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.