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Increasingly, jurisdictions are adopting “apology legislation” that allow medical professionals to apologize to patients and family members when an adverse event occurs while disallowing the introduction of the apology in a liability case as evidence of fault or liability. While apology legislation itself is fairly straightforward, its potential meaning and impact is much more complex. This paper conceptualizes apology legislation from an accountability and ethics of care perspective. These two concepts—accountability and care—are distinct but interrelated concepts and this dual theoretical approach offers a rich analysis on the potential impact(s) of apology legislation. We argue that apology legislation is a mechanism added to the existing accountability regime that can offer important opportunities to express and practise care. As an accountability mechanism, apology legislation creates space for an accountability relationship to emerge between medical professionals and their patients. Apology legislation also addresses long-standing gaps in how we as a society think about health care and respond to patients and families in ways that challenge the dominant “consumer of services” role. It is in this sense that apology legislation has the potential to destabilize traditional notions of social citizenship. Last, we argue that empirical research is urgently needed to know to what degree apologies contribute to accountability and the transformation of health care.
No established liberal democracy has achieved sex balance in its national legislature. Scholars agree skewed candidate pools put forward by parties during elections cause sex-disproportionate seat distribution, but disagree as to whether disproportionality is caused by too few women aspirant candidates coming forward (supply) or party selectors preferring men (demand). This paper uses a multistage method to explore supply and demand during the British Labour party's candidate selection process. Rare data from three elections and 4622 aspirants allow for an unobstructed look inside the secret garden of politics and reveal the party is not fully feminized insofar that women aspirants are disproportionally filtered out of its selection process and are disproportionally underrepresented in its candidate pool. Testing reveals a lack of selector demand for women aspirants has a greater impact on women's underrepresentation than an undersupply of women aspirants, a finding which supports using sex quotas to level imbalanced candidate slates.
The travelling and appropriation of queer theory by francophone feminists in Quebec have been particularly long and arduous, prompting an inquiry into not only the reasons for this delay, but also into the elements that ultimately allowed for an integration of queer theory among francophone feminists. Combining tools from social movement literature on diffusion (brokerage, frames, repertoire of contention, etc.) and a political theory approach, this article divides the integration of queer theory among francophone feminists into two moments. In the first instance, activists and academic feminists have generally received queer theory with considerable criticism, which we have regrouped into 3 axes: 1) the deconstruction of women and lesbians as political subjects; 2) the investment in the symbolic aspects of politics, to the detriment of material relations and structures of power, and 3) the erasure of lesbian specificity and the absence of male privilege examination. In the second moment, the work of the Pink Panthers–a radical queer group–allows for frame bridging and the use of a recognisable repertoire of collective action to address two out of the three axes of criticism. This article suggests that the process of brokerage creates a crack in the wall of resistance that will quickly become a space for the insertion and integration, even if still conflictual, of queer theory into francophone feminism.
Research on gendered political behaviour has been heavily influenced by feminist scholarship in understanding gender inequalities. Yet it has been more difficult to integrate the insights of more recent waves of feminist critics, notably among intersectional scholars. The focus has been on differences between women and men, rather than among differently situated women. This article addresses the difficulties of integrating intersections into large-n style studies of political behaviour using “situated comparisons” (Dhamoon, 2010). It then provides an analysis of gender gaps in turnout and civic engagement across ethnoracial groups in Canada using the Ethnic Diversity Survey (2002).It concludes by arguing that the study of gender and political behaviour must find a place for intersectional feminist approaches.
The scarcity of reviews of “gender and politics” books in disciplinary journals limits opportunities for “mainstream” political scientists to learn about the field. As chair of the jury to select the 2015 winner of APSA's Victoria Schuck prize for “the best book … on women and politics,” I realized that the field's size and diversity makes it hard to identify central themes, especially since feminist scholars are also active across the discipline's many fields and in the multidisciplinary enterprise of gender studies. In my CPSA presidential address (Vickers, 2015), I argued that although the “gender and politics” field has expanded greatly in its four-decade history, its impact on the discipline generally hasn't been transformative, since gender isn't being used as a key category of analysis in the discipline and the field's key theme that “the personal is political” isn't reflected in the discipline's main approaches, especially its dependence on a liberal conception of the private/public divide. This essay explores how the books reviewed use gender and this key theme in explaining contemporary political issues.
Over the past five years transgender children and their parents have emerged as visible actors in public discussions about the rights of transgender people in Canada. In this article, I track the work of emotions in parent advocacy, showing how the enactment of filial (family) ties sheds new light on the gendered relationship between intimacy and political practice. I argue that an affective shift in parenting has opened up space for some cisgender parents to emerge as political actors in trans advocacy work. The affective politics of parent advocacy nonetheless operates through dominant frames of gendered, classed and racialized normativity, limiting both who can become a parent advocate and potentially narrowing the focus of the struggle.
I argue in this article that migrant workers’ resistance to neoliberalism, as seen through their participation in the migrant organizations highlights their ability to establish ‘spaces of power’ amid debilitating living and working conditions. This, then, illustrates how feminism in the 21st century is alive and well. In fact, the strengths of their activism show the transformative and radical possibilities of feminism by highlighting that structural transformations, and not only liberal attempts at inclusion, are necessary for gender justice.
The debate surrounding the transformative potential of gender mainstreaming has revived concerns of co-optation of equality work and resistance first expressed by early feminist public administration scholars. In this article, we explore how gender analysts exercised their agency and carved out spaces within the bureaucracy to articulate and advance a gender focus in policy work. Employing discursive, institutional and relational strategies, gender analysts simultaneously used and pushed back against hierarchical bureaucratic discourses as they operationalized Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) in the federal public bureaucracy. These micro-level acts of resistance, on their own, do not lead to social transformation. However, by creating spaces for feminist knowledge and activism within the state, these local strategies can contribute to the broader feminist agenda.
It is with great pleasure that we present this special issue showcasing contemporary feminist political research, theories and practices in Canada. In an era characterized by global movements and numerous transformations that range from the economic to the environmental, the political to the cultural, from macro- through to micro-scales, including complex debates about the fluidity of gender, and where “backlash” against the symbols and agents of past feminist activism is rife, this special issue queries where do we find feminism(s) today? The responses to this question, as well as to the interrogation of the place of gender in the discipline of political science more generally, are undoubtedly diverse and contested. The collective efforts contained in this special issue feature a mere taste of the rich range of thought-provoking recent scholarship on feminisms. And even with this necessarily condensed portrayal (the articles in this issue are shorter than is normally the case to allow for more work to be featured), the special issue is ground-breaking in that it marks the first time the Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique has dedicated an entire issue to topics of gender and feminisms.
Quebec's Bill 60 (or Charter of Values), legislation prohibiting public officials from wearing religious symbols and garb, provides a complicated case of a minority nation grappling with culture and gender, while also illustrating the more contingent condition of Canadian multiculturalism, equality and feminisms. Quebec has adopted interculturalism versus multiculturalism; moreover, its multilayered women's movement remains a legitimate force, unlike in the rest of Canada. Despite the intricacies of these distinctive developments, this article reveals how Charter of Values justifications asserted the Quebec nation's distinctiveness and alleged egalitarian pre-eminence over others, not only homogenizing and instrumentalizing multiple cultures, but also various feminisms. Yet, when culture, gender equality and feminisms become reified and essentialized through a strategic depiction of certain minority women's rights, Canada's already well-worn claims to diversity and equality are further frayed both subnationally and nationally.
This article examines how the changing environment faced by and context within the Canadian feminist movement is reflected in the beliefs and strategies of recruits to the movement at a given point in time. The framework for the investigation is Whittier's generational approach (1997) that posits that different political generations—defined as cohorts of recruits who join a social movement during distinctive periods of protest—introduce change to its collective identity given the formative experiences faced by each generation. Using an original large sample data set, I provide evidence that the changes experienced by the Canadian feminist movement from the 1980s onwards are reflected in noticeable shifts in the collective identity and activist strategies of subsequent waves of feminist recruits. The findings suggest that further research into cohort recruitment and replacement is essential for understanding the forces at play in shaping the contemporary Canadian feminist movement.
We know how sex (rather than gender) structures political preferences, but researchers rarely take into account the salience or importance of gender identity at the individual level. The only similar variable for which salience is commonly taken seriously is partisanship, for which direction and importance or strength are both considered imperative for measurement and analysis. While some scholars have begun to look at factors that may influence intragroup differences, such as feminism (Conover, 1988), most existing research implicitly assumes gender salience is homogenous in the population. We argue that both the content of gender identity (that is, what specifically is gender identity, as opposed to sex) as well its salience should be incorporated into analyses of how gender structures political behaviour. For some, gender simply does not motivate behaviour, and the fact that salience moderates the impact of gender on behaviour requires researchers to model accordingly. Using original data from six provincial election studies, we examine a measure of gender identity salience and find that it clarifies our understanding of gender's impact on political attitudes.
This paper aims to contribute to discussions around alliances and collaborations between feminisms. It analyses relations between movements in the development of indigenous women's organizational autonomy in Mexico. It seeks to understand how the struggle for autonomy involved a redefinition of the forms of collaboration by indigenous women in the consolidation of their movement. An intersectional perspective is proposed to better understand how power relations affect the organizing processes of social movements, as well as how organizations and individuals respond to and challenge them. I argue here that the redefinition of collaborations and alliances has been a key determinant in the organizing capacity of indigenous women to position themselves as autonomous political actors. From the analysis of two specific cases, this paper poses broader questions regarding representation and autonomy that may be applied towards a reflection of our feminist practices and discourses of solidarity.