Title
The rise of gender quota laws : expanding the spectrum of determinants for electoral reform The rise of gender quota laws : expanding the spectrum of determinants for electoral reform
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Politics
Source (journal)
West European politics. - London, 1978, currens
Volume/pages
34(2011) :3 , p. 514-530
ISSN
0140-2382
1743-9655
ISI
000289633500005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The seminal work of Arend Lijphart, Electoral Systems and Party Systems (1994), limits the definition of electoral reforms to those affecting electoral formulas, district magnitudes, assembly size, or electoral thresholds. Following this definition, studies on electoral reform have put political parties and their motivations at centre stage. Expanding the definition of electoral reform, however, requires a move beyond parties to explore the multiple possible sources of change. This article examines the most common reforms ofrecent years, electoral gender quota policies, and points to at least four explanations for the adoption of gender quota laws. Based on extensive data from gender quota campaigns, the article suggests that the literature on this topic would benefit from efforts to broaden the analytical focus to include the role of agency, group interests, anddiscursive struggles, and to call attention to the possibility of causal diversity by revealing different routes to electoral reform.
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