Quotas for Women in Politics: Gender and Candidate Selection Reform Worldwide

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In recent years, political parties and national legislatures in more than one hundred countries have adopted quotas for the selection of female candidates to political office. Despite the rapid international diffusion of these measures, most research has focused on single countries - or, at most, the presence of quotas within one world region. Consequently, explanations for the adoption and impact of gender quotas derived from one study often contradict with findings from other cases. Quotas for Women in Politics is the first book to address quotas as a global phenomenon to explain their spread and impact in diverse contexts around the world. It is organized around two sets of questions. First, why are quotas adopted? Which actors are involved in quota campaigns, and why do they support or oppose quota measures? Second, what effects do quotas have on existing patterns of political representation? Are these provisions sufficient for bringing more women into politics? Or, does their impact depend on other features of the broader political context? Synthesizing literature on quota policies, this book develops a framework for analyzing the spread of quota provisions and the reasons for variations in their effects. It then applies this framework to examine and compare campaigns for reserved seats in Pakistan and India, party quotas in Sweden and the United Kingdom, and legislative quotas in Argentina and France.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Highly recommended"—CHOICE

"This outstanding book expertly addresses the former gap in the literature, representing a profound advance in our understanding of the adoption and implementation of gender quotes throughout the globe...destined to become a mandatory reference in the thematic area of gender and representation...a must-read for all scholars concerned with the role of gender in politics."—Perspectives on Politics

"Krook's book is an excellent piece of scholarship with multiple contributions to the field of political science, a significant advancement of the study of quotas for women, and an agenda for future research. Her work raises interesting and important questions while also providing a common framework for comparative analysis."—Journal of Politics

"This is and will for some time be the definitive account of the political science of quotas for women."—Joni Lovenduski, Anniversary Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College, University of London, and Fellow of the British Academy

"In recent years, gender quotas for legislative office represent one of the critical reforms sweeping the world. Providing original theoretical insights and sifting through fresh case-study evidence, this study synthesizes the literature, carefully examines alternative reasons, and rejects over-simple monocausal explanations of this complex phenomenon. The book provides a major contribution to the fields of women and politics, comparative institutions, and public policy, of interest to scholars and policymakers alike."—Pippa Norris, McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics, Harvard University

"The best comparative work in the social sciences today combines within-case and cross-case analysis, respecting the integrity of individual cases, while at the same time attending to cross-national patterns. Mona Lena Krook's Quotas for Women in Politics provides abundant evidence of the power of this approach. Krook combines a potent analytic strategy with neo-institutional theory to offer the first comprehensive treatment of this important topic."—Charles Ragin, Professor of Sociology and Political Science, University of Arizona

"This superb and pioneering study asks bold and innovative questions. It is sure to inspire more historical institutionalist studies in gender and politics."—Aili Mari Tripp, Professor of Political Science and Gender & Women's Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison

"Krook's work stands out... [and] is methodologically sophisticated, and the narratives she employs are both detailed and well-argued, leading to a convincing presentation of the process that contributed to successful quota implementation in some cases and an understanding of why, in other cases, quota campaigns failed." —Feminist Collections

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199740277
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/4/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mona Lena Krook is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Gender Quotas
2. The Adoption of Gender Quotas
3. The Implementation of Gender Quotas
4. Reserved Seats in Pakistan and India
5. Party Quotas in Sweden and the United Kingdom
6. Legislative Quotas in Argentina and France
7. Conclusions and Directions for Future Research

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