She was born in Sussex, England and has had an international career, living in four continents and teaching and doing research in three. She was educated at her village school and her county girls’ grammar school and, after leaving school at sixteen , she continued her education at Ruskin College, an independent college in Oxford for adult students, and then at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, where she read PPE and then went on to her D.Phil.
Among her publications are Participation and Democratic Theory (1970), The Problem of Political Obligation (2nd ed. 1985), The Sexual Contract (1988), Contract and Domination, with Charles Mills (2007) and, most recently, Basic Income Worldwide: Horizons of Reform, co-ed with Matthew Murray (2012). Collections of her essays can be found in The Disorder of Women: Democracy Feminism and Political Theory (1989), and in Carole Pateman: Democracy, Feminism Welfare, (ed) .T Carver and S. Chambers (2011). Illusions of Consent: Engaging with Carole Pateman (ed) D. O’Neill, M. Shanley and I. Young (2008) is a book about her work. She has also published numerous chapters in books and articles in a variety of scholarly journals. The text of her Presidential Address to the APSA, Participatory Democracy Revisited, can be found in Perspectives on Politics, March 2012, or by clicking here.
She has also been active in her profession, serving as (the first woman) President of the International Political Science Association (1991-94), and as President of the American Political Science Association (2010-11). She gave the Faculty Research Lecture at UCLA in 2001, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy and the UK Academy of Social Sciences. She holds honorary degrees from the Australia National University, the National University of Ireland, and Helsinki University. In 2012 she was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science.