Feminist political theory has only recently come into its own, for while feminists have been developing their powerful critiques of ‘malestream’ political thought for many years now, the audience has hitherto been restricted to those grappling with academic conventions. In the broader context of the contemporary women’s movement, the issues that dominated discussion related primarily to the causes of women’s oppression: was it capitalism or patriarchy? was it economics or ideology? was it structures or prejudices or roles? These were key preoccupations in the first decades of contemporary feminism, and they gave special prominence to the insights of women working in the areas of economics, sociology, anthropology or history. Those working in the field of political theory were cast in a more limited and supporting role.