Deference and Deferral: Constitutional Structure and the Durability of Gender-Based Nationality Laws

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Book Chapter

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Kim Rubenstein and Katharine G. Young




Cambridge University Press




With the worldwide sweep of gender-neutral, gender-equal or gender-sensitive public laws in international treaties, national constitutions and statutes, it is timely to document the raft of legal reform and to critically analyse its effectiveness. In demarcating the academic study of the public law of gender, this book brings together leading lawyers, political scientists, historians and philosophers to examine law's structuring of politics, governing and gender in a new global frame. Of interest to constitutional and statutory designers, advocates, adjudicators and scholars, the contributions explore how concepts such as equality, accountability, representation, participation and rights, depend on, challenge or enlist gendered roles and/or categories. These enquiries suggest that the new public law of gender must confront the lapses in enforcement, sincerity and coverage that are common in both national and international law and governance, and critically and pluralistically recast the public/private distinction in family, community, religion, customary and market domains.
    • Outlines the common and distinct challenges and issues across various fields
    • Provides those working with gender-sensitive laws and gender-neutral laws with an assessment of the various ways in which public law interacts with gender, by intent or outcome
    • Local and global perspectives uncover the obstacles facing gender equality, equity and parity, and show how traditional agendas of feminist theory now translate in a global legal frame

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