The late Susan Moller Okin was a leading political theorist whose scholarship integrated political philosophy and issues of gender, the family, and culture. Okin argued that liberalism, properly understood as a theory opposed to social hierarchies and supportive of individual freedom and equality, provided the tools for criticizing the substantial and systematic inequalities between men and women. Her thought was deeply informed by a feminist view that theories of justice must apply equally to women as men, and she was deeply engaged in showing how many past and present political theories failed to do this. She sought to rehabilitate political theories-particularly that of liberal egalitarianism, in such a way as to accommodate the equality of the sexes, and with an eye toward improving the condition of women and families in a world of massive gender inequalities. In her lifetime Okin was widely respected as a scholar whose engagement went well beyond the world of theory, and her premature death in 2004 was considered by many a major blow to progressive political thought and women's interests around the world.
This volume stems from a conference on Okin, and contains articles by some of the top feminist and political philosophers working today. They are organized around a set of themes central to Okin's work, namely liberal theory, gender and the family, feminist and cultural differences, and global justice. Included are major figures such as Joshua Cohen, David Miller, Cass Sunstein, Alison Jaggar, and Iris Marion Young, among others. Their aim is not to celebrate Okin's work, but to constructively engage with it and further its goals.
Debra Satz is Marta Sutton Weeks professor of philosophy and, by courtesy, of political science at Stanford University. She is also director of the interdisciplinary program in Ethics in Society. She teaches courses in ethics, social and political philosophy, and philosophy of the social sciences. Within these fields, her research has focused on the ethical limits of markets, theories of rational choice, democratic theory, feminist philosophy, and issues of international justice. Her articles have appeared in Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, the Journal of Philosophy, and the World Bank Economic Review. Her book, The Moral Limits of the Market will be published by Oxford in 2009.
PART 1: RETHINKING POLITICAL THEORY; PART II: GENDER AND THE FAMILY; PART III: FEMINISM AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY; PART IV: DEVELOPMENT AND GENDER