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Liberalism, Neutrality, and the Gendered Division of Labor$
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Gina Schouten

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813071

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813071.001.0001

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A Neutral Case for Autonomy Promotion

A Neutral Case for Autonomy Promotion

(p.170) 6 A Neutral Case for Autonomy Promotion
Liberalism, Neutrality, and the Gendered Division of Labor

Gina Schouten

Oxford University Press

This chapter elucidates the notion of citizenship that rightly informs the neutrality constraint and the criterion of reciprocity: On the basis of citizenship interests, neutrality limits coercive political intervention; and through the criterion of reciprocity, citizenship interests also positively demand certain coercive political interventions. Political liberalism’s characterization of citizenship attributes to citizens certain fundamental interests. When those interests are jeopardized, and when they can be protected without jeopardizing stronger interests of citizenship, exercises of political power to protect those interests are demanded by the criterion of reciprocity. This can have surprising implications. A fundamental commitment of political liberalism is that, while political institutions should be ordered by liberal values, individuals should be substantially free to reject those values within their own lives. But under some circumstances, essential citizenship interests demand political interventions to promote enactments of substantive autonomy; as such, those interventions can be required by the criterion of reciprocity.

Keywords:   citizenship, neutrality constraint, criterion of reciprocity, citizenship interest, political liberalism, autonomy, legitimacy, liberal legitimacy, democracy

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