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Feminism and Penal Expansion: The Role of Rights-Based Criminal Law in Post-Neoliberal Ecuador

  • Silvana Tapia Tapia
Article

Abstract

This article analyses feminist discourses on the criminalisation of violence against women in Ecuador, after the enactment of a “post-neoliberal” constitution. It responds to arguments in feminist legal theory, which affirm that penal expansion thrives through neoliberal globalisation, and that certain feminists have sponsored this carceral-neoliberal alliance, over and above redistributive concerns. However, in Ecuador, many feminists who participated in a recent criminalisation process also endorsed the post-neoliberal government’s social redistribution programme. Ecuadorian feminism therefore complicates current discussions on carceral and governance feminism, which link penal expansion with neoliberalism and an absence of redistributive concerns. Ecuadorian left-leaning feminists use rights-based frameworks to reconcile penal interventions with potential abuses of coercive power. This allows them to regard criminal justice as minimally problematic within the redistributive agenda they endorse. At the same time, the penal approach of Ecuadorian feminists runs the danger of marginalising legally pluralistic approaches to justice.

Keywords

Carceral feminism Violence against women Ecuador Post-neoliberal Human rights Governance feminism 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I wish to thank Dr. Katie Cruz, Dr. Arturo Sánchez García, Dr. Anne Carr, Professor Aziza Ahmed, Dr. Sebastián López Hidalgo, and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on earlier versions of this article. I am always grateful to Professor Kate Bedford for her continued guidance and support. All errors remain my own.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad del AzuayCuencaEcuador

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