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Hartley, Christie, Watson, Lori. Equal Citizenship and Public Reason. A Feminist Political Liberalism
2018, New York: Oxford University Press
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Saranga Sudarshan

Publisher's Note: This book is a defense of political liberalism as a feminist liberalism. The first half of the book develops and defends a novel interpretation of political liberalism. It is argued that political liberals should accept a restrictive account of public reason and that political liberals' account of public justification is superior to the leading alternative, the convergence account of public justification. The view is defended from the charge that such a restrictive account of public reason will unduly threaten or undermine the integrity of some religiously oriented citizens and an account of when political liberals can recognize exemptions, including religious exemptions, from generally applicable laws is offered. In the second half of the book, it is argued that political liberalism's core commitments restrict all reasonable conceptions of justice to those that secure genuine, substantive equality for women and other marginalized groups. Here it is demonstrated how public reason arguments can be used to support law and policy needed to address historical sites of women's subordination in order to advance equality; prostitution, the gendered division of labor and marriage, in particular, are considered.

Comment: Defends Rawlisan Political Liberalism on feminist grounds, contrary to many longstanding critiques of Rawls's views.

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Khader, Serene J.. Decolonizing Universalism: A Transnational Feminist Ethic
2018, OUP USA
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Added by: Suddha Guharoy and Andreas Sorger
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Decolonizing Universalism develops a genuinely anti-imperialist feminism. Against relativism/universalism debates that ask feminists to either reject normativity or reduce feminism to a Western conceit, Khader's nonideal universalism rediscovers the normative core of feminism in opposition to sexist oppression and reimagines the role of moral ideals in transnational feminist praxis.

Comment: The book is a prescription for feminist praxis in lands and cultures which have histories different from that of the vanguards of the (‘Western’) world. It challenges both the ‘progressive’ ideals of the Enlightenment, which (according to the author) are ethnocentric in many ways, and their universalizing tendencies. It recognizes, and is apprehensive of, the fact that Enlightenment values operate as background assumptions in the works of many Northern and Western feminists, all the more when they are concerned with advancing women’s rights in ‘other’ cultures. The author rejects such tendencies and proposes a different approach to the understanding of normativity and universalism.

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Young, Iris Marion. Responsibility and Global Justice: A Social Connection Model
2006, Social Philosophy and Policy 23 (1): 102-130.
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Added by: Rochelle DuFord
Abstract: The essay theorizes the responsibilities moral agents may be said to have in relation to global structural social processes that have unjust consequences. How ought moral agents, whether individual or institutional, conceptualize their responsibilities in relation to global injustice? I propose a model of responsibility from social connection as an interpretation of obligations of justice arising from structural social processes. I use the example of justice in transnational processes of production, distribution and marketing of clothing to illustrate operations of structural social processes that extend widely across regions of the world. The social connection model of responsibility says that all agents who contribute by their actions to the structural processes that produce injustice have responsibilities to work to remedy these injustices. I distinguish this model from a more standard model of responsibility, which I call a liability model. I specify five features of the social connection model of responsibility that distinguish it from the liability model: it does not isolate perpetrators; it judges background conditions of action; it is more forward looking than backward looking; its responsibility is essentially shared; and it can be discharged only through collective action. The final section of the essay begins to articulate parameters of reasoning that agents can use for thinking about their own action in relation to structural injustice

Comment: This text responds to theories of individual responsibility for global distributive justice proposed by John Rawls, David Miller, and Onora O'Neill. It would work well as a response to them, but also contains overviews of their positions (i.e. it isn't strictly necessary to be familiar with their body of work). The text contains illustrative examples of understanding collective responsibilities for injustice, such as goods produced in sweatshops. The text would work well in a course that covered distributive justice, social responsibility, or global justice.

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