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Integrating Gender: Women, Law and Politics in the European Union

A feminist perspective on the European Union’s operations and equality policies.

Integrating Gender makes a timely contribution to debate about the social content and internal politics of the European Union. Based on a detailed study of the EU’s policy on women’s rights, it draws together approaches from international relations and feminist theory to develop a powerful critique.

Since the 1970s the European Community’s policy on women’s rights has provided a rare example of a European policy which grants social rights and engages at least to some extent with a mobilized political community. Analysis of policy implementation reveals the complex web which develops when national and transnational state activity interacts with social movements operating in different national and cultural contexts. In Integrating Gender, Catherine Hoskyns tracks these developments across the EU member states using a wide range of primary sources, including original interviews with some of the key women involved at grassroots, professional and official levels. For the first time the prism of feminism is focused on the political, legal and social history of the European Union; the resulting analysis illuminates both the politics of the Union and the reasons for its current crisis of legitimacy.


  • “This important book provides the first full-length study of a crucial and fascinating subject. It explores the unexpected development—within the distanced bureaucracy of the European Commission—of policies for women’s equality, and assesses the impact of women’s organisations on this development.”


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