Book

Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

Edited by Dorothy McBride Stetson

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199242665
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600258 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199242666.001.0001

Series: Gender and Politics

Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

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This work presents the results of a comprehensive and integrated research project in comparative abortion policy and politics in post‐industrial democracies. It focuses on the questions of state feminism—the extent to which women's policy agencies further goals of women's movements for descriptive and substantive representation. In 11 countries in Western Europe and North America, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and the US, authors analyse the most significant debates on abortion policies from the 1970s through the 1990s. Following a common research design, individual researchers describe how each issue came to the public agenda, the goals of women's movement actors, the effectiveness of movement actors and women's policy agencies in inserting pro‐woman gendered perspectives into the issue frames, and the policy outcomes. They assess the success of the women's movement in gaining both access to the policy subsystem as well as favourable policy content. The comparative conclusion to the book examines several hypotheses in light of the descriptive information in the chapters. Have women's movement been successful in increasing their representation and thus making policy processes more democratic? To what extent have women's policy agencies been allies of movement activists? What explains patterns of movement success? In addition to state feminism theory, the conclusion assesses the explanatory power of theories of resource mobilization and political opportunity structure on women's movement effectiveness.

Keywords: abortion policy; descriptive representation; North America; political opportunity structure; resource mobilization; state feminism; substantive representation; Western Europe; women's movements; women's policy agencies

Book.  340 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Abortion, Women's Movements, and Democratic Politics in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

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State Feminism and Policy Debates on Abortion in Austria in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

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The Abortion Debates in Belgium 1974–1990 in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

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Of Rights and Power: Canada's Federal Abortion Policy 1969–1991 in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

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Gendering the Abortion Debate: The French Case in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

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Abortion Debates in Germany in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

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Women's Movements' Defence of Legal Abortion in Great Britain in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

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Abortion Debates in Ireland: An Ongoing Issue in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

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Debates and Controversies on Abortion in Italy in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

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Policy‐Making on Abortion: Arenas, Actors, and Arguments in the Netherlands in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

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