Conclusion: The Feminist Policy Formation Puzzle

Amy G. Mazur

in Theorizing Feminist Policy

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780199246724
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599859 | DOI:

Series: Gender and Politics

 Conclusion: The Feminist Policy Formation Puzzle

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The comparative analysis of the 27 policy cases suggests that feminist policies appear to be quite feminist in action, although successful feminist policies do not always achieve the same level of women's substantive and descriptive representation throughout the policy process. Success does not seem to neatly correspond with a given sub‐sector, country, or feminist family of nations. Whereas feminist strategic partnerships and feminist advocacy coalitions emerge around more feminist policies, they do not appear to be a prerequisite for highly successful policies. The presence of left‐wing governments and more woman‐friendly states and societies also may be one part of the feminist policy recipe for success; they are by no means the only ingredients. One of the most important determinants of feminist policy success may very well be the presence of sympathetic non‐feminist allies in key decision‐making positions. Thus, although feminist policy as a sector of government action is an undeniable feature of Western post‐industrial democracy at the beginning of the twenty‐first century, it appears to be quite different from more established areas of government action with more uniform and predictable dynamics and policy styles.

Keywords: comparative analysis; descriptive representation; feminist advocacy; feminist policy; feminist strategic partnerships; left‐wing governments; nations; substantive representation; western post‐industrial democracy; woman‐friendly states

Chapter.  11697 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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