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Anne Philips on Democracy - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 280
Democracy/Philips/Mottier: In order to show the necessity of taking into account the private sphere, Phillips(1) focuses on the concept of democracy. She argues that to conceptualize democratic participation without taking into account the constraints of the private sphere entails too narrow a view of democracy.
PhilipsVsTradition: [Philips] criticizes the traditional approaches to democracy for neglecting
the gendered nature of power relations around love, sex and economics within the family. The inequalities within the family are as relevant to issues of social justice as inequalities in the public sphere, Phillips argues. Similarly to Okin, but also to arguments about the private sphere developed by theorists of participative democracy such as Carole Pateman (1989)(2), Phillips contends that the democratization of the public sphere - understood as the higher participation of women in this sphere - is impossible without the prior democratization of the private sphere. In this sense, the democratization of the private sphere is not only a means for achieving the goals of active political citizenship, but also a value in itself. Phillips thus argues for a conceptualization of democracy which includes power relations in the private sphere. >Democratic theory/Pateman, >Participation/Pateman, >Inequalities/Okin, >Privacy/Philips; cf. >Privacy/Elshtain.


1. Phillips, Anne (1991) Engendering Democracy. Cambridge: Polity.
2. Pateman, Carole (1989) The Disorder of Women: Democracy, Feminism and Political Theory.
Cambridge: Polity.

Véronique Mottier 2004. „Feminism and Gender Theory: The Return of the State“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Philips, Anne
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-06-18
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