Western political theory typically incorporates certain assumptions about sex and gender as natural, unvarying and “pre-political.” This book critically examines these assumptions and shows how recent scholarship undermines the illusion that bodies exist outside politics and beyond the reach of the state.
Leading political theorist Mary Hawkesworth’s cutting-edge intersectional account demonstrates how popular conceptions of human nature, public and private, citizenship, liberty, the state, and injustice relegate women, people of color, sexual minorities, and gender-variant people to inferior status despite constitutional guarantees of equality before the law. Hawkesworth argues that traditional political theory has contributed to the perpetuation of pernicious forms of injustice by masking the state’s role in the creation of subordinated and stigmatized subjects.
The book draws insights from critical race, feminist, postcolonial, queer, and trans* theory to give a compelling, original, and highly readable introduction to historical and contemporary debates on gender and political theory for students.
Keywords: Gender; political theory; feminist political theory; the state; embodiment; injustice; justice; critical race theory; feminist theory; feminism; postcolonial theory; queer theory; trans* theory; politics, Gender Studies, Gender & Politics, Gender Studies, Gender & Politics