Varieties of Feminism: German Gender Politics in Global Perspective

By Myra Marx Ferree | Go to book overview

PREFACE AND
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This book has been a long time in the making. The research on which it rests was spread out over almost thirty years, and many of the specific cases mentioned in various chapters were analyzed in their particulars in journal articles and book chapters written at various points in these years. But my ambition remained to write a book that could fill in the background for those who are not experts on Europe in general, or Germany in particular, and to explain why and how understanding this case would contribute to understanding conflicts and dilemmas feminists face around the world. I hope this book finally meets that goal.

I remain as convinced as I was in 1985, when I first began to engage these issues, that it is important academically and politically to not confuse liberal feminism, especially in its American incarnation, with feminism in general. I also strongly believe that it is equally important not to discard the important democratic critique that political liberalism has brought to socialists and moral reformers, both those who identify with feminism and those who do not. There is a tendency to confuse the political claims of liberalism, such as human rights, individual citizenship, and personal freedoms, with the priority given to markets by the capitalist political economics commonly called neoliberalism. In my view, this confusion is both academically unsound and

-ix-

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