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World Political Science

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Justice, Gender, and Corporations. Outline of a Feminist Political Philosophy of the Corporation

Naïma Hamrouni
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  • Département de philosophie et des arts, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada
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/ Pierre-Yves Néron
  • Corresponding author
  • European School of Political and Social Sciences (ESPOL), Université Catholique de Lille, Hauts-de-France 59016, France
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Published Online: 2017-11-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/wps-2017-0010


Corporations, as institutions that participate in the creation and perpetuation of gender-based injustices, have been neglected by feminist political philosophers and egalitarians in general. However, since gender-based inequalities within the family, the market, and in democratic participation are interconnected, critically scrutinizing institutions such as corporate organizations appears to be essential in order to achieve gender justice. This is our goal in this paper. In the first part, we look at the (surprising) domination of the ethics of care in the feminist literature on corporations. Since it focuses essentially on the goal of developing virtuous managers, we conclude that this ethics of care is misleading when it comes to thinking about the kinds of relations that characterize corporations and their much needed organizational transformation. In the second part, we attempt to highlight and articulate more explicitly the need for a critical analysis of corporations from the point of view of gender justice. Finally, having shown how purely “distributive” approaches of gender justice are unsatisfactory, we finish by outlining a multidimensional approach to gender (in)justice within and by corporate organizations. We do so by drawing on the insights of distributive, participatory, and relational accounts of equality.

Keywords: business ethics; ethics of care; feminism; gender justice; theories of justice; workplace


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About the article

Naïma Hamrouni

Naïma Hamrouni is Associate Professor of ethics and political philosophy at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and adjunct professor at the Department of Political Science, Université Laval. Her current research is at the intersection of theories of social justice, feminist theories and the ethics of care. It seeks to formulate a multidimensional theoretical framework in order to address the structural reproduction of the injustices pertaining to gendered and racial divisions of labor. She recently co-edited the volume Le sujet du féminisme est-il blanc? (Remue-ménage, 2015) with Chantal Maillé, and the special issue “Travail, genre et justice sociale” for the Journal Politique et sociétés (2016), with Sophie Bourgault. Her work has appeared in Vulnerability, Autonomy, and Applied Ethics (2016, Routledge), Théories de la justice (2016, Presses Universitaires de Louvain), Le care, éthique féministe actuelle (2015, Remue-ménage), and in the journals Politique et sociétés, Philosophiques, Recherches féministes, and the Review of Economic Philosophy.

Pierre-Yves Néron

Pierre-Yves Néron is Associate Professor of social and political philosophy at the European School of Political and Social Sciences (ESPOL), Université Catholique de Lille. Previously, he undertook postdoctoral research under Joseph Heath’s direction at the Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto, where he also taught in the Department of Philosophy. His current research focuses on contemporary egalitarianism and economic institutions such as firms and markets, and aims to articulate the foundations of a theory of “economic democracy.” His research has been published in, among others, Res Publica: A Journal of Moral, Legal and Social Philosophy, Journal of Business Ethics, Raison publique, Business Ethics Quarterly.

Published Online: 2017-11-28

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

Citation Information: World Political Science, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 193–219, ISSN (Online) 2363-4782, ISSN (Print) 2363-4774, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/wps-2017-0010.

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