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Against Marriage: An Egalitarian Defence of the Marriage-Free State
(Oxford University Press, 2017) Against Marriage is an exciting, provocative work making the egalitarian case against the state recognition of marriage. In it, Clare Chambers shows how feminist and liberal principles require the abolition of state-recognised marriage and the creation of a marriage-free state: one in which private marriages, whether religious or secular, would have no legal status. Against Marriage is in two parts. Part One makes the case against marriage. Chambers investigates the critique of marriage that has developed within feminist and liberal theory and argues that marriage is a violation of both equality and liberty. Feminists have long argued that state-recognised marriage is a violation of equality. Chambers…
David Easton Award presented at APSA 2018
The 2018 David Easton Award was presented to me for Against Marriage: An Egalitarian Defence of the Marriage-Free State at the APSA Annual Meeting in Boston. The Award is given “for a book that broadens the horizons of contemporary political science by engaging issues of philosophical significance in political life through any of a variety of approaches in the social sciences and humanities.” You can see previous winners of the Award here.
Against Marriage wins APSA’s David Easton Award
I am delighted and honoured to learn that Against Marriage: An Egalitarian Defence of the Marriage-Free State has won the 2018 David Easton Award of the American Political Science Association (APSA). APSA say: “The David Easton Award is given for a book that broadens the horizons of contemporary political science by engaging issues of philosophical significance in political life through any of a variety of approaches in the social sciences and humanities.” The citation for the Award is as follows: “Clare Chambers’ Against Marriage: An Egalitarian Defence of the Marriage-Free State and Barbara Arneil’s Domestic Colonies: The Turn Inward to Colony won recognition from our committee because these two books…
Danny Reviews Against Marriage
You can read the review here. “I found Chambers persuasive: Against Marriage compelled me to rethink some of my ideas on the subject and brought much greater precision to others. And even those who disagree with much more of it will have to engage with it, as an integrated and reasonably comprehensive analysis of how the state should approach marriage.”
The American Conservative on Against Marriage
They don’t like it. See here. Note that the article does not always read the argument of the book accurately.
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Fabian Society on Against Marriage
Andrew Harrop, General Secretary of the Fabian Society, reviewed Against Marriage in Fabian Review, May 2018. You can read the full review here. “Marriage makes me uncomfortable, whether the reason is political, historical, cultural or aesthetic. No matter how many married couples I see living modern equal relationships, for me, the whole concept is tainted by its patriarchal past. But I say ‘for me’ with good reason, as I have dozens of friends and comrades who disagree. This is a fault-line issue that divides socialists and feminists amongst themselves. In Against Marriage, Clare Chambers makes the case for why egalitarians and liberals should reject marriage. It is political philosophy at its…
Against Marriage reviewed in Political Theory
Against Marriage is reviewed by Tamara Metz, author of Untying the Knot, in Political Theory. You can read the full review here. An excerpt follows. “This is a distinct and important contribution to an increasingly crowded field of liberal political philosophy on marriage and the state and, perhaps most interestingly, to our understanding of the liberal project broadly. … Where other liberals seek more vigorously to balance competing demands of freedom and equality, or emphasize freedom, Chambers hews rigorously to an egalitarian position. You won’t find another book that does this so effectively or by way of such productive engagement with existing scholarship. Laying out the egalitarian case in such clear and compelling terms, Chambers highlights the…
Against Marriage on JHIB blog
My Aeon article “Against Marriage” was recommended by the Journal for the History of Ideas Blog here.
Times of India on Against Marriage
The Times of India featured my Aeon article “Against Marriage” on 22 April 2018. You can read the coverage here.
Against Marriage at Aeon
I have a 3,300 word essay on “Against Marriage” at Aeon magazine. You can read the article here.
Against Marriage at APT books
Against Marriage is featured in the New Books By Members section of the US Association for Political Theory. You can see the page here.
Against Marriage on BMJ blog
Richard Smith writes in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) blog that he is persuaded by the arguments of Against Marriage. You can read the full article here. “Chambers is against marriage on the grounds of equality and liberty. Women are not equal with men within marriage, and the state by attaching a bundle of rights and duties to marriage creates a hierarchy of relationships with marriage at the top, making unmarried couples and single people inferior. Much of the population, including my wife and I, thinks that “common law wives” have similar rights to married women, but in fact they have none. By bundling rights and duties together, marriage (and…
The Politics of Marriage at LSE Forum
Marriage is an odd mix of sex, religion, and politics. Our speakers ask what marriage is and whether there is there any distinctive moral value in it. Should the state promote it? Is it possible to have an ‘equal’ marriage, or is marriage fundamentally an oppressive institution? Should marriage be rejected in favour of civil partnerships, or something else, or perhaps nothing else? You can watch a video of the event and listen to the podcast here. Speakers Clare Chambers Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Cambridge Sir Paul Coleridge Former high court judge and Chairman, The Marriage Foundation Peter Tatchell Activist and Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation Chair Sarah…