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This book comes out of a conference in April of 1999 at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University on the topic of "Gender Parity and the Liberal Tradition: Proposals and Debates in Europe and the United States.” The essays are divided into three sections, each of which approaches from a different angle the central question of whether liberalism has failed women. The first section aims to frame the discussion by outlining the theoretical arguments for the amendments or revisions implied by the proponents of the Parity Movement in Europe and for the concerns raised by critics. The second describes recent changes in party rules, European legal framework, and national constitutions, as well as the gains made by women in response to rule change. The third section provides American perspectives on the lessons that parity advocates might draw from affirmative action policies and speculations about how parity rules would work in the American context.
Theory: Parity—The Woman Question Reconsidered
• “For Universal Man and Woman”—Francoise Gaspard
• “Against Constitutionalism, for Soft Solutions”—Jane Mansbridge
• “Quotas Against the Liberal Tradition"—Claus Offe
• Agnes Hubert on the E.U.
• Jane Jenson on Canada and France
• Christiane Lemke on Germany
• Pippa Norris on the UK and the US
• Hege Skjeie on Scandinavia
• 'Against Essentialism'—Jytte Klausen
• 'Third Way’ and the Revival of Politics”—Anna Coote
• "From Gender Neutrality to Proactive Mandates"—Jutta Limbach
• "Parity Norms and Women's Interests in Congress"—Carol Swain
• "Narratives of Legal Recognition, Difference, and Arguments for Universalism: A Historical Perspective"—Roger Smith