Session 1: Rendering Care the Meaning of Politics

Chaired by Jorma Heier M.A. (Osnabrück University, Germany)

In 1993, when Tronto formulated her ground-breaking title A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care, the political viewpoint from which she conceptualized care was rather radical, even among the relatively newly emerging body of literature centred around care practices. Despite the fact that all feminist theorizing shares the default recognition of ´the private` as being political, Joan Tronto was the first to name care in the same breath with the political in a place as exposed as a book title. And even twenty years later, relating care to the political, and especially political theory, has not lost any of its original radicalness. The contributions in this session all take up Tronto’s claim that we “cannot understand an ethic of care until we place such an ethic in its full moral and political context” (1993, 125). They outline what political thought and practice will look like if we render care the meaning of politics. They give an anatomy of active attention in caring activities, look at ways to identify and overcome privileged irresponsibility in the context of political segregation, engage the claim a caring society makes on democracy, liberty and equality and outline a caring bureaucracy for political institutions.




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