Research Handbook on Critical Legal Theory
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Research Handbook on Critical Legal Theory

Edited by Emilios Christodoulidis, Ruth Dukes and Marco Goldoni

Critical theory, characteristically linked with the politics of theoretical engagement, covers the manifold of the connections between theory and praxis. This thought-provoking Research Handbook captures the broad range of those connections as far as legal thought is concerned and retains an emphasis both on the politics of theory, and on the notion of theoretical engagement. The first part examines the question of definition and tracks the origins and development of critical legal theory along its European and North American trajectories. The second part looks at the thematic connections between the development of legal theory and other currents of critical thought such as; Feminism, Marxism, Critical Race Theory, varieties of post-modernism, as well as the various ‘turns’ (ethical, aesthetic, political) of critical legal theory. The third and final part explores particular fields of law, addressing the question how the field has been shaped by critical legal theory, or what critical approaches reveal about the field, with the clear focus on opportunities for social transformation.
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Chapter 3: Critical legal feminisms

Rosemary Hunter


This chapter outlines the typical preoccupations of critical legal feminisms, and the methods and tools they draw upon. There is considerable diversity within the field, encompassing scholars who would identify variously as postmodern or poststructuralist, psychoanalytic, critical race, postcolonial and/or queer feminists, sometimes in combination with materialist and/or sociolegal orientations. The key commonality among critical legal feminisms is that they engage in critique in three directions simultaneously: critique of law, critique of other critical theories and critique of ‘mainstream’ feminisms. To a greater or lesser extent, critical legal feminisms have also moved beyond critique to develop transformative projects, alternative visions or more tentative reconstructive agendas in law. The chapter explains and illustrates these various critiques and reconstructive projects.

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