Representing Women? (häftad)
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Representing Women? (häftad)

Representing Women?

Female Legislators in West European Parliaments

Häftad Engelska, 2005-04-01
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This work discusses questions on political participation, representation and legitimacy in the European Union national parliaments. Three major empirical questions structure the book: What affects women's presence in parliaments?, Does the number of women in parliament have an effect? And are women in parliament representing women? Empirical evidences show that institutional reforms need a 'minimal environment' in terms of socio-economic development so as to prove effective. As opposed to the critical mass theory, claiming that a few representatives cannot have an impact on the political outcomes, here the empirical evidences suggest that smaller groups can also influence the different components of the legislative process. The last part turns to the fundamental question of whether a parliament that is descriptively representative, i.e. in which the parliamentarians share certain characteristics with the voters, also is a substantively descriptive parliament, i.e. in which the parliamentarians mirror the voters' opinions.
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Mercedes Mateo Diaz is FNRS postdoctoral fellow at the University of Louvain (UCL-Belgium). She has been a postdoctoral Marie Curie Fellow at the Robert Schumann Center (European University Institute), where she previously held a Jean Monnet Fellowship. She was research fellow at the Inter-University Centre for Electoral and for Political Opinion Research (Belgium), and visiting researcher at the University of Goeteborg granted by the TMR network Representation in Europe. She has made a number of significant contributions to edited works and to peer-reviewed journals such as Verfassungsexperiment - Europa auf dem Weg zu einer postnationalen Demokratie, edited by Liebert, U et al, LIT-Verlag; Le parachutage politique, edited by Dolez, B & Hastings, M, L'Harmattan; Revue Francaise de Science Politique, South European Society and Politics, Res Publica, Feminist Legal Studies, Opiniao Publica, and Revue Internationale de Politique Comparee. She has also co-edited a collection of essays entitled The Future of Gender Equality in the European Union (with Susan Millns, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).


contents List of figures and tables xi Abbreviations xv GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1 Outline of the book 2 Comparative strategies 6 A comment on the data and methods 8 PART I: WHAT AFFECTS THE PRESENCE OF WOMEN IN PARLIAMENT? 11 Introduction: Mechanisms for obtaining proportional representation in parliaments 11 Descriptive and/or substantive representation? 12 How should the problem of under-representation of women be solved? 18 Classifying the spectrum of institutional reforms 23 Chapter one: The temporal dimension of women's political participation 32 A short look at the history of women's movements 33 Women's rights on the agenda 35 Self-evident political disparities: an analysis over time 38 Chapter two: Macro-conditions affecting the presence of women in parliaments 50 The analysis building-blocks: variables and concepts 55 Structural conditions and women's political empowerment 63 What comes first: the chicken or the egg? 69 Chapter three: Enhancing the representation of women as a matter of specific institutional reforms 86 The Belgian law on quotas concerning the sex-composition of candidate lists 87 New legislation in Belgium and other EU member states 94 PART II: DOES THE NUMBER OF WOMEN IN PARLIAMENT HAVE AN EFFECT? 109 Introduction: From rights to utility; arguments for women's presence in parliaments 109 Equality as a question of rights 113 Equality as a question of utility 116 A critical mass? 119 Empirical research on utility arguments 122 The strategy of analysis 124 Chapter four: Differences between female and male MPs: specialisation, policy areas and role orientations 128 Is there a gender structure in areas of specialisation? 128 Do women and men stand for different issues? 134 Who and what do women and men represent? 137 Conclusion 137 Chapter five: The perceived impact of a more gender-balanced parliament 140 Do more gender-balanced parliaments change institutions? 140 Do more gender-balanced parliaments change gender-equality policy? 147 Do more gender-balanced parliaments change the democratic system? 154 Conclusion 156 Chapter six: Insight into the gender gap: a critical mass effect? 158 The gender gap 159 Data, method and the attitudes under examination 160 Classification of the gender gap 163 Is a critical mass needed for women legislators to have an impact? 172 Acculturation and spillover effects 175 Conclusion 178 PART III: ARE WOMEN IN PARLIAMENT REPRESENTING WOMEN? 183 Representative governments and accountability 183 Part III's four hypotheses 187 Chapter seven: Is there a gender representation? Issue congruence among voters and representatives in EU Member States 189 Issue congruence between national parliaments and their electorates 189 Issue congruence between parties and voters 199 Conclusion 201 Chapter eight: Is there a gender representation? Issue congruence among voters and representatives in Sweden 1968-98 203 Issue congruence between the Riksdag and the electorate 204 Issue congruence between parties and voters 209 Conclusion 216 CONCLUSION 221 What affects the presence of women in parliament? 222 Does the number of women in parliament have an effect? 225 Are women in parliament representing women? 231 References and bibliography 237 Index 259