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Women's Rights in Democratizing States: Just Debate and Gender Justice in the Public Sphere (Paperback)
  • Women's Rights in Democratizing States: Just Debate and Gender Justice in the Public Sphere (Paperback)

Women's Rights in Democratizing States: Just Debate and Gender Justice in the Public Sphere (Paperback)

Paperback 306 Pages / Published: 11/09/2014
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This study offers an explanation for why advances in women's rights rarely occur in democratizing states. Drawing on deliberative theory, Denise Walsh argues that the leading institutions in the public sphere are highly gendered, meaning women's ability to shape the content of public debate and put pressure on the state to advance their rights is limited. She tests this claim by measuring the openness and inclusiveness of debate conditions in the public sphere during select time periods in Poland, Chile and South Africa. Through a series of structured, focused comparisons, the book confirms the importance of just debate for securing gender justice. The comparisons also reveal that counter publics in the leading institutions in the public sphere are crucial for expanding debate conditions. The book concludes with an analysis of counter publics and suggests an active role for the state in the public sphere.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107425019
Number of pages: 306
Weight: 450 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm

'In a project framed by developments in feminist empirical study of democratization and in normative insights of critical and feminist theorists of deliberative democracy, Walsh tests the hypothesis that conditions of just debate open possibilities for debate over gender justice and are good for women's rights. The book reveals the import of the particulars of context and conditions for enabling just debate. With women's rights as her example, Walsh also raises interesting questions about the conditions under which any movement for social justice can create and take advantage of opportunities for just debate. Theorists and empiricists of democracy will find the questions and the insights of her work compelling.' Brooke Ackerly, Vanderbilt University
'Denise Walsh's ambitious and sophisticated comparison of legislative outcomes for women's rights in three democratizing countries (Poland, Chile, and South Africa) argues that conditions of 'just debate' in the public sphere explain variations in legislative outcomes for women's rights. Democracy and liberal rights alone are not enough. Women must have 'access, voice, and the capacity for contestation' to produce meaningful advances in gender justice. Her book is rich in comparative insights, and the concept of just debate has important implications not only for achieving gender justice but also for assessing and improving the quality of democracy in democratizing states around the world. This is an original and stimulating contribution to the field of gender and politics.' Jane S. Jaquette, Teaching Emerita Professor of Politics, Occidental College
'This is a novel, innovative, and ambitious piece of work. It has much to offer scholars in a range of fields, providing an important addition to the standard analyses of how transitions to democracy are gendered.' Georgina Waylen, University of Sheffield
'Denise Walsh's book remains a great contribution to the (currently limited) understanding of gender and politics in developing countries. Readers will appreciate the author's ability to break down complex concepts and contentious problems central to the subject at hand, which allows her book to be accessible and engaging to a wider audience. Her rigorous methodologies have much to offer social science students and scholars, and the wealth of data contained within her work provides a strong foundation on which future research could rely.' Gender and Development

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