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PDF Engendering transitions: womens mobilization, institutions, and gender outcomes

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Engendering Transitions by Georgina Waylen Using empirical material from eight case studies in East Central Europe and Latin America as well as South Africa, the author explores the gendered constraints and opportunities provided by processes of democratization. Publisher Description What has been the impact of transitions to democracy on gender relations?

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Author Georgina Waylen. Pages Publisher Oxford University Press. Year ISBN Format Paperback. Publication Date Language English. Media Book. DEWEY Purchase Instant Access.

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View Preview. Learn more Check out. Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Old Password. New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed. The revolution in academia is similarly unfinished, with only 22 percent of academic political scientists in United States and United Kingdom in and even fewer women at the highest ranks and the most prestigious research universities APSA Gender and politics scholars argue that the roots of this enduring male domination in both politics and the political science academy are complex and profound.

While important, it is not enough in itself. More significant change is needed both to politics as a practice and to political science as a discipline to make them gender equitable. To facilitate this, we need to understand what is it about politics as an academic discipline and politics as a practice and the ways the two interact that results in this overrepresentation of men and a profound gender blindness. If we first think about the nature of politics and political science as an academic discipline, several interconnected factors jump out.

For her, the structural position of women reproduces the androcentric biases of the discipline. This domination is reflected in the very narrow and ideological definitions of what counts as politics on which the Anglo-American disciplines have traditionally been based. Politics, narrowly construed, is the activity of government or governing. Indeed, the word politics in the original Greek was used by Aristotle to connote those questions that pertained to the operation of the polis , the political community.

The distinctive feature of politics is its public or general nature, the way it affects the community as a whole as distinct from private matters Arendt ; Wolin Politics is also seen as the study of power, and sometimes by extension the study of the powerful. The traditional focus on politics as the study of the machinery of government and electoral politics or on political elites and formal institutions rendered women and gender invisible in spite of their foundational importance for building the welfare state and for constructing postcolonial nations, for the conduct of war and terrorism, and for maintaining social and economic privilege more generally.

The roots of these core assumptions about what constitutes politics in p.

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The Anglo-American disciplines took up this widely accepted if mistaken view of the transcultural and transhistorical universality of the public—private split, namely, that citizens or heads of household for which one should read men were the ones who were active and who should be active in the public sphere. This analytical exclusion of women from the public sphere created politics as a male sphere from which women were legitimately excluded as political subjects.

In turn, at least when it came to women, the private sphere was seen as lying outside the political arena and therefore did not form part of the legitimate subject matter of the discipline. The notion of a separation of the public and private spheres persists today. In many places, assumptions about women and men and their respective roles in the public and private spheres still affect issues, from who governs to who decides intimate matters such as sexuality and childbearing. It affects the ways economies are structured and economic value—seen as created in the productive public sphere and not in the reproductive private sphere—is calculated.

It also continues to affect what counts as politics and the political, still predominantly high politics in the public sphere; who is seen as a suitable person to be involved in politics; and what are appropriate issues—often narrowly defined—that exclude certain activities and actors and embody particular notions of masculinity and femininity.

These ideas have again affected what has been deemed suitable subject matter for the academic discipline of politics. Even though some of the conventional definitions of politics would seem to allow for the study of a broader range of phenomena, it was feminists who pushed for a definition of politics that encompassed the personal and the private. Indeed, a rallying cry for many feminists has been that the personal is the political. The powerful whether bureaucratically, economically, or socially powerful depend on the everyday, regularized activities of others to make their decisions or nondecisions realities.

And p. So feminists brought the personal and the private into the study of the political, and they have also drawn attention to the politics of knowledge production and structures of production and reproduction more generally , meaning, and identity. Feminists have highlighted how the discipline has been gendered in its approach to the valuation of knowledge. Political scientists have often assumed researchers to be disembodied and objective.

Feminists have called for greater epistemological sophistication and nuance, introducing political scientists to a range of epistemological approaches from pragmatism and postmodernism to standpoint epistemology and hermeneutics. This diversity of approaches and methods is a strength of feminist scholarship and a model for the field.

More generally, feminist methodology reveals how gender fundamentally structures science, shaping more than the choice of methods or tools or methodology approach to the use of such tools in that it determines the questions that scholars ask and the areas of inquiry Harding Feminists have also shown that seemingly neutral research tools produce different results when used by female social scientists or social scientists of color.

Survey respondents give different responses to interlocutors of different identities; participant observation produces different opportunities and results for men and women. Some feminist scholars have revealed how social power structures knowledge so that the way we define and value knowledge reinforces patterns of class, race, and gender inequality.


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The legacy of these assumptions—the artificial analytical separation of the public and private, the privileging of high politics, and the adoption of certain models of the individual researcher and the research process—remains a source of resistance to efforts to change the discipline and make it more inclusive and equitable. And if we turn to politics as practice, we see that these underlying assumptions have also impacted how politics is practiced. Similarly, in many countries domestic violence has been considered something with which the police should not interfere, lying outside state jurisdiction in the realm of the private.

Feminism as a form of theory and practice has remained important to scholars and to the research carried out in the field of gender and politics. And from the late s, women academics also began to organize inside the discipline. Scholars pressing alternative sexualities pushed further, sometimes arguing for a destabilization of analytic as well as social categories e. The development of much academic work on gender and politics was shaped by this broader context of feminist and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer LGBTQ activism.

Thus, the burgeoning gender and politics scholarship has looked at a range of themes using a diversity of approaches. A second strand on women has examined political activities in arenas traditionally seen as outside political science. A third strand has looked at gender as a structure of social organization. Finally, mirroring struggles within the broader feminist movement, women of color women of marginalized races and ethnicities , women in the developing world, postcolonial feminists, and LGBTQ scholars pressed for a place in the study of gender politics, sometimes finding a degree of accommodation and sometimes, frustrated with resistance, founding their own scholarly institutions and threads of research.

We briefly describe these developments next. The inclusion project, as Squires named it, aims to expose the absence of women, to reveal the degree to which that leads to partial, shallow, and biased knowledge, and to integrate women into the theories, institutions, and practices from which they had been excluded Sapiro ; Zerilli , — It examines p.

Similarly, work in the United States finds that when women run they are just as likely as men to get elected and just as able as men to raise money. However, scholars also showed that women and men do often exhibit differences in their political attitudes and behavior, but not necessarily in the ways that had been assumed e. Men and women do tend to line up on issues in different ways—but not necessarily on a straightforward left—right split such as on law and order. In , while 52 percent of British men initially supported bombing of Libya, only 35 percent of British women did Waylen , This gender gap is often found in voting behavior.

At the last U. They have argued for more women in politics and have discussed strategies, such as party and electoral quotas, to increase numbers of women in legislatures Dahlerup ; Krook More recently, in part reflecting real-world changes, women in executives have been analyzed both comparatively and in single case studies Jalazai ; Annesley and Gains ; Franceschet and Thomas However, studies also highlight obstacles on the route from descriptive to substantive representation. Not all women legislators want to represent women p. Related to this, the so-called critical mass debate explored whether a certain minimum proportion of women is needed to change the institutions and enable women to act for women Dahlerup But empirical research has found little support for the critical mass thesis Childs and Krook How far it can radically alter the discipline is disputed.

Its advocates argue that it destabilizes and challenges existing categories. However, the key issue is what happens to the mix after stirring: if the mixture blows up, then the addition of gender is of importance. But critics argue that problems including women in political science will remain because, as we have seen, many mainstream theories, categories, concepts, and practices are based on initial exclusion of women Zerilli , Hence, it is based on narrow notions of how discrimination and structural inequalities work and cannot theorize the broader societal processes behind gender inequalities.

Moreover, the narrow focus on women and sex differences often reflects an unexamined assumption that women constitute a unified category who are stable and coherent subjects with identifiable, shared interests. Only recently, for example, has research on the impact of quotas also looked at the impact on ethnic minority women Hughes The inclusion project therefore remains unfinished and the discipline still has a great deal to learn about women in conventional politics. Taking a different point of departure, other gender scholars have examined women in politics on their own terms.

They are less concerned with p. This strand of research goes beyond the study of feminist movements, however, also covering women in racist Blee , and conservative movements Schreiber There is also a wealth of research on the political impact of these activities, from changing identities and culture to changing policy Weldon ; Banaszak, Beckwith, and Rucht These movements also included feminist organizations. Feminists in Chile, for example, held one of p.

In addition to their important role in the broader opposition movements against dictatorship, organized women also tried to ensure that the outcomes of some transitions would bring positive change for women, such as increased political representation and the provision of greater rights in the post transition period Waylen In both the Chilean and South African transitions women organized in an attempt to influence the developing political processes but with varying results Hassim ; Waylen And in we have seen some similar efforts in Tunisia and Egypt as part of the Arab Spring.

Egyptian women organized after only one women was appointed as part of the transitional government and a clause was inserted in the draft constitution that appeared to preclude women from becoming president. A raft of equality measures has been introduced. Htun and Weldon showed that feminist policy change depends on whether issues are doctrinal; about the status of women predominantly; or also strongly about class.

Another strand of research focuses on broader societal patterns, examining regimes rather than specific policies and studying the state rather than particular laws. A distinct literature examines how particular institutional structures p. The strength of this research has been to move beyond specific women and men to look at the bigger picture, examining historical legacies and how policies and activities combine to create larger effects.

In welfare state studies, this examination of the state structure has generated a wide variety of typologies on regimes, gender contracts, and worlds of welfare Duncan , ; Connell The literature on gender regimes generated typologies of nations according to whether they promoted male breadwinners or dual-income families Lewis and later developed models on what might follow the demise of male breadwinner regimes: the universal breadwinner, the caregiver parity, and the universal caregiver models Fraser Comparative studies of, for example, the social and employment policies of different countries on the basis of these models generated insights into the ways these social structures either challenged or reproduced gender inequalities.

The study of welfare states and of the ways that institutional structures undergird social organization is an important and continuing field of research. A persistent critique of the universalizing approach of feminist scholarship has cut across all these areas, culminating in a fundamental critique of the concept of gender from a variety of quarters. From onward, important moves were made to deconstruct the category of gender Butler ; Scott Using the feminist strategy of displacement in relation to politics—namely, destabilizing existing categories, binaries, and oppositions—scholars argued that as the gendered categories and concepts legitimated the exclusion of women, they had to be radically rethought, examining, for example, how gendered power relationships construct citizenship and the nation, the state, and bureaucracy Lister ; Yuval-Davis ; Squires ; Kantola Institutions and structures are not just gendered but also gendering: they produce the very p.

Power here is understood as productive, not just repressive Foucault , and this kind of power is most effective when it lures us to fulfill the standards of normative femininities and masculinities. Gender has multiple meanings and analyses that include the production of sexuality, masculinities, and femininities that had hitherto been downplayed in the gender and politics scholarship.

The increasing fragmentation of feminism has resulted in feminisms in the plural and the problematization of women as a coherent and unified category, which adds greater analytical complexity particularly once race, class, and sexuality are fully analyzed. This work also posed important challenges to concepts such as objective knowledge and the role of researcher and researched. Feminists who are of color, working class, postcolonial, and lesbian, argue that failure to consider the distinctive and sometimes conflicting interests among women has created a bias toward the experience of white middle-class women hooks ; Lorde ; Collins ; Smooth Queer theorists and lesbian feminists also have critiqued what they call the heteronormativity taking heterosexuality for granted of much of the feminist work on gender.

Scholars of gender and race in the United States have critiqued the examination of gender and race apart from one other; these two concepts are not separable like pop-beads on a necklace Spelman These arguments have prompted feminists of color to develop the concept of intersectionality to get at the complex interrelationship between gender and race Hancock ; Smooth For example, disaggregating the gender gap in voting in the United States by race reveals that the gender gap emerged earlier among African Americans and is today larger there.

Big challenges remain within politics as it is both practiced and studied.


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Contestation has increased around issues associated with gender equality, p. Neoliberalism, the financial crisis, and various processes of de-democratization Verloo are fundamentally shaping the political context and the austerity measures are having a very differentiated impact by gender as well as by race, class, and disability. According to Fraser , the once emancipatory feminist critiques of the economy, androcentrism, and the state have been redirected to serve to legitimate neoliberal capitalism.

On the other hand, an increasingly sexualized culture, with issues of violence, rape, street harassment, and pornography, may also be impacting a popularly vaunted decline in feminism. Interest in feminism has resurged, particularly among younger women, using new forms of activism, such as blogs, demonstrations, and technologies such as social media Banyard SlutWalks, which began in Toronto and later spread all over the world to cities as far apart as London, Singapore, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and New York in summer following remarks made by a senior police officer to Canadian law students, are further evidence of this.

In this context, a number of important challenges remain for gender scholarship. First, as many have argued, too little attention is still given to issues of intersectionality Collins ; Hancock ; Weldon As we have seen, much of the pioneering gender scholarship was primarily focused on the issues and concerns of white middle-class women. Scholars were then forced to pay more attention to race, class, sexuality, and disability by vocal black, working-class, lesbian, and postcolonial feminists. Others are exploring how identity groups can be constituted within—rather than prior to—inequality policies Cooper , 49— Intersectionality can therefore appear to have disciplinary functions as a governmental discourse that produces more identities Grabham , Intersectionality will undoubtedly bring fundamental changes to the conceptual, methodological, and normative paradigm of the gender and politics scholarship.

It requires sophisticated methods and research designs able to deal with complexity without particularism. Most importantly, intersectionality also challenges existing theories and begs for new normative standards. For example, theorists of gender have delineated dimensions of nation, heteronormativity, hierarchies of power, and divisions of labor as dimensions of gender Young ; see also Connell Turning to the analysis of law and policy making, some have suggested a distinction between market or class-related or redistributive policies and those that are focused on status or rights Htun and Weldon ; Blofield and Haas More work theorizing and analyzing these distinctive dimensions is needed.

This exhortation provokes an anxiety among some feminists that having finally developed a context in which we can study women, we will be back to studying men and their concerns again. Nevertheless, the study of men and masculinity is critical to moving the field of gender politics forward.

Third, the gender scholarship has sometimes been too narrowly focused on the formulation of gender equality policies and the workings of gender equality bodies Waylen Last, we need to continue to develop theoretical accounts of politics that better link structure, action, and ideas. Early work was overly focused on actors. No one would deny that actors, and certain actors in particular, are hugely important in both the conventional and nonconventional political arenas.

Feminist institutionalists are developing a wider understanding of institutions as gendered structures and an improved understanding of how they operate in gendered ways Mackay and Waylen ; Krook and Mackay Underlying this development is a belief that if we understand institutions as rules, norms, and practices, then we need to know how formal and informal rules, norms, and practices are gendered Chappell and Waylen And in particular one of the key questions for all institutionalists, including feminists, is how to explain institutional change.

How and why does change occur or not occur? And linked to that, how is it that institutions can remain the same? We need to explain institutional continuity or more accurately institutional reproduction. How do institutions actually sustain and reproduce themselves Waylen ? This can help us to understand why attempts to change institutions do not have p. There is also a need for more research that focuses on discourses and ideas as well as actors and structures, examining, for example, the role that discourses and ideas about gender and sexuality play in constituting political actors and structures in the global economy Bedford ; Lind , violence Kantola, Norocel, and Repo , and gender equality policies Lombardo and Forest Particular notions of politics reproduce particular kinds of gendered subject positions and agents and result in particular performances of gender cf.

Butler This handbook takes up many of these themes and issues in its seven substantive sections. It recognizes the complexity and multidimensionality of gender.

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As demonstrated already, gender is not just about sexuality, the body, work, motherhood, or violence, as some scholars have claimed. Rather gender operates along many, interrelated dimensions, including sex and sexuality, family, race and nation, work, and institutionalized relations of power and violence. We have organized these chapters to highlight the political nature of these phenomena and also to show they structure nations, states, markets, and civil society. These latter concepts are more traditional categories of political analysis that nonetheless are also critical for the study of politics and gender.

We hope that this handbook will be accessible to all starting and established political and social scientists, so we begin in the first section by explaining some key concepts and how they relate to each other and also by explaining the variety of and contributions to method and methodology in the field. The chapters cover two families of concepts: 1 sex, gender, feminism, and intersectionality; and 2 power, politics, domination, and oppression. We then turn to examine p. In the next section we investigate various forms and contexts of gendered organizing by women and men—including feminist, nonfeminist, antifeminist, and transnational movements by women and men as well as civil society as a realm of gendered political action more generally.

The subsequent two sections consider the relationship between gender and a range of more traditional political institutions, systems, and structures. First, we look at gendered praxes of participation and representation in various political systems, political parties, electoral systems, judicial politics, and courts. The next section focuses on the gendered nature of the state, governance, and policy making, and the actors and processes involved. The final section focuses on the debates and the puzzles surrounding equality, citizenship, identity, multiculturalism, nations, and security.

As a whole, this handbook aims to illustrate the evolution, establishment, and institutionalization of the field of gender and politics. Its chapters also show the diversity and pluralism of this field and illustrate some of the clear lines of agreement and disagreement in the field of politics and gender. Each section has its own introduction highlighting the developments, the old and new debates, and future challenges for the key themes within that section as well as linking it to the rest of the handbook and discipline.

The Oxford Handbook on Gender and Politics is therefore premised on the belief that it is vitally important that we improve our understanding of how both politics as a practice and political science as a discipline are gendered; this will help us to change both the practice and the discipline of politics for the better.

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Alvarez, Sonia. Engendering democracy in Brazil. Find this resource:. Annesley, Claire, and Francesca Gains. Political Studies 58 5 : — APSA report on the advancement of women in political science. Washington, DC: Author. Arendt, Hannah. The human condition.