Labels and Mandates in the United Kingdom

Sarah Childs and Mona Lena Krook

in The Impact of Gender Quotas

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199830091
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932924 | DOI:
Labels and Mandates in the United Kingdom

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This chapter explores the effects of party quotas introduced in the early 1990s by the Labour Party in the United Kingdom. Because this policy took the form of all-women shortlists (AWS) applied in some districts but not others, it permits a comparison between quota and non-quota women. Sarah Childs and Mona Lena Krook draw on three waves of interviews with Labour women first elected in 1997, thus controlling for party and cohort. They compare whether women from these two groups feel obligated to represent women (mandate effect) but also experience negative stereotypes (label effect). They find that quota women and non-quota women assume distinct roles vis-à-vis women’s substantive representation. While mandates are more common than labels among all MPs, labels are more acute for women selected via AWS. Childs and Krook also note, however, that the stigma of being a “quota woman” lessened over time.

Keywords: gender quotas; all-women shortlists; political representation; Labour Party; United Kingdom

Chapter.  7249 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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