Women Making Constitutions: New Politics and Comparative
Perspectives. Edited by Alexandra Dobrowolsky and Vivien Hart.
Basingstoke, Hampshire, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2004. 277 pp.
This edited volume addresses themes pertinent to all who study
politics and gender, namely, how to incorporate claims for both equality
and difference into politics, constitutional politics particularly. It
achieves a difficult balance for any edited volume by discussing common
themes and avoiding a focus on overly narrow debates. Thus, a range of
problems and concepts are explored using empirical and theoretical
research that provides a comprehensive insight into women's attempts
to transform constitutions. The chapters are synthesized in the
introduction and the conclusion, providing the reader with a more general
insight. The editors highlight the tendency for mainstream analysis to
oversimplify women's role in constitutional change. This theme is
developed in other chapters. Anne Marie Goetz considers gender and
accountability systems. She demonstrates the gendered assumptions
underlying what is usually described as accountability failure. For
example, should audit offices review whether resources are unequally
distributed between the sexes?