Emancipatory advocacy: A companion ethics for political activism

Philosophy and Social Criticism 44 (3):326-341 (2018)

Abstract

In this paper, I take up the challenge that political activism runs the risk of generating abstract freedoms for oppressed subjects and neglecting the effects of oppression on the development of subjectivity. I argue that a political activism in concert with a companion ethics of advocacy and listening is best positioned to improve the political and economic conditions of individuals as well as ensure that they are able to realize their freedom in meaningful action. In this paper I distinguish political emancipation from human emancipation using the political and ethical writings of Simone de Beauvoir. I then argue that a feminist ethics of advocacy and listening can serve the project of human emancipation as emancipatory advocacy. I then return to Beauvoir to illuminate the dynamics of privilege, risk, and ambiguity in emancipatory advocacy through her own activism and advocacy in the case of Djamila Boupacha and Algerian independence.

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