Lunch time Research Seminar Series
15 April, 2014
11.45 - 1.30 pm
Lunchtime Research Seminars
Tuesday 11.45-1.30pm 15th April 2014
The Boardroom, 276 Merewether Building (H.04)
Political parties, eligibility criteria, and women’s political representation
Dr. Elin Bjarnegård & Dr. Pär Zetterberg
Chair: Dr. Richard Frank
Discussant: Dr. Anna Boucher (University of Sydney)
Synopsis: Political parties commonly set up criteria in their party regulations to define the pool of eligibles. This paper analyzes the potential consequences of these eligibility criteria on the representation of men and women. Literature on gender and candidate recruitment has suggested that formal rules regulating candidate selection benefit women and other underrepresented groups, because they make it easier for all potential candidates to know what is required to be eligible. Using data on 105 political parties in 33 African, Asian, and postcommunist European countries, we find that the mere presence of formal eligibility criteria, if anything, has a negative impact on women’s political representation and, more importantly, that the results are different depending on the content of the rules. Requirements that concern intra-party experiences, and thus specific political resources, are harmful to women. On the other hand, formal qualifications such as education have no gendered consequences. Taken together, the analysis points to the need to unpack formal selection criteria in order to properly understand their consequences on gendered parliamentary representation.
All university staff and graduate research students are welcome to attend. Lunch and refreshments will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Paper available from: www.electoralintegrityproject.com
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