2008 C.B. Macpherson Prize
Winner: Monique Deveaux
Gender and Justice in Multicultural Liberal States (Oxford University Press, 2006)
Excerpt from jury report: Monique Deveaux’s Gender and Justice in Multicultural Liberal State deepens our understanding of the challenges faced by liberal states when they hold competing commitments to cultural rights and sexual equality. Deveaux’s construction of these tensions combines a rigorous examination not only of the current literature, but also of cases in South Africa, Canada, and Britain. Her approach is unabashedly political. She argues that although we can and should understand these tensions ethically, psychologically, sociologically, and legally, our responses should focus on frameworks for democratic negotiation and deliberation, as well as the conditions under which individuals affected by these conflicts gain the capacity to participate in negotiating them. Deveaux grounds her approach to democratic legitimacy in norms of political inclusion and democratic dialogue. She understands the spaces of democracy broadly, encompassing not only the formal institutions of democracy, but also the range of informal democratic activities that occur in the private and social spheres. The committee was deeply impressed with the thoroughness and rigour of the argument, and believes that Deveaux’s book solidly and creatively advances what has become a distinctively Canadian school of thought about the nature and practices of liberal multicultural societies.