A Theory of Electoral Institutions and Gender

Miki Caul Kittilson and Leslie A. Schwindt-Bayer

in The Gendered Effects of Electoral Institutions

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199608607
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745799 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

A Theory of Electoral Institutions and Gender

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Chapter 2 builds the book’s theoretical framework, explaining how electoral institutions affect women’s political involvement, and thus, gender gaps in political involvement. First, electoral institutions may have direct effects on women’s political involvement. Inclusive electoral rules, such as proportional representation, high district magnitude and gender quotas, may directly draw citizens, especially women, into political involvement. In other words, citizens may respond to incentives provided by the institutions themselves. Second, electoral rules may affect political involvement indirectly through the outcomes they produce: proportionality of the translation of votes into seats, the nature of party systems, and the level of women’s representation.

Keywords: electoral institutions; proportional representation; gender quotas; party system; women’s representation

Chapter.  6773 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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