WS3300 Women in Europe
Week 3 Women and Politics
Studying Women and Politics
Women and Politics is a vast topic and could include
In this topic we concentrate on the second and third aspects. However, we deal with the last three aspects in other parts of the module.
- how women differ from men in their political attitudes and partisanship
- differences in the political participation of women and men
- under-representation of women in positions of political leadership
- women's political organisations
- feminism and policy change
- feminism and political change
Tasks for Students
Make some firm generalizations about women and politics, either across the world or just in Europe.
Can you explain the thinking behind your generalizations?
What sort of empirical evidence would you need to test out your generalizations?
We need to approach the study of women and politics historically, empirically and theoretically. To find out what the patterns of women's political participation and of their representation in positions of political leadership are, we need some statistics.
It is useful to look for changes over time
In looking for explanations of patterns, it is useful to compare the patterns in different countries or different regions.
Gender Differences in Political Participation
In the 1970s, studies of liberal democracies showed that women were
The first and third generalisations were also made about women in the political systems of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
- less likely to participate in politics than men
- more likely to support right of centre parties
- in a very small minority in leadership positions
It was also said that the higher proportion of women in national parliaments in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union than in the national parliaments of Western Europe was due to Communist parties trying to make these assemblies, which were not based on competitive elections, look representative of the population.
The picture has changed quite considerably since then.
- there are more women in national parliaments in Western Europe and fewer in Eastern Europe/Russia.
- the differences between women's and men's participation levels have declined
- in many countries, women, especially younger women, are more likely to vote for left of centre parties than men
- but despite an increase in the proportion of women in leadership positions, they are still a relatively small minority
Tasks for Students
What explanation can you give for the position in the 1970s?
What factors might have caused the picture to change over the last 20 years?
Challenging the Under-representation of Women and Women's Issues
Among the measures that have been taken to increase the representation of women in national parliaments are quota systems.
More materials about women, political parties and parliaments
Tasks for Students
Give your views on the following questions
What general social and economic changes might have helped to improve the representation of women in national parliaments in Western Europe?
Are similar trends present in Russia and Eastern Europe?
How influential have women's movements been in putting women's issues on the agenda of national parliaments?
Why is it considered desirable for men and women to be equally represented in national parliaments?
Do the same arguments apply to the gender balance of national governments?
Full Reading List on Women and Politics
General\ Conceptual\ Europe-wide
J Bystydzienski (ed)(1992) Women Transforming Politics
M Gittens et al (1994) Different Roles, Different Voices: Women and Politics in the USA and Europe 320.082DIF
J Lovenduski (1986) Women and European Politics: Contemporary Feminism and Public Policy
J Lovenduski & P Norris (eds)(1993) Gender & Political Parties
C Mueller (1988) The Politics of the Gender Gap
P Norris (1987) Politics and Sexual Equality: Women in Western Democracies
V Randall (1987) Women and Politics 2nd Edition
B Rogers (1983) 52%: Getting Women's Power into Politics
E Vallance & E Davies (1986) Women MEP's and Equality Policy
A Ward et al (1993) Women and Citizenship in Europe
Articles & Chapters
S Bourque & J Grossholtz (1974) "Politics as Unnatural Practice: Science Looks at Female Participation" Politics and Society
F Castles (1981) "Female Legislative Representation and the Electoral System" Politics 1/2
J Evans (1984) "The good society? Implications of a greater participation by women in public life" Political Studies 32/4
J. Freedman (2002) 'Women in the European Parliament' Parliamentary Affairs 55: 179-188.
J Hills (1983) "Candidates and the Impact of Gender" Parliamentary Affairs 36\3
W Kohn (1981) "Women in the European Parliament" Parliamentary Affairs 34\2
M M Lee (1976) "Why Few Women hold Public Office" Political Science Quarterly Vol 91 Part 2
J Lovenduski (1997) 'Gender Politics: A New Breakthrough for Women?' Parliamentary Affairs 50/4
J Lovenduski (2001) Women and Politics: Minority Representation or Critical Mass? Parliamentary Affairs 54: 743-758.
M L Inglehart (1981) "Political Interest in W. European Women" Comparative Political Studies Vol 14 No 3
P Norris (1985) "Women's Legislative Participation in W. Europe" West European Politics 8/4
P Norris (1991) "Gender Differences in Political Participation in Britain: Traditional, Radical & Revisionist Models" Government & Opposition 26/1
P. Norris (1996) 'Mobilising the 'women's vote': the gender-generation gap in voting behaviour' Parliamentary Affairs 49/2 pp. 333-342
A Stevens (1986) "Women, Politics & Government in Britain, France & Germany" in S Reynolds (ed) Women, State & Revolution
D de Vans & I McAllister (1989) "Gender & Political Alignment in 11 Nations" European Journal of Political Research Vol 17 No 3
A Carter (1988) The Politics of Women's Rights Chs 4 & 5
P Norris & J Lovenduski (1994) Political Recruitment: Gender, Race and Class in the British Parliament
R Ridd &H Callaway (1986) Caught up in Conflict: Women's Responses to Political Strife
A Brown (1997) Changing the Face of Party Politics in Britain
J Rasmussen (1983) "Women's Role in Contemporary British Politics: Impediments to Parliamentary Candidates" Parliamentary Affairs 36\3
P Norris (1985) "Conservative attitudes in recent British elections: an emerging gender gap?" Political Studies Vol 18 No 1
P Norris (1985) "The gender gap in Britain & America" Parliamentary Affairs 38\2
J Lovenduski & P Norris (1989) "Selecting Women Candidates: obstacles to the feminisation of the House of Commons" European Journal of Political Research 17\5
P Norris (1991)"Gender differences in political participation in Britain: traditional, radical & revisionist models" Government & Opposition Vol 26 No 1 1991
E Vallance (1984) "Women Candidates in the 1983 Election" Parliamentary Affairs 37\3
"Women in Parliament" Economist 28/2/87
"The Women's Movement and the Labour Party: interview with Labour Party Feminists" Feminist Review No 16 1984
P Norris (1994) 'The Recruitment of Party Candidates' in L Robins et al (eds) Britain's Changing Party System
S Childs (2001) 'Attitudinally Feminist? The New Labour Women MPs and the Substantive Representation of Women' Politics 21/3
C Bochel & J Briggs (2000) 'Do Women Make a Difference?' Politics 20/2
Clare Short (1996) 'Women and the Labour Party' Parliamentary Affairs 49/1 pp. 17-25
Y Ergas (1982) "Feminism & the Italian Party System" Comparative Politics 14\ 3
V Mottier (1995) 'Citizenship and Gender Division in the Swiss Direct Democracy' West European Politics 18\1
C Abel & N Torrents (eds) (1984) Spain: Conditional Democracy Ch 9
Amy Brooksbank Jones (1997) Women in Contemporary Spain, Manchester University Press
E Kolinsky (1993) Women in Contemporary Germany
M Jacobs (1978)"Civil Rights & Women's Rights in the Federal Republic of Germany today" New German Critique No 13
M Ferree "Feminist Politics & Equality Offices" German Politics & Society Nos 24 & 25 1991-92
E Kolinsky (1981) "Political Participation & Parliamentary Careers: Women's Quotas in W Germany" West European Politics Vol 14 No 1
E Kolinsky (1988)"The West German Greens: a Women's Party?" Parliamentary Affairs Vol 41 Part 1
E Kolinsky (1991) 'The SPD and the Second 'Frauleinwunder'' in J Gaffney & E Kolinsky(eds) Political Culture in France and Germany
E Kolinsky (1989) 'Women in the Green Party' in E Kolinsky(ed) The Greens in West Germany
M Hampton (1995) 'Women and the 1994 Elections: Dissatisfaction and Accommodation' in D Conradt et al (eds) Germany's New Politics
Allwood, G & Wadia, K (2000) Women and Politics in France
A. Gregory & U. Tidd, (eds) (2000) Women in Contemporary France Oxford: Berg. 305.420944/WOM
D Stetson (1987)Women's Rights in France
C Duchen (1986) Feminism in France: from May '68 to Mitterrand
M Sineau (1983) "French women in politics: stagnation or change?" Journal of Area Studies No 7
M Coquillat (1988) "The Achievements of the French Ministry of Women's Rights 1981-6" in M Buckley & M Anderson (eds) Women, Equality & Europe
W Northcutt & J Flaitz (1985) "Women, Politics and the French Socialist Government" West European Politics 8/4
S B Bashevkin (1987) "Changing patterns of politicization and partisanship among women in France" British Journal of Political Science 17/3
N Henry (1995) 'Gender Parity in French Politics' Political Quarterly 66\3
Danielle Haase-Dubosc (1999) 'Sexual Difference and Politics in France Today' Feminist Studies Spring.
E Haavio-Mannila (1985) Unfinished Democracy: Women in Nordic Politics
M Keranen(ed) (1992) Gender and Politics in Finland
L Karvonen(ed) (1995) Closing the Gap: Women in Nordic Politics
I Blom (1988) 'Women's Politics and Women in Politics in Norway since the end of the nineteenth century' in S Kleinberg(ed) Retrieving Women's History
I Norderval (1985) "Party & legislative participation among Scandinavian women" West European Politics 8/4
M Edwards (1991) "The Swedish Gender model: productivity, pragmatism & paternalism" West European Politics 14/3
Soviet Union\ Russia\ Eastern Europe
G Browning Women and Politics in the USSR
R Hill & P Frank The Soviet Communist Party Ch 2
G Lapidus (1978) Women in Soviet Society
B Holland (ed)(1985) Soviet Sisterhood
M Buckley (ed)(1992) Perestroika & Soviet Women
M Rueschemeyer(ed) (1993) Women in the Politics of Post-Communist Eastern Europe 301.5920947WOM
A Reading (1992) Polish Women, Solidarity and Feminism
J C Moses (1977) "Women in Political Roles" in D Atkinson et al (eds) Women in Russia
G Lapidus (1975) "Political Mobilization, Participation and Leadership: Women in Soviet Politics" Comparative Politics Vol 8
J Regulska (1992) 'Women and Power in Poland' in J Bystydzienski Women Transforming Politics
B Jancar (1985) 'Women in the Opposition in Poland and Czechoslovakia in the 1970s' in S Wolchik & A Meyer Women, State and Party in Eastern Europe 301.412094WOM
S Wolchik (1996) 'Czech and Slovak Women and Political Leadership' Women's History Review, 5/4
J Heinen (1992) 'Polish Democracy is Male-gendered' Women's Studies International Forum 15\1
M Rueschmeyer (1994)'Women in the Politics of Eastern Germany: the Dilemmas of Reunification' in M Rueschmeyer(ed) Women in the Politics of Post Communist Eastern Europe
A Herhoffer (1995) 'Autonomy versus Integration: East German Women and Political Participation' Journal of Area Studies No 6
Labour Research Articles
"Women in unions: a long way to go" April 1986
"Why women stay out of the house" Jan 1992
"Challenging the men in suits" March 1992
"Slow progress in Euro-unions" March 1992
"The Commons: A Women's Place" 1991
"More Women in the gentlemen's club?" May 1992
'Labour Threat to Gentleman's Club' March 1997
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