Effective Deliberative Inclusion of Women in Contexts of Traditional Political Authority

in Democratic Theory
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Abstract

This article examines several obstacles to the deliberative inclusion of women where traditional cultural-political authority exist alongside national democratic institutions. Drawing on the example of land reform in post-apartheid South Africa, the article argues that introducing deliberative democratic procedures to local cultural-political institutions may fail to achieve the inclusion and/or empowerment of subordinated members, such as rural women. I discuss three ways that deliberative interventions might be made more inclusive in such contexts: first, by using strategic exclusion to amplify the voices of disenfranchised community members and/or to make possible parallel deliberation by them; second, by legitimizing and supporting the informal political practices of more disempowered group members (e.g., informal protests, political activism); and third, by fostering the political capacities of disempowered citizens in both formal and informal political life.

Contributor Notes

Monique Deveaux is professor of philosophy and Canada research chair in ethics and global social change at the University of Guelph, Canada. She is the author of Gender and Justice in Multicultural Liberal States (Oxford University Press, 2006), Cultural Pluralism in Liberal and Democratic Thought (Cornell University Press, 2000), and co-editor of Reading Onora O’Neill (Routledge, 2013), Sexual Justice, Cultural Justice (Routledge, 2007), and Introduction to Political Philosophy: Texts and Cases (Oxford University Press, 2014).

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