Centering Care in International Law with Catherine O'Rourke

March 27, 2024, 12:15 to 1:15 pm
Walter F. Mondale Hall
Room 55

University of Minnesota Law School
229 19th Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Centering Care in International Law banner

Care, as a practice and a value, is a central organizing concept in feminist theorization of the social world. Yet care remains underdeveloped as a theme of feminist work in international law. Rather, feminist work in international law has centrally focused on harm, its gendered specificities and inadequate legal capture. This paper contends that care would be a productive focus of feminist work in international law and, moreover, that the time is right for this shift in focus for several reasons. First, the COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented global awareness to the fact that nothing—the economy, education, health—works without suitable provision of care. Second, long-bubbling internal feminist critique of the harm-focus has of late gathered considerable coherence and momentum, adding urgency to a search for alternatives. Third, empirical study and theorization of care has already yielded central insights to feminist legal theory, even though feminist work in international law tends not to discuss these insights in care terms and there have been challenges in scaling these insights from domestic to international law. Finally, centering care may yield an ethical vision of international law that moves feminists away from a dominant focus on negotiating the legal boundaries of acceptable violence.

Speaker headshot Catherine Orourke

Catherine O’Rourke is Professor of Global Law at Durham Law School, Durham University, UK. She is Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School Human Rights Center in 2023/24.


CLE Credits
1 standard CLE credit has been requested, event code: #503945
Parking Information
Sponsored by

The Human Rights Center

Human Rights Center