Feminists Negotiate The State / Edition 1

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As feminists demand government action to address gender inequality, they are confronted by the paradox of state power—a state which promises women protection, but protects the interests of men. Using domestic violence against women as a case study, this book examines the trade-offs and compromises faced by feminists in this process of negotiating with the state. Over the past twenty years, feminists have won critical and significant political victories on the issue of domestic violence, including funding for battered women's shelters, better training for police officers and judges, and legal rights in the courts. Yet the state has failed to address the deeper social and economic sources of domestic violence and in many ways helps to perpetuate the masculine culture of violence which helps to produce it. This book explores feminist engagements with each of the three branches of government, examining the response of the Executive branch (through mandatory police arrest policies), the Judicial branch (through the use of Battered Woman's Syndrome in the courts) and the Legislative branch (through analysis of the Violence Against Women Act) to feminist demands for social change.

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Editorial Reviews

This volume makes three contributions that make it a valuable read for movement scholars. First, it successfully sues the case of the feminist (anti-) domestic violence movement to highlight the problems of the tradeoffs that inevitably face activists negotiating the state. Second, it turns our attention to movement strategy, which has been insufficiently addressed in the social movement literature. Finally, it explicitly addresses the effects of a social movement on policy formation, an area of inquiry badly neglected by scholars of both movements and policy making.
Evan Stark
This book is a model of policy analysis: it is clearly written, well documented throughout, free of political rhetoric...
Examines women's ability to demand and receive concessions from the various branches of the U.S. government in regard to its treatment of the issue of domestic violence. Topics explored include: the history of approaches taken by women from the colonial era to the present day; the power of the terminology used to define the issue; interactions between police, feminists, and those affected by domestic violence; the emergence of Battered Women's Syndrome as a defense in court cases; the history of the Violence Against Women Act; and an assessment of the various strategies used by feminists to engage the state in ending domestic violence Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761808848
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 10/23/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 138
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia R. Daniels is Associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Darlene's Story
Introduction: The Paradoxes of State Power 1
Ch. 1 A History of the State's Response to Domestic Violence in the United States 5
Ch. 2 Naming and Framing the Issues: Demanding Full Citizenship for Women 21
Ch. 3 Feminists Negotiate the Executive Branch: The Policing of Male Violence 35
Ch. 4 Feminists Negotiate the Judicial Branch: Battered Woman's Syndrome 53
Ch. 5 Feminists Negotiate the Legislative Branch: The Violence Against Women Act 65
Ch. 6 Feminist Strategies: The Terms of Negotiation 83
App Feminists and the State: A Theoretical Exploration 95
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