Women, Political Philosophy and Politics

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Edinburgh University Press, 2001 - Philosophy - 213 pages
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This new book explores the interface between political philosophy and politics, looking at the effects of philosophical traditions on the contemporary relationship between women and politics. Analysing key concepts in political philosophy, the author illustrates how common ideas - entrenched in the development of political thought and practice - have become almost intractable 'truths' that continue to differentiate between the sexes in politics. Liz Sperling looks in detail at the works of Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, Rawls and Nozick, considering general themes to which they have all contributed - such as the state of nature, the state, markets, citizenship and representation. The focus then turns to the specific contributions of the philosophers that continue to influence the association of women to politics. These include an analysis of Greek classicists' establishment of andocracy, Rousseau's treatise on education for citizenship, and nineteenth-century ideas of equality. In conclusion, the themes demonstrated throughout are drawn together to show how they translate into contemporary policy on women in politics. Offering an original insight into the ways in which political thought influences political practice, this will be essential reading in a key area of politics, philosophy and women's studies.

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About the author (2001)


Liz Sperling is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the Liverpool John Moores University

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