Feminism is innately political. To the extent that ‘It picks out and problematizes the fundamentally political relationship between gender and power’ (Höjer and Åse 1999: 73), it has had, and still has a great deal to say to political science, although it is not always apparent that mainstream political science is listening. Feminism, however, is not an approach that has grown up within the confines of social science. It originated outside academia as the ideology of a critical and disruptive social movement. As such its absorption into social, let alone political science, has been partial and selective and there remains quite a gulf between feminism ‘out there’ and feminist political science. In the following discussion there is inevitably, therefore, some disjuncture between characterizations of feminism as a perspective and its implications for political analysis, on the one hand, and the actual preoccupations and achievements of feminist political science on the other.
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