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Comparing Political Institutions: Revealing the Gendered “Logic of Appropriateness”

  • Louise Chappell (a1)

Why develop a comparative politics of gender? As the critical perspectives in this section demonstrate, there are many answers to this question. I would like to focus here on two reasons: first, for gaining a deeper understanding of the operations of political institutions, and second, for explaining the relationship between these institutions and social actors, including those pursuing a gender equality agenda. To be specific, this essay argues not just for a comparative politics of gender but for a comparative politics of gender and institutions. The discussion focuses on the possibility of using neo-institutionalist theory, especially in relation to its normative and dynamic understanding of institutions, to gain a deeper understanding of the way that gender shapes political institutions and also, through interaction with social actors, including feminists, the way gender norms can be disrupted to open new spaces for these actors.

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Acker, Joan. 1992. “From Sex Roles to Gendered Institutions.” Contemporary Sociology21 (5): 56569.

Beckwith, Karen. 2000. “Beyond Compare? Women's Movements in Comparative Perspective.” European Journal of Political Research37 (4): 3168.

Beckwith, Karen. 2005. “A Common Language of Gender?Politics & Gender 1 (March): 12837.

Childs, Sarah. 2001. “In Her Own Words: New Labour Women and the Substantive Representation of Women.” British Journal of Politics and International Relations3 (2): 17190.

Friedman, Elisabeth Jay. 2003. “Gendering the Agenda: The Impact of the Transnational Women's Rights Movement at the UN Conferences of the 1990s.” Women's Studies International Forum26 (4): 31331.

Gallagher, Anne. 1997. “Ending the Marginalisation: Strategies for Incorporating Women into the UN Human Rights System.” Human Rights Quarterly19 (2): 283332.

Lovenduski, Joni. 1998. “Gendering Research in Political Science.” Annual Review of Political Science1: 33356.

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Politics & Gender
  • ISSN: 1743-923X
  • EISSN: 1743-9248
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-gender
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