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The Story of the Theory of Critical Mass

  • Drude Dahlerup (a1)

The theory of a “critical mass” seems to live a life of its own, in spite of reservations expressed by researchers, my own reservations included. In debates about women's political representation, the importance of a certain number or percentage of women in political assemblies is often stressed. According to conventional wisdom, research has shown that it takes a certain minimum representation, for example, 30%, before the minority, here women, are able to make a substantial difference in politics.

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Dahlerup, Drude. 1988. “From a Small to a Large Minority: Women in Scandinavian Politics.” Scandinavian Political Studies11 (4): 27598.

Dahlerup, Drude, and LenitaFreidenvall. 2005. “Quotas as a ‘Fast Track’ to Equal Political Representation for Women: Why Scandinavia is No Longer the Model.” International Feminist Journal of Politics7 (1): 2648.

Hacker, H. M.1951. “Women as a Minority Group.” Social Forces30: 6069.

Sawer, Marion. 2000. “Parliamentary Representation of Women: From Discourses of Justice to Strategies of Accountability.” International Political Science Review21 (4): 36180.

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