To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Chapter 6 compares evidence from qualitative case studies of similar countries that did and did not adopt a quota law, shedding light on the mechanisms linking quotas to policy change and the conditions under which they hold. One of the unique features of quota laws compared to increases in the number of women in parliaments without quotas is that quotas tend to increase the share of women on the right in particular. Quotas thus lead to more women from across the political spectrum entering parliament and, over time, taking on leadership roles. I find that the mechanism of factions (women’s increased leverage within parties and parliament) played an important role in both Belgium and Portugal, as women pushed for greater gender equality in government and formed the majority of a new working group on parenting and gender equality. However, the importance of women as ministers depends on the institutional context: even when quotas increase women in parliaments, they might not increase women in governments. In the counterfactual (non-quota) cases of Austria and Italy, women were often key protagonists in policy reform, but there are fewer of them, especially on the right and far right. This can result in policy stasis or backsliding.
Do gender quotas lead political parties to become more inclusive of women’s preferences? Chapter 4 explores the relationship between quotas and party priorities using manifesto data and qualitative case studies. I focus on the link between quotas and party priorities on three areas : equality, welfare state expansion, and work-family policies. Using matching and regression methods with a panel dataset of parties in OECD democracies, I find that parties in countries that implement a quota law devote more attention to equality than similar parties in countries without a quota. In line with expectations, no change is found to party priorities on welfare state expansion. Using a new dataset of party attention to various work-family policies in four country cases (Belgium, Austria, Portugal, and Italy), I find that quotas are linked to an increase in attention to policies that promote maternal employment (child care, equality-promoting leave) and a reduction in attention to policies that do not (cash transfers that encourage women to stay at home). My qualitative analysis suggests that in countries that have implemented a quota law, parties across the political spectrum jointly promote parental leave and encourage fathers to participate. This is not the case in countries without a quota.
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.
This chapter offers a new theory about the conditions under which gender quotas are most likely to matter for policy outcomes. Building on Mansbridge’s concept of “uncrystallized interests”, I argue that when new policy demands cut across the main left-right (class-based) policy dimension, and the group demanding change faces high barriers to entry in politics, the result is that these issues are often ignored. Parties have little incentive to address issues that cut across the main left-right dimension in politics because they distract from core issues and divide key constituencies. If the groups that support these issues are underrepresented in parties and lack the resources to form a new party, the result is what I call a political market failure -- the issue remains off the agenda. Gender quotas prevent the political dominance of men, and they also signal a new commitment to gender-related concerns. I suggest that quotas are most likely to lead to policy change on those “uncrystallized” issues characterized by: 1) a gender gap in preferences, and; 2) cross-cutting support. The chapter then spells out three main mechanisms through which quotas lead to policy change: factions, ministers, and salience. The final section outlines key assumptions and scope conditions.
This chapter offers an inductive approach to defining women’s interests in politics, mapping gender gaps in preferences and where they fall in the left-right political space. Unlike previous studies, which do not define a priori expectations about quotas and policy change in comparative context, this chapter clearly defines expectations about which policies we can expect quotas to change in rich OECD democracies. Using survey data, the chapter explores the size and direction of gender gaps in preferences for a large number of policy issues across countries and over time. While women prefer more spending than men on issues like unemployment, health care, and poverty, no gender gaps emerge on other issues often perceived to be gendered, like education or military spending. The largest gender gaps exist over the issue of maternal employment, where women are more progressive than men by about ten percentage points, and the gender gap has been growing over time. Gender gaps on maternal employment are not explained by partisan ideology. Gender differences persist within political parties, and attitudes towards maternal employment form a distinct underlying response pattern compared to attitudes towards government intervention. Because of this, subsequent book chapters focus on maternal employment and associated work-family policies as key outcomes of interest.
The first chapter introduces the book’s key puzzle: do gender quota laws affect policy outcomes for women? Quotas are often viewed as a way to promote not only women’s inclusion but their political interests. Yet, we know very little about whether quotas lead to meaningful policy change for women. The question is crucial given how controversial quotas are, and the questions they often raise about tokenism and backlash. After motivating the research question, the chapter organizes current explanations of identity and political decisionmaking to demonstrate the crucial role that quotas can play in bringing not only more women but added salience to gendered issues. It previews the main argument: gender quota laws will lead to policy change on issues that women prioritize which fall off the main left-right (class-based) dimension, like work-family policies. Quota laws add important salience to these cross-cutting issues that parties would otherwise prefer to ignore. Chapter 1 also provides an overview of the data and cases that provide the empirical foundation of the book. Taking a mixed methods approach, the book pairs statistical analysis of party priorities and government reforms with in-depth qualitative case studies from the cases of Belgium and Austria, and Portugal and Italy.
Under what circumstances do central and local party actors engage in gatekeeping to influence the outcomes of local nomination races? In this article, I develop a theory of gatekeeping in Canadian parties by synthesizing past work on candidate selection with a multi-method field study of New Brunswick provincial nominations (2017–2018). I present evidence in favour of this theory from participant-observation of 25 nominating conventions, 93 elite interviews, and an original dataset of major party nominations for the 2018 New Brunswick election. The theory and evidence show how gatekeeping by central party actors helps explain how nominations can go uncontested, even in competitive and safe seats. The theory also generates several testable claims for future studies of candidate selection in other places, time periods and levels of government in Canada.
Chapter 7 focuses on political parties as agents of representation that channel citizen interests and values into the policy-making process in contemporary Latin America. It illustrates the flaws of democracy without representative parties through a discussion of Peru, and shows that many Latin American democracies have experienced crises of representation because citizens see many party leaders as cut off from common citizens. To explain the state of parties, it argues that crises of representation persist when neoliberalism is treated as inevitable. It also maintains, through an analysis of parties in Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay, that parties become agents of representation due to the work of skillful political leaders, committed activists, and vigorous social movements. It also highlights that a weak state undermines party building because it limits the possibility that elected officials can deliver public goods and engender popular support. It concludes that, although democracy has become the norm in Latin America, few democracies have parties that act as agents of representation, and that this lack of a deep, substantive sense of representation is a key problem of democracy.
Do gender quota laws – policies that mandate women's inclusion on parties' candidate slates – affect policy outcomes? Making Gender Salient tackles this crucial question by offering a new theory to understand when and how gender quota laws impact policy. Drawing on cross-national data from high-income democracies and a mixed-methods research design, the book argues that quotas lead to policy change for issues characterized by a gender gap in preferences, especially if these issues deviate from the usual left/right party policy divide. The book focuses on one such issue, work-family policies, and finds that quotas shift work-family policies in the direction of gender equality. Substantive chapters show that quotas make gender more salient by giving women louder voices within parties, providing access to powerful ministerial roles, and encouraging male party leaders to compete on previously marginalized issues. The book concludes that quotas are one important way of facilitating congruence between women's policy preferences and actual policy outcomes.
The lines of rigid conflict between political parties noted in Chapter 1 were not always present prior to the New Deal and the post–New Deal era in which the Eisenhower administration functioned. In contrast to their party’s political position from the latter part of the twentieth century into the twenty-first century, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt were hardly hostile to unions and the interests of working people. Quite the contrary.
This chapter looks at the migrants not as objects of the state’s integration measures but as political subjects making claims in demonstrations, migrant associations, the parliament, and media outlets. It discusses how the government defused much of the returnees’ protest, initially perceived as a serious menace, through a pervasive rhetoric of national integration and the framing of migrant mobilization as a form of "apolitical politics." It further asks how migrants built their own associations, to what degree they were bound up with the political right, and why they ultimately proved to be politically weak and short-lived. In short, the chapter looks at how the voices of the returnees, while distinctly present directly after their arrival, were coopted, absorbed, and covered up by the emerging institutions of Portugal’s representative democracy, the kind of concessions the political class was ready to make along the way, and some of the legacies of this process.
Election to office is shaped by a series of decisions made by prospective candidates, parties, and voters. These choices determine who emerges and is ultimately selected to run, and each decision point either expands or limits the possibilities for more diverse representation. Studies of women candidates have established an important theoretical and empirical basis for understanding legislative recruitment. This study asks how these patterns differ when race and intersectionality are integrated into the analyses. Focusing on more than 800 political aspirants in Canada, I show that although white and racialized women aspire to political office at roughly the same rates, their experiences diverge at the point of party selection. White men remain the preferred candidates, and parties’ efforts to diversify politics have mostly benefited white women. I argue that a greater emphasis on the electoral trajectories of racialized women and men is needed.
This study investigates the subjective effects of gender quotas by examining how quotas affect party elites’ perceptions of quota beneficiaries. Furthermore, it proposes to distinguish between objective and subjective quota effects. Subjective effects were studied by randomizing information on whether politicians got into office through a gender quota. Elites then were asked to rate politicians based on an audio clip and an experimental vignette. Whereas the two treatment groups were told that gender quotas or ceiling quotas for men were employed during a politician’s election, the control group did not receive this information. This experiment was conducted in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. More than 1,000 party elites participated overall. Contrary to expectations, being framed as a “quota woman” only has a negative impact among elites of the radical right. In contrast with the center right, the radical right is opposed not only to quotas but to quota beneficiaries as well.
Scholarly research suggests that Canadian election campaigns are centralized affairs, with party headquarters managing a disciplined campaign organization across 338 federal constituencies. At the same time, local realities can incentivize constituency campaigns to deviate from their parties. This article examines the extent of local campaign discipline, given these tensions between parties’ centralizing compulsions and countervailing forces that militate against party cohesion. The article relies on original data to identify and explain the extent of local campaign behaviour that defies central party preferences and directives. It draws from interviews with 87 former candidates and eight party strategists, as well as observational data gathered from 10 constituency campaigns during the 2019 federal election. The findings indicate a relatively high level of undisciplined constituency campaign behaviour during the 2015 and 2019 elections. The article contends that this behaviour stems from insubordination, innovation and incompetence within constituency campaigns.
Parliaments are still often criticized for being gendered—that is, for maintaining problematic inequalities between male and female officeholders. While research highlights how female members of parliament (MPs) take the floor less often than men, especially during debates on “hard” policy domains, much remains unknown about the role that political parties play in fostering such differences. Drawing on a novel data set on the use of parliamentary questions in Belgium (N = 180,783), this article examines gendered patterns in the substantive focus of MPs’ parliamentary work. It confirms that differences in the issue concentrations of male and female MPs exist, but they are larger when access to the floor is more restricted and party control is stronger. Our findings yield important insights into the gendered side effects of parliamentary procedure and shed some light on the “choice versus coercion” controversy with regard to women's substantive focus of parliamentary work.
This article undertakes a critical revisitation of mass–elite congruence on EU matters, taking stock of 30 years of research and addressing durable ambiguities flagged by recent scholarship. Its specific contribution leverages EUEngage elite and mass survey data gathered in 2016 in 10 European countries. Examining congruence at both the country and the party level, we carry out an uncommon multidimensional analysis that encompasses general European integration and certain key sub-dimensions. At both levels, we perform a distinctive systematization of multiple approaches to the assessment of EU issue congruence, probing the substantive consistency of ensuing results. The findings qualify and soften the conventional wisdom of a chasm between pro-European elites and lukewarm citizens. While most countries exhibit pro-EU elite bias in terms of averages and proportions alike, mass–elite alignment is the rule when the general dimension and its sub-dimensions are understood as binary. Party-level analyses display different outcomes, depending on whether party positions are derived from elites' self-placement or their voters' perceptions, yet discrepancies are generally lower than in past assessments. Altogether, ‘constraining dissensus’ chiefly emerges along sub-dimensions concerning decision-making authority, as opposed to sub-dimensions evoking solidarity and burden-sharing. The layered panorama of congruence and incongruence implies a dependence of mass–elite interplays on context and sub-dimensions, drawing attention to the mediating role of critical junctures and elite entrepreneurship.
While there are some signs of revitalization, social democracy has witnessed a deep electoral crisis over the last decades. The causes for the decline of social democratic parties are highly contested among researchers. This article provides a systematic review of the literature which spans several fields such as party politics, political sociology and political economy. Four kinds of explanations (sociological, materialist, ideational and institutional) are distinguished and scrutinized on the basis of empirical studies published since 2010. The findings indicate that there is not one explanation that stands out but that the electoral crisis of social democracy is a complex phenomenon with multiple causes, such as socio-structural changes, fiscal austerity and neoliberal depolarization. In addition, the findings suggest that a liberal turn on sociocultural issues does not necessarily lead to vote losses. Further research should explore more deeply how short-term and long-term factors have worked together in the process of social democratic decline.
National party breakthrough has often been attributed to new or previously minor parties seizing favorable political opportunities. The role of their strategic choices in response to political opportunities, however, has been underexplored because less attention has been paid to relevant negative cases, that is instances when parties encounter favorable conditions without breaking through. This article argues for a historical perspective when selecting these cases and investigates an often overlooked case from Germany’s early postwar democracy: Gustav Heinemann’s All-German People’s Party (GVP). Relying on archival data and historical research, this article reconstructs the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants that provided Heinemann with initially favorable conditions for party breakthrough. Strategic decisions on coalition building, the timing of party formation, and organization building explain the GVP’s failure to seize the opportunity. These findings highlight the importance of case selection as a part of the “historical turn” in political science and of new parties’ agency when explaining (the lack of) party breakthrough. The implications of these findings for the literature on new parties, case selection, and party system development are discussed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged nearly every aspect of life and superseded issues at the core of populist radical right (PRR) parties' ideology, dispossessing them of one of their main narratives. This also challenged the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a relatively young but strong PRR party in opposition. We explore how the party has adjusted its policy supply to this unprecedented situation and how this has affected its popularity among German voters, building our analysis on press releases issued by the AfD between January 2020 and March 2021, vote intention data and recent election results. Initially, the party's reaction was inconsistent, but from autumn 2020 the AfD focused on fuelling discontent with the government's lockdown measures, acting as a supporter of the anti-coronavirus demonstrations. It framed its response as elite critique. So far, its siding with the lockdown protesters, however, has not had any positive effect on support for the party.
In this chapter, I trace the evolution of the influential field of interest group theory from the 1920s to the 1950s. Two consequential things happened in this empirically oriented literature. First, the social ontology introduced by pluralists and theorists of process could be taken as given, accepted as factual descriptions of the political process. Second, community was reconceptualized and relegated to the status of a presupposition, now under the name of "consensus," invoked as a restraint on group conflict and a foundation for modern political life without being a topic of debate in its own right. This provided the discipline of political science with the rudiments of what would become an influential and lasting behavioralist solution to the problem of social order.