Representation: The Case of Women

ISBN : 9780199340118

Maria C. Escobar-Lemmon; Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson
304 Pages
157 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jun 2014
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While there is a vast literature on women's political interests, there is hardly any consensus about what constitutes " or how scholars should approach studying them. Representation can occur in various venues or by various actors, but, due to power imbalances across political groups, it is not always realized in any substantive way. The essays in this book constitute a broad and geographically comparative move toward defining new and unified theoretical orientations to studying representation among women. Representation involves not only getting group members into government, but also articulating group interests and translating those interests into policy. Because competing groups have different policy preferences and act out of self-interest, representation of historically marginalized groups is a contentious, contingent process that is likely to ebb and flow. The book begins with a theoretical positioning of the meaning of women's interests, issues and preferences. It considers the need to add nuance to how we conceive of and study intersectionality and the dangers of stretching the meaning of substantive representation. It then looks at descriptive representation in political parties, high courts, and legislatures, as well as how definitions of " affect who represents women in legislatures and social movements. The book concludes by suggesting testable propositions and avenues for future research to enhance understanding about representation of women and of other historically under-represented groups. Chapters include cases from the United States, Latin America, Western Europe and Africa.


Chapter 1 - Dilemmas in the Meaning and Measurement of Representation (Maria C. Escobar-Lemmon and Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson)
Part I: Theoretical Aspects of Studying Representation
Chapter 2 - Plotting the Path from One to the Other: Women's Interests and Political Representation (Karen Beckwith)
Chapter 3 - Intersectional Representation or Representing Intersectionality? Reshaping Empirical Analysis of Intersectionality (Ange-Marie Hancock)
Chapter 4 - Representing Women: Defining Substantive Representation of Women (Drude Dahlerup)
Part II: Representation: Gaining Presence in Politics
Chapter 5 - The Effect of Preferential Voting on Women's Representation (Richard Matland and Emelie Lilliefeldt)
Chapter 6 - Gender, High Courts and Ideas about Representation in Western Europe (Valerie Hoekstra, Miki Kittilson and Elizabeth Andrews)
Chapter 7 - Political Inclusion and Representation of Afrodescendant Women in Latin America (Mala Htun)
Part III: Representation: Securing Women's Interests in Policy
Chapter 8 - How Civil Society Represents Women: Feminists, Catholics, and Mobilization Strategies in Africa (Alice Kang)
Chapter 9 - Unpacking Women's Issues: Gender and Policymaking on Health Care, Education, and Women's Health in the U.S. Senate (Michele Swers)
Chapter 10 - Representing Women's Interests and Intersections of Gender, Race and Ethnicity in U.S. State Legislatures (Beth Reingold and Kerry Haynie)
Chapter 11 - Representing Women: Empirical Insights from Legislatures and Cabinets in Latin America (Maria C. Escobar-Lemmon, Leslie Schwindt-Bayer and Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson)
Part IV: Representation: Women and Beyond
Chapter 12 - Does Presence Produce Representation of Interests? (Maria C. Escobar-Lemmon and Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson)

About the author: 

Maria C. Escobar-Lemmon is Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University. Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson is Professor of Political Science and affiliated faculty in Women's and Gender Studies at Texas A&M University.

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