Gender and Justice in Multicultural Liberal States explores the challenges that culturally plural liberal states face when they hold competing political commitments to cultural rights and sexual equality, and advances an argument for resolving such dilemmas through democratic dialogue and negotiation. Exploring recent examples of gendered cultural conflicts in South Africa, Canada, and Britain, Monique Deveaux shows that there is an urgent need for workable strategies to mediate the antagonisms between the cultural practices and arrangements of certain ethno-cultural and religious groups and the norms and constitutional rights endorsed by liberal states. Yet such strategies will be successful only insofar as they can resolve conflicts without either reinforcing women's subordination within cultural communities or unjustly dismissing calls for cultural recognition and forms of self-governance. To this end, Deveaux develops an approach to mediating cultural tensions that takes seriously the demands for justice by cultural and religious minorities in liberal democratic states. Grounded in an argument for democratic legitimacy, this approach invokes norms of political inclusion and democratic dialogue, and highlights negotiation and compromise as the best vehicles for arriving at resolutions to conflicts of cultural value. However, Deveaux also reconceives the basis of democratic legitimacy so as to include not merely formal expressions of political consent, but also a range of informal democratic activities that occur in the private and social spheres, from acts of cultural reinvention and subversion to outright expressions of dissent and cultural refusal.
"Deveaux's book is a breath of fresh air-it combines a theory-based approach with high-quality empirical research from several locations around the world. The book is at its best when describing issues of gender justice in diverse areas-Canada, South Africa, and Great Britain...[and is] likely to provoke debate about its theoretical implications while providing useful case studies."—CHOICE
Monique Deveaux is Associate Professor of Political Science at Williams College, where she teaches courses in contemporary political theory and the history of political thought. She is the author of Cultural Pluralism and Dilemmas of Justice (Cornell University Press, 2000), a co-editor of Sexual/Cultural Justice: Critical Perspectives in Political Theory and Practice (forthcoming, Routledge), and author of articles on topics ranging from cultural toleration to feminist moral theory in such journals as Political Theory, Social and Theory and Practice, and Political Studies. Deveaux is a recipient of a residential fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard (2001-2) and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (2001). She holds a Ph.D. from University of Cambridge.
Liberal Approaches to Conflicts of Culture 23
Women's Rights as Human Rights 54
Democratic Deliberation: Empowering Cultural Communities 89
Native Rights and Gender Justice: The Case of Canada 127
Personal Autonomy and Cultural Tradition: The Arranged Marriage Debate in Britain 155
Gender and Cultural Justice in South Africa 186
Conclusion: Legitimizing Democracy and Democratizing Legitimacy 215