Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 June 2022
The concluding chapter focuses attention on the book’s main findings and contributions to the literature, which include important theoretical and policy implications. One of the key conclusions is that, while quotas are not a panacea for addressing women’s interests, they are one effective mechanism for facilitating the representation of women’s cross-cutting preferences that are otherwise likely to be ignored -- work-family policies. By providing new insights into when and how quotas matter, the book demonstrates that descriptive representation may be more consequential than is often assumed, even in the context of strong parties and parliamentary democracies. Further, institutions like quota laws can increase the salience of women’s concerns to political elites, and thus have independent effects on the policy-making process. The adoption of quota laws has practical policy implications for work-family and related issues -- policies that affect everyone, not just women. I discuss several promising lines of future inquiry that have potential to advance knowledge in the field, including the effects of gender quotas on informal institutions and outside of advanced democracies. The chapter also explores the extent to which the theoretical framework proposed can apply to other identity groups.