Engendering the machinery of governance

Durose Catherine and Gains Francesca

in Women and New Labour

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9781861348289
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304302 | DOI:
Engendering the machinery of governance

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This chapter explores changes to the representation policies in the UK, Scottish, and Welsh legislatures, in local government and the nonelected state. It then investigates the way in which executive and administrative policies under New Labour have been engendered not only through the establishment of a Women's Policy Unit and mainstreaming policies, but, crucially, through the agency of individual policy actors in the Cabinet and the work of their departments. Local-government reforms included the abolition of the committee system and new roles for councillors as ‘community champions’. The explanations for low representation draw on similar supply-and-demand factors as other aspects of representation. The evidence reviewed also suggests that the increase in representation at Westminster requires further positive discrimination policies before a tipping point is reached. However, the experiences of the devolved governments provide a natural laboratory for future research.

Keywords: representation policies; UK legislature; Scottish legislature; Welsh legislature; New Labour; executive policies; administrative policies; Women's Policy Unit

Chapter.  8135 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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