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Keeping Men In, Shutting Women Out: Gender Biases in Candidate Selection Processes in Uruguay

Abstract

Quota laws have been widely adopted in Latin America, with significant increases in the number of women elected to parliament in some countries. However, it is far from clear whether the laws have produced the modifications in the gender regimes which inform internal party power structures and dynamics that would allow women to participate – as aspirants or selectors – on an equal footing with their male counterparts in the processes of candidate selection. This article seeks to identify critical nodes where the interplay between the different institutions – systemic, normative and practical – of candidate selection intersects with gendered power relations to facilitate or hinder not only women’s access to elective posts, but the terms of their access. Employing a feminist institutionalist analytical framework, this article presents the findings from qualitative case study research on candidate selection in Uruguay in 2009 and 2014 and situates them within the existing – albeit small – body of studies of gender and candidate selection in the Latin American region.

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Niki Johnson is a Lecturer in the Institute of Political Science at the Universidad de la República, Uruguay. Contact email: niki.johnson@cienciassociales.edu.uy.

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Government and Opposition
  • ISSN: 0017-257X
  • EISSN: 1477-7053
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