Has Democracy Failed Women?
Has Democracy Failed Women?

Why are women still under-represented in politics? Can we speak of democracy when women are not fully included in political decision-making? Some argue that we are on the right track to full gender equality in politics, while others talk about women hitting the glass ceiling or being included in institutions with shrinking power, not least as a result of neo-liberalism.

In this powerful essay, internationally renowned scholar of gender and politics Drude Dahlerup explains how democracy has failed women and what can be done to tackle it. Political institutions, including political parties, she argues, are the real gatekeepers to elected positions all over the world, but they need to be much more inclusive. By reforming these institutions and carefully implementing gender quotas we can move towards improved gender equality and greater democratization.

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  • November 2017
  • 144 pages
  • 130 x 193 mm / 5 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $46.75
  • 9781509516360
  • Paperback $13.50
  • 9781509516377
  • Open eBook $10.99
  • 9781509516407
Table of Contents
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • List of tables and figures
  • Chapter 1: Exclusion without words
  • Chapter 2: Breaking male dominance in politics
  • Chapter 3: The impact of Gender Quotas
  • Chapter 4: Gendering Public Policy
  • Chapter 5: Women in global politics
About the Author
Drude Dahlerup is Professor of Political Science at Stockholm University.
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"Drude Dahlerup offers an interesting, lucid and challenging argument about the many relationships between gender and democracy. This book should be read by anyone interested in feminism and politics."
Joni Lovenduski, Professor Emerita of Politics, Birkbeck College

"This wide-ranging and well-informed book offers an impressive overview or women's political empowerment in global historical perspective. Democracy, it concludes, has failed women, but women can revitalize democracy, providing a powerful impetus for future studies and advocacy for more women in political life."
Mona Lena Krook, Rutgers University

‘The book provides a terrific overview of key issues and debates in gender and politics from the perspective of someone who has a genuinely global perspective. This is a wonderful resource and text for teaching because it is written so clearly and concisely.’
Aili Mari Tripp, University of Wisconsin-Madison

‘Dahlerup and Polity are to be congratulated on bringing out such a succinct and accessible account... The questions raised remain central to how far we can support the legitimacy of the politics that govern us.’ary Evans, London School of Economics

‘Well-written, personable, and evidence-based, Dahlerup’s book bids good riddance to the old boys’ club because “gender is one of the most important axes of power in society” and therefore gender quotas are essential for bringing representation into balance. Only this change can democratise old democracies, and break the patriarchal code adhered to so fastidiously by the political parties in this august category.’
Jean-Paul Gagnon, Canberra University

‘Hence, Dahlerup’s Has Democracy Failed Women? can be a rewarding reference to any researcher with an expertise in feminist studies, gender studies, leadership studies, and political science studies.’
Yuwei Ge, Phillips-University of Marburg

‘Using examples from her own work as an advisor on the empowerment of women around the world, Dahlerup undertakes institutional as well as discursive analysis of the parity of women’s presence in leadership positions in ways that are complex, nuanced, and highly readable’.
Mehmoona Moosa-Mitha, University of Victoria

Gender Forum  

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