Feminism, Imperialism and the Mission of International Law

TitleFeminism, Imperialism and the Mission of International Law
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsOrford, Anne
JournalNordic Journal of International Law

This article sketches some of the ethical and political questions that face those of us who attempt to develop a feminist practice of engaging with the projects of international law, whether in the fields of human rights, military intervention, post-conflict reconstruction or economic globalization. In particular, it explores the extent to which feminist internationalism is haunted by the shades of those nineteenth-century European feminists whose role in facilitating empire is undergoing much exploration. In order to think through the ethical issues involved in developing a feminist reading of international law, this article outlines some of the ways in which feminist legal theory is invited to participate in the project of constituting women and the international community. It considers some of the dangers involved in accepting this invitation, and proposes alternative methodologies for undertaking the risky project of reading international law.

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