Liberalism and the privatised family: The legacy of Rousseau

Res Publica 11 (2):125-155 (2005)
This article argues that the intellectual legacy of Rousseau is at the root of the failure of 20th century egalitarian theorists such as Rawls and Dworkin to engage intellectually with feminist theorists working within the liberal tradition. Through an extended critique of Rousseau’s delineation of the relationship between liberal citizenship and the private family, it argues that the failure of such liberal theorists to take gender hierarchy seriously is a consequence of their attempt to place the private family outside the sphere not only of politics, but also of justice.
Keywords feminist legal and political theory  gender roles  liberal tradition  justice and gender  Rousseau  social contract theory
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