Today, men hold more than 81 percent of all seats in national parliaments. Political parties monopolize candidate selection in almost all countries and they thus have a direct impact on the gendered composition of parliament. Exactly how political parties select their candidates and what types of apertures different selection procedures open for female aspirants is, however, to a large extent, still shrouded in mystery. This project analyzes the role of political parties for women?s political representation, and in particular how the level of insitutionalization in candidate selection affects women?s possibilities to be selected to legislative office. Even though the concept of institutionalization has been highlighted as one of the most important factors for women?s possibilities to be selected as candidates, the concept itself has neither been sufficiently conceptually concretized and operationalized nor systematically compared. The project will thus start with a theoretical and empirical exploration of the concept of institutionalization in selection procedures. Secondly, an empirical examination of its relationship to women?s representation will be carried out, and finally we will bring in the political context to be able to examine whether the role of institutionalization in candidate selection is contingent on the different preferences parties are likely to have in different political climates.The theoretical exploration of the concept will be based on previous research on political parties in developing countries, as well as literature on candidate selection processes. The empirical analysis is conducted using a new and unique data set produced by International IDEA. The data includes 176 parties in 64 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. Especially relevant to the project is to survey contains questions about both the external regulations (i.e. national law) as well as the party's internal rules, formal as informal. This makes it possible to compare the importance of the parties' own formal regulations and what the respondents really think is important to have an opportunity to be selected as a candidate. We argue that an identification and comparison of this is critical to our understanding and use of the concept of institutionalization.
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This research project analyzes the role of political parties for women?s political representation. Political parties have been described as being responsible for the male political overrepresentation almost everywhere in the world, and thus as the most important gatekeepers for women?s political representation. Our knowledge of the mechanisms behind political parties selections of candidates is however still fairly limited, and there is a particular lack of knowledge regarding non-western political parties. This project aims at assessing this research lacuna, and in particular a factor pointed out by previous research as crucial for women?s possibilities to get selected as candidates; namely the level of bureaucratization (sometimes also referred to ?institutionalization? or ?formalization?) in selection procedures. Moreover, the project questions the argument that a large number of women in parliament by itself increases peace or generates decreased levels of corruption, and so forth. Rather, we see the need to change perspectives and to investigate the opposite causal direction: that different types of contexts and political climates give rise to different types of political priorities, which also is true for the political parties. We suggest that different types of political climates generate demands for different types of candidates and that this demand has (often unintended) gendered consequences. To examine the role that the level of bureaucratization - as well as the impact of the surrounding political climate - could have for political parties? internal selection procedures, we will carry out four comparative case studies. The base of the material will be collected during shorter field trips to four different countries where a range of party officials will be interviewed, in order to get a broad comparative view. The countries preliminary selected are Bolivia, Kenya, Georgia and Bangladesh. Here, we explicitly examine whether and how the overall political context shapes the relationship between bureaucratization and women?s political representation.
In any parliamentary system there is a chain of political delegation. Voters select their representatives and thereby delegate powers to elected officials in parliament. Parliamentarians delegate executive power to the Prime Minister and the chief executive selects cabinet ministers. Contemporary research claim that the Prime Minister's ability to appoint and remove ministers has increased over time, and some even suggest that a 'presidentialization' of parliamentary democracy is occurring. However, few studies have focused on the important step of the democratic process when ministers are selected and deselected. This project focuses on investigating the Prime Minister's power when appointing and removing ministerial portfolios. More specifically, the project explores whether a presidentialization of parliamentary democracies has occurred and tries to explain the variation between countries by studying their constitutional designs. This is achieved by performing a comparative analysis of government formation in a large number of European countries.
How does a "gendered" public policy affect the attitudes and actions of political elites and the general public? It is the theoretically relevant question of this dissertation project, which analyzes the impacts of electoral gender quotas on political gender equality, looking beyond the number of women in parliament. More precisely, their possible effects on two for democracy central aspects is analyzed; first, in terms of women citizens' political empowerment, and second, in terms of the substantive representation of women.
The purpose of the project is to compare women as political actors, women's political influence and gender equality and welfare policies in all five Nordic countries.
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