Although domestic violence is not new, it has only recently been recognized as a problem meriting public attention. Great strides have been made in some areas--such as protection orders and shelter provision--but the problem as a whole has proven extremely resistant to countermeasures. In Domestic Violence and the Politics of Privacy, Kristin A. Kelly argues that understanding this resistance requires a recognition of the tension within liberalism between preserving the privacy of the family and protecting vulnerable individuals. Practical, real-world information gained from frontline workers underpins the author's suggestions for how to address this tension. In emphasizing the roles of democratic institutions and community participation in determining the shape of future policy about domestic violence, Kelly replaces the traditional opposition of the public and private spheres with a triangular relationship. The state, the family, and the community comprise the three corners.Kelly builds upon interviews with more than forty individuals working directly on the problem of domestic violence. Her model is further formed by a critical analysis of the theoretical and legal frameworks used to understand and regulate the relationship between public and private.
About the Author
Kristin A. Kelly is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut.