Illusion of Consent: Engaging with Carole Pateman

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For nearly four decades, the writings of Carole Pateman have been regarded as major contributions to debates within political philosophy and feminist theory. She is the recipient of the 2012 Johan Skytte Prize in political science for “in a thought-provoking way challenging established ideas about participation, sex and equality”. By critiquing conventional notions of consent at the heart of much modern political thought—hence the title for this volume—Pateman has been a central voice in discussions of such important topics as political participation and democracy, contract theory and sexual equality, liberalism and the problem of political obligation, and most recently social citizenship, welfare, and basic income. These essays, all prepared especially for this volume, deal with issues that have been central to Pateman’s work. The authors critically engage with her work while making their own original contributions and advancing ongoing debates.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“These essays celebrate, challenge, and apply the significant contributions of Carole Pateman to the field of political theory.”
—P. Currah, Choice

“An impressive collection of essays from many of the leading social and political theorists writing today. The essays develop important new arguments and compose a fitting tribute to Carole Pateman, whose work has had such a major impact, and who offers here a fine afterword.”
—Virginia Held, Graduate School, City University of New York

“These papers make a welcome contribution to the explication, expansion, and interpretation of Pateman’s views. The authors really do engage with Pateman’s philosophy; they don’t simply free-associate with key words in her writing. The essays genuinely honor her contributions to political theory and the defense of a practical political agenda.”
—Ruth Sample, Social Theory and Practice

“These essays celebrate, challenge, and apply the significant contributions of Carole Pateman to the field of political theory.”

—P. Currah, Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271033518
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel I. O'Neill is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida and the author of The Burke-Wollstonecraft Debate: Savagery, Civilization, and Democracy (Penn State, 2007).

Mary Lyndon Shanley is Professor of Political Science at Vassar College and co-editor (with Carole Pateman) of Feminist Interpretations and Political Theory (Penn State, 1991) and (with Uma Narayan) Reconstructing Political Theory (Penn State, 1997).

Iris Marion Young was, until her untimely death in 2006, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.

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Table of Contents




Daniel I. O’Neill, Mary Lyndon Shanley, and Iris Marion Young

Part I. Liberalism and Contract

1. Carole Pateman: Radical Liberal?

Jane Mansbridge

2. Paradoxes of Liberal Politics: Contracts, Rights, and Consent

Moira Gatens

3. The Domination Contract

Charles W. Mills

4. Human Rights and the Epistemology of Social Contract Theory

Brooke A. Ackerly

Part II. Autonomy and Consent

5. Free to Decide for Oneself

Anne Phillips

6. Women’s Work: Its Irreplaceability and Exploitabilty

Robert E. Goodin

7. A Democratic Defense of Universal Basic Income

Michael Goodhart

III. Democracy, Political Participation, and Welfare

8. Participation Revisited: Carole Pateman vs. Joseph Schumpeter

Alan Ryan

9. Participation, Deliberation, and We-thinking

Philip Pettit

10. Deliberative Democracy, Subordination, and the Welfare State

John Medearis


Carole Pateman

List of Contributors


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