Feminist state theory: Applications to jurisprudence, criminology, and the welfare state

Lynne A. Haney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This chapter discusses developments in feminist state theory through a comparison of feminist interventions into jurisprudence, criminology, and welfare state theory. Early feminist work on the state analyzed how women were subordinated by a centralized state. More recently, feminist scholars unearthed how states are differentiated entities, comprised of multiple gender arrangements. This discovery of state variation surfaced differently in these three branches of scholarship. Feminist legal theorists concentrated on multiple legal discourses, feminist criminologists on the diverse sites of case processing, and feminist welfare theorists on the varied dimensions of welfare stratification. Because of their different approaches to state gender regimes, these scholars have much to offer, and to gain from, one another. Thus, this chapter argues for the importance of an interdisciplinary feminist dialogue on the state. It also suggests ways to promote such a dialogue and to insert a sociological perspective into this new mode of theorizing.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)641-666
    Number of pages26
    JournalAnnual Review of Sociology
    StatePublished - 2000


    • Criminal justice
    • Gender
    • Law
    • Social policy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science


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