Prefiguring Feminist Judgment in International Law
Forthcoming, T Lavers and L Hodson (eds), Feminist Judgments in International Law, Hart Publishing (2019)
14 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2019 Last revised: 5 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 3, 2019
Prefigurative politics is a form of activism harnessing theories of social change. In essence, it means a group’s adoption of structures and styles of reasoning that the group is promoting, a modelling of the desired political and social outcomes; the aphorism ‘be the change you want to see’ sums up the practice of prefiguration. The term ‘prefigurative tradition’ first emerged in the 1970s in the context of Marxist methods, describing them as a movement embodying ‘within the ongoing political practice … those forms of social relations, decision-making, culture, and human experience that are the ultimate goal.’ The idea was that Marxist prefigurative politics would undermine ‘the division of labor between everyday life and political activity.’ The women’s camp at Greenham Common, established in 1981 to protest against the presence of Cruise missiles at a US Air Force base in the United Kingdom, was a prefigurative venture in challenging traditional family structures. Another example is the Occupy! movement in 2011, which set out to establish public spaces in the heart of large urban areas where free food, medical care and education were available.
Keywords: prefigurative, international law
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation