if possible, comparative. Contributors may focus on one area of law or several, and on one jurisdiction or several, and should offer a critical rather than purely descriptive account. By providing rich histories within specific legal cultures, the individual pieces will track the specific struggles that feminist legal theorists have identified and addressed around fundamental human relationships as structured in law. Collectively, the pieces should provide a global perspective on the development of feminist legal theory as a methodology, critical approach, and practical response to complex social issues.

The purpose of the Special Issue is to assess and learn from feminist responses to the emergence of central legal problems, as well as to provide some insight into possible problems for future scholarly engagement.

While there have been scattered histories produced within various jurisdictions, it is hoped that this issue will gather contributions from a broad global reach. Thus it should offer a better possibility of understanding the influence of feminism on the evolution and role of law and legal theory, in relation to social institutions, while also tracking their susceptibility to change. It should also provide significant insight into the relative capacity and limitations of feminist legal thought internationally.

Prof. Rosemary Auchmuty
Guest Editor

References:

Fineman, Martha A., and Nancy Sweet Thomadsen, eds. At the Boundaries of Law: Feminism and Legal Theory. New York: Routledge, 1990.

 

Fineman, Martha A., ed. Transcending the Boundaries of Law: Generations of Feminism and Legal Theory. New York: Routledge, 2010.

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. 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.

Keywords

  • feminist legal theory
  • social institutions
  • global legal cultures

Published Papers (2 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Enfranchised Minors: Women as People in the Middle East after the 2011 Arab Uprisings
Laws 2017, 6(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws6010004 - 10 Mar 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3657
Abstract
The civic status of female citizens in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is conceptualized as “enfranchised minorhood” which reflects the confined position of adult women as legal minors under the trusteeship of male kin in family law, criminal law, and [...] Read more.
The civic status of female citizens in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is conceptualized as “enfranchised minorhood” which reflects the confined position of adult women as legal minors under the trusteeship of male kin in family law, criminal law, and nationality law. During and in the aftermath of the Uprisings that erupted throughout MENA in 2011, female lawyers in Morocco, Lebanon, and Kuwait allied with women’s groups and pressured for reforms in patriarchal state laws. By 2015, reforms were manifest in criminal law; incremental in family law; and absent in nationality law. Theoretical conclusions based on comparative analysis of societal pressures in three states indicate that long historical trajectories are imperative for substantiating the expansion of female citizenship following the 2011 Uprisings. Additionally, the civic status of women in the MENA region is being strengthened under authoritarian monarchical rule in Kuwait and Morocco. A third finding is that pressures for reform have more visible reverberations in legal spheres with a clerical imprint such as family law and criminal law, while strengthened pressures in a secular legal sphere such as nationality law have been opposed more forcefully five years after the Uprisings. Full article
Article
Precedents, Patterns and Puzzles: Feminist Reflections on the First Women Lawyers
Laws 2016, 5(4), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws5040039 - 18 Oct 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2215
Abstract
This paper initially examines the historical precedents established by some of the first women who entered the “gentleman’s profession” of law in different jurisdictions, as well as the biographical patterns that shaped some women’s ambitions to enter the legal professions. The paper then [...] Read more.
This paper initially examines the historical precedents established by some of the first women who entered the “gentleman’s profession” of law in different jurisdictions, as well as the biographical patterns that shaped some women’s ambitions to enter the legal professions. The paper then uses feminist methods and theories to interpret “puzzles that remain unsolved” about early women lawyers, focusing especially on two issues. One puzzle is the repeated claims on the part of many of these early women lawyers that they were “lawyers”, and not “women lawyers”, even as they experienced exclusionary practices and discrimination on the part of male lawyers and judges—a puzzle that suggests how professional culture required women lawyers to conform to existing patterns in order to succeed. A second puzzle relates to the public voices of early women lawyers, which tended to suppress disappointments, difficulties and discriminatory practices. In this context, feminist theories suggest a need to be attentive to the “silences” in women’s stories, including the stories of the lives of early women lawyers. Moreover, these insights may have continuing relevance for contemporary women lawyers because it is at least arguable that, while there have been changes in women’s experiences, there has been very little transformation in their work status in relation to men. Full article
Back to TopTop