Cabinets, Ministers, and Gender

ISBN : 9780190069001

Claire Annesley; Karen Beckwith; Susan Franceschet
328 Pages
156 x 156 mm
Pub date
Nov 2019
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Historically, men have been more likely to be appointed to governing cabinets, but gendered patterns of appointment vary cross-nationally, and women's inclusion in cabinets has grown significantly over time. This book breaks new theoretical ground by conceiving of cabinet formation as a gendered, iterative process governed by rules that empower and constrain presidents and prime ministers in the criteria they use to make appointments. Political actors use their agency to interpret and exploit ambiguity in rules to deviate from past practices of appointing mostly men. When they do so, they create different opportunities for men and women to be selected, explaining why some democracies have appointed more women to cabinet than others. Importantly, this dynamic produces new rules about women's inclusion and, as this book explains, the emergence of a concrete floor, defined as a minimum number of women who must be appointed to a cabinet to ensure its legitimacy. Drawing on in-depth analyses of seven countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and elite interviews, media data, and autobiographies of cabinet members, Cabinets, Ministers, and Gender offers a cross-time, cross-national study of the gendered process of cabinet formation.


Chapter One: Explaining Gendered Patterns of Cabinet Formation
Chapter Two: Institutionalist Approaches to Cabinet Appointment: Concepts, Methods and Data
Chapter Three: Who Selects Ministers? Rules Empowering and Constraining Selectors
Chapter Four: Who Can Be a Minister? Eligibility and Qualifying Criteria for Cabinet
Chapter Five: How to Qualify for Cabinet: Experiential Criteria
Chapter Six: How to Qualify for Cabinet: Affiliational Criteria
Chapter Seven: How to Qualify for Cabinet: Representational Criteria
Chapter Eight: The Gendered Consequences of Rules about Selection
Chapter Nine: The Gendered Consequences of Qualifying Criteria
Chapter Ten: Extending Gendered Representational Criteria to Include Women
Chapter Eleven: Concrete Floors and Cabinet Appointments

About the author: 

Claire Annesley is Professor of Politics and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (Equalities and Diversity) at the University of Sussex. Karen Beckwith is the Flora Stone Mather Professor in the Department of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University. Susan Franceschet is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary.

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