Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768dbb666b-jrcft Total loading time: 0.298 Render date: 2023-02-05T07:03:15.107Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

A Gender Gap in Party Congruence and Responsiveness?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2019

Benjamin Ferland*
Affiliation:
University of Ottawa

Abstract

Congruence and responsiveness between the policy preferences of citizens and elites are considered key characteristics of democracy. Although these relationships between citizens and elites have been thoroughly examined, little attention has been devoted to differences in the representation of women and men in studies of congruence and responsiveness. Herein, I evaluate the presence of a gender gap both in terms of party congruence and party responsiveness with respect to the relationship between female and male supporters and the party they voted for. In addition, I examine whether the presence of elected women in parties decreases the gender gap in party congruence and responsiveness. My analyses of the data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems and several national elections studies indicate that parties are generally as close and as responsive to the preferences of male supporters as to those of female supporters on the left–right ideological scale. However, the presence of elected women in parties favors women's representation and may thus reduce inequality in gender representation.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

Four years ago, I completed a PhD at McGill University under the supervision of Elisabeth Gidengil. To thank her for her invaluable support and dedication during this project, I made the promise at that time to work on an aspect of the gender gap in politics -- a question at the heart of her academic commitment. I am now proud to fulfill this promise with this publication. Thank you, Elisabeth. I also thank Matt Golder and the journal reviewers for their helpful comments.

References

Adams, James. 2012. “Causes and Electoral Consequences of Party Policy Shifts in Multiparty Elections: Theoretical Results and Empirical Evidence.” Annual Review of Political Science 15:401419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Adams, James, and Ezrow, Lawrence. 2009. “Who do European Parties Represent? How Western European Parties Represent the Policy Preferences of Opinion Leaders.” Journal of Politics 71:206223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Adams, James, Clark, Michael, Ezrow, Lawrence, and Glascow, Garrett. 2006. “Are Niche Parties Fundamentally Different from Mainstream Parties? The Causes and the Electoral Consequences of Western European Parties’ Policy Shifts, 1976–1998.” American Journal of Political Science 50 (3): 513529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bakker, R., Jolly, S., and Polk, J.. 2012. “Complexity in the European Party Space: Exploring Dimensionality with Experts.” European Union Politics 13 (2): 219245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bartels, Larry M. 2008. Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Bernauer, Julian, Giger, Nathalie, and Rosset, Jan. 2015. “Mind the Gap: Do Proportional Electoral Systems Foster a More Equal Representation of Women and Men, Poor and Rich?International Political Science Review 36 (1): 7898.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blais, André, and Bodet, Marc-André. 2006. “Does Proportional Representation Foster Closer Congruence Between Citizens and Policy Makers?Comparative Political Studies 39 (10): 12431262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brambor, Thomas, Clark, William Roberts, and Golder, Matt. 2006. “Understanding Interaction Models: Improving Empirical Analyses.” Political Analysis 14 (1): 6382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bratton, Kathleen A., and Haynie, Kerry L.. 1999. “Agenda Setting and Legislative Success in State Legislatures: The Effects of Gender and Race.” Journal of Politics 61 (3): 658679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Budge, Ian. 1994. “A New Spatial Theory of Party Competition: Uncertainty, Ideology, and Policy Equilibria Viewed Comparatively and Temporally.” British Journal of Political Science 24 (4): 443467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Calvo, Ernesto, and Hellwig, Timothy. 2011. “Centripetal and Centrifugal Incentives Under Different Electoral Systems.” American Journal of Political Science 55 (1): 2741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Celis, Karen, Childs, Sarah, Kantola, Johanna, and Krook, Mona Lena. 2008. “Rethinking Women's Substantive Representation.” Representation 44 (2): 99110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Childs, Sarah, and Krook, Mona Lena. 2006. “Should Feminists Give Up on Critical Mass? A Contingent ‘Yes’.” Politics and Gender 2 (4): 522530.Google Scholar
Clayton, Amanda, and Zetterberg, Pär. 2018. “Quota Shocks: Electoral Gender Quotas and Government Spending Priorities Worldwide.” The Journal of Politics 80 (3): 916932.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cook, Elizabeth Adell. 1994. Voter Responses to Women Senate Candidates. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
Costello, Rory, Thomassen, Jacques, and Rosema, Martin. 2012. “European Parliament Elections and Political Representation: Policy Congruence between Voters and Parties.” West European Politics 35 (6): 12261248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dahlerup, Drude. 1988. “From a Small to a Large Minority: Women in Scandinavian Politics.” Scandinavian Political Studies 4:275298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dalton, Russell J. 1985. “Political Parties and Political Representation: Party Supporters and Party Elites in Nine Nations.” Comparative Political Studies 18 (3): 267299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dalton, Russell J. 2015. “Party Representation across Multiple Issue Dimensions.” Party Politics 23 (6): 609622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dalton, Russell J., Farrell, David M., and McAllister, Ian. 2011. Political Parties and Democratic Linkage. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dalton, Russell J., and McAllister, Ian. 2015. “Random Walk or Planned Excursion? Continuity and Change in the Left-Right Positions of Political Parties.” Comparative Political Studies 48 (6): 759787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dingler, Sarah C., Kroeber, Corinna, and Fortin-Rittberger, Jessica. 2018. “Do Parliaments Under-Represent Womens Policy Preferences? Exploring Gender Equality in Policy Congruence in 21 European Democracies.” Journal of European Public Policy. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2017.1423104.Google Scholar
Dolan, Kathleen. 1998. “Voting for Women in ‘The Year of the Woman.’American Journal of Political Science 42:272293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dow, Jay K. 2011. “Party-System Extremism in Majoritarian and Proportional Electoral Systems.” British Journal of Political Science 41 (2): 341361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Enns, Peter K., and Wlezien, Christopher. 2011. “Group Opinion and the Study of Representation.” In Who Gets Represented?, 1–25. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2011.Google Scholar
Erikson, Robert S., MacKuen, Michael B., and Stimson, James A.. 2002. The Macro Polity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Ezrow, Lawrence. 2011. “Reply to Dow: Party Positions, Votes and the Mediating Role of Electoral Systems?British Journal of Political Science 41 (2): 448452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ezrow, Lawrence, De Vries, Catherine, Steenbergen, Marco, and Edwards, Erica. 2011. “Mean Voter Representation and Partisan Constituency Representation: Do Parties Respond to the Mean Voter Position or to their Supporters?Party Politics 17 (3): 275301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ferland, Benjamin. 2016. “Revisiting the Ideological Congruence Controversy.” European Journal of Political Research 55 (2): 358373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ferland, Benjamin. 2018. “Party Responsiveness to Public Opinion and Party Supporters: Revisiting the Mechanisms and Motivations.” Party Politics. doi: 10.1177/1354068818777889.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gerber, Elisabeth R., and Lewis, Jeffrey B.. 2004. “Beyond the Median. Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation.” Journal of Political Economy 112 (6): 13641383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gidengil, Elisabeth, Blais, André, Nadeau, Richard, and Nevitte, Neil. 2003. “Women to the Left? Gender Differences in Political Beliefs and Policy Preferences”. In Women and Electoral Politics in Canada, eds. Manon Tremblay and Linda Trimble, pp. 140159. Don Mills: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Gilens, Martin. 2012. Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Gilens, Martin, and Page, Benjamin I.. 2014. “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.” Perspectives on Politics 12 (3): 564581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Golder, Matt, and Ferland, Benjamin. 2017. Electoral Rules and Citizen-Elite Ideological Congruence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Golder, Matt, and Stramski, Jacek. 2010. “Ideological Congruence and Electoral Institutions.” American Journal of Political Science 54 (1): 90106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Homola, Jonathan. 2017. “Are Parties Equally Responsive to Women and Men?British Journal of Political Science. doi:10.1017/S0007123417000114.Google Scholar
Jessee, Stephen A. 2012. Ideology and Spatial Voting in American Elections. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Joesten, Danielle A., and Stone, Walter J.. 2014. “Reassessing Proximity Voting: Expertise, Party, and Choice in Congressional Elections.” Journal of Politics 76 (3): 740753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. 1977. “Some Effects of Proportions on Group Life.” American Journal of Sociology 82 (5): 965990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kittilson, Miki Caul. 2006. Challenging Parties, Changing Parliaments: Women and Elected Office in Contemporary Western Europe. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.Google Scholar
Kriesi, Hanspeter, Grande, Edgar, Lachat, Romain, Dolezal, Martin, Bornschier, Simon, and Frey, Timotheos. 2008. West European Politics in the Age of Globalization. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krook, Mona Lena, and O'Brien, Diana Z.. 2015. “All the Presidents Men? The Numbers and Portfolio Allocations of Female Cabinet Ministers.” Journal of Politics 74 (3): 840855.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lehrer, Ron. 2012. “Intra-Party Democracy and Party Responsiveness.” West European Politics 35 (6): 12951319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Matakos, Konstantinos, Troumpounis, Orestis, and Xefteris, Dimitrios. 2016. “Electoral Rule Disproportionality and Platform Polarization.” American Journal of Political Science 60 (4): 10261043.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mattila, Mikko, and Raunio, Tapio. 2006. “Cautious Voters-Supportive Parties.” European Union Politics 7 (4): 427449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McDonald, Michael D., Mendes, Silvia M., and Budge, Ian. 2004. “What Are Elections for? Conferring the Median Mandate.” British Journal of Political Science 34 (1): 126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nir, Lilach, and McClurg, Scott D.. 2015. “How Institutions Affect Gender Gaps in Public Opinion Expression.” Public Opinion Quarterly 79:544567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O'Brien, Diana Z. 2015. “Rising to the Top: Gender, Political Performance, and Party Leadership in Advanced Industrial Democracies.” American Journal of Political Science 59 (4): 10221039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Phillips, Anne. 1998. The Politics of Presence: The Political Representation of Gender, Ethnicity, and Race. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pitkin, Hanna Fenichel. 1967. The Concept of Representation. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Powell, G. Bingham Jr. 2000. Elections as Instruments of Democracy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Powell, G. Bingham Jr.. 2009. “The Ideological Congruence Controversy: The Impact of Alternative Measures, Data, and Time Periods on the Effects of Electoral Rules.” Comparative Political Studies 42 (12): 14751497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2002. “Gender Stereotypes and Vote Choice.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (1): 2034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schumacher, Gijs, De Vries, Catherine, and Vis, Barbara. 2013. “Why Do Parties Change Position? Party Organization and Environmental Incentives.” Journal of Politics 75 (2): 464477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stadelmann, David, Portmann, Marco, and Eichenberger, Reiner. 2012. “Evaluating the Median Voter Model's Explanatory Power.” Economics Letters 114:312314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Swers, Michele L. 1998. “Are Women More Likely to Vote for Women's Issue Bills than Their Male Colleagues?Legislative Studies Quarterly 23 (3): 435448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thomas, Sue. 1991. “The Impact of Women on State Legislative Policies.” Journal of Politics 53 (4): 958976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thomas, Sue. 1994. How Women Legislate. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Tremblay, Manon. 2008. Women and Legislative Representation: Electoral Systems, Political Parties and Sex Quotas. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wängnerud, Lena. 2000. “Testing the Politics of Presence. Women's Representation in the Swedish Riksdag.” Scandinavian Political Studies 23 (1): 6791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wängnerud, Lena. 2009. “Women in Parliaments: Descriptive and Substantive Representation.” Annual Review of Political Science 12:5169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. 2002. Econometric Analysis of Cross-Sectional and Panel Data. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Zipp, John R., and Plutzer, Eric. 1985. “Gender Differences in Voting for Female Candidates: Evidence from the 1982 Election.” Public Opinion Quarterly 49:179197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
4
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

A Gender Gap in Party Congruence and Responsiveness?
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

A Gender Gap in Party Congruence and Responsiveness?
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

A Gender Gap in Party Congruence and Responsiveness?
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *