Many democracies are widely perceived to be suffering a serious crisis of representation, participation and legitimacy. As part of this ‘crisis’, the male domination of democracy – both in terms of its institutions and who participates – has been identified as problematic, even emblematic, of a more generalized democratic crisis. Increasing the participation of women is advocated as one solution. Using examples drawn from both long-standing and newer democracies (parliamentary and presidential), particularly from Europe and Latin America, this article explores the gender dynamics of the ‘crisis of democracy’. The ‘crisis’ has two gendered aspects. First, and paradoxically, although democracy still privileges predominantly white, elite, heterosexual, men, more women now participate in democratic institutions, leading to claims that the ‘male monopoly’ has ended (Dahlerup and Leyenaar 2013). Second, the ‘crisis of democracy’ may provide opportunities to further enhance women’s participation, as the demands of those favouring greater gender equality and those looking for solutions to the ‘crisis’ appear to coincide.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.