Théorie politique



H09(c) - Love, Justice, Community and the Politics of Care

Date: Jun 13 | Heure: 08:30am to 10:00am | Salle:

Chair/Président/Présidente : James Mellon (Independent scholar)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Agnes Tam (University of Calgary)

Reclaiming Voice with Love: Towards a Radical Ethics of Care: Maggie FitzGerald (University of Saskatchewan)
Abstract: There are legitimate concerns related to associating care and love too closely: ‘sacrificial love’ has been mobilized to reproduce unjust care relationships, particularly for women who are cast as essentially loving, and therefore responsible for care. The goal of this paper, however, is to caution against delinking love and care, and to point towards some starting points for thinking about the role of love in a critical and political ethics of care. To develop this argument, I focus on the ethics of care as a theory which reveals and challenges the ways in which fulfilling the scripts of patriarchy necessitates a loss of voice, and thus a loss of authentic connection with self and other (e.g., Gilligan and Snider 2017). This loss of voice and connection impedes our ability to speak authentically and respond to others, both of which are, I argue, crucial for a flourishing political community. I then put this understanding of the ethics of care in dialogue with feminist theorist bell hooks’ writings on love. Specifically, I argue that hooks’ work shows how love can, in fact, provide important vantage points to help trace, counter, and resist the loss of voice identified by critical care ethics literature. In resisting this loss of voice, both care and love can thereby be moved beyond their current patriarchal forms and towards directions that foster radical transformation, repair, and freedom for all.


The Social Connection Model Revisited: (Ir)responsibility and refused connections: Anna Drake (University of Waterloo)
Abstract: In her last work, Iris Marion Young pushes us to think about the responsibilities we have in relation to structural injustice (2011, 95). A key part of this is her social connection model, where she argues “obligations of justice arise between persons by virtue of the social processes that connect them” (Young 2006, 102). By setting out a model of responsibilities based on social connections, Young tells us these processes are what enable us to interpret obligations of justice. As a feminist political theorist known for calling on us to understand power as a relationship, not a thing to be distributed (1990), Young provides a rich foundation for feminist praxis. In short, she argues that if you produce injustice, you have a responsibility to remedy this injustice. Here, I examine our collective failure to assume responsibility during COVID-19. Demonstrating ways we have failed to learn from Young’s model, I analyze the differences between 1) her case study of the varying ways we’re implicated in labour injustices and 2) the ways different actors work together to diffuse and deny responsibility for the varying harms stemming from COVID-19 infections. Building on Young’s statement that “political institutions are the response to these obligations rather than their basis” (2006, 102) I examine what changes, and why, when the collective argument against taking responsibility rests on demonstrably bad institutional advice. As I demonstrate the extent of this collective refusal of responsibility I ask what this means for our ability to understand and dismantle structural injustice.