12026 Democracy and Feminism: Gender, Citizenship and Human Rights 1

Credits: 3 graduate credits in Democracy Studies / Society and Politics or History, Education and Citizenship or Communication and Culture

Prerequisites: Democracy: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Israeli Democracy: Selected Issues, Contemporary Democratic Theories; one of the following: Democracy and Democratization, Selected Problems in the History of Western Democracies, Education Policy: Education for Democracy in Democratic Societies, Democracy and Mass Communication,2 Selected Topics in Public Administration; and exemption from bibliographic assignments on computer searches in the “Alef” catalog and databases.

Recommended: Religion and State: Philosophical Aspects; Liberalism: Texts, Contexts, Critiques

The course is based on a reader edited by Sylvie Fogiel-Bijaoui.

At first glance, it seems impossible to separate the idea of feminism from democratic-liberal theory. However, the relationship between democracy and feminism has always been complex. Historically, it took shape in a slow and hesitant process on the wings of modern and post-modern utopias, while challenging liberal-democratic institutions, changing its foundations and expanding its boundaries. The course presents this complex relationship, focusing on the notion of liberal-democratic citizenship and analyzing the twofold connection between liberal-democratic citizenship and feminism as an idea and a political movement.

Topics: Theoretical Introduction – Feminism as challenging the notion of liberal-democratic citizenship in the name of women’s human rights; Feminism as an idea and as a political movement – The struggle for women’s political citizenship; From political citizenship to legal and social citizenship? Feminism from the 1960s to today; Central feminist issues in human rights and liberal-democratic citizenship discourse today; Women in politics and feminist politics – Women’s political citizenship – the current situation; Barriers on the way to women’s political citizenship; Democracy and feminism – Israel as a case in point; From women in politics to feminist politics.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.

2or Liberalism: Texts, Contexts, Critiques (12005), for students who took it as a required course in the Culture specialization before Spring 2010.