Gender and Politics

The representation of women in various democracies (industrialized vs. industrializing) continues to be a thorny problem for those concerned with diversity and equality in politics. The Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Global Women in Politics map for 2017 shows that of 190 countries having some representation of women in their lower legislative House, Mexico is 8th (43% of the seats held by women), Canada is 62nd with 26% of the House seats held by women and the US at a dismal 104th place with 19% of the House seats held by women.  As those of us who study political science know, the quality of a democracy’s law and politics is affected by the inclusion of various social groups making up the country.   Chief among the impediments to electing women are the single-member-district (SMD) and plurality-balloting used by Canada and the US, and the staggeringly high fundraising requirements for challenging candidates in the US presidential and Congressional elections.  Also, Canada and the US lag in terms of on-site child care arrangements for legislators. By contrast, Mexico elects nearly half of its seats in the 500-person Chamber of Deputies through proportional representation.

Key questions for those concerned with the study of diversity and fairness in various political systems include:  how long has the political system in question looked the way it has (i.e. is it one of the “older” democracies?) What is the role of socialization of men and women about the “proper roles” of the sexes in terms of holding back change? What are the links between diversity in governmental institutions and progressive policy outputs?

A degree in Political Science at Carleton will teach you to successfully analyze structural and attitudinal factors shaping a country’s political system and influencing “who gets what, when and how,” as political scientist Harold Lasswell stated.

Select Courses Include:

PSCI 2500 Gender and Politics
PSCI 3502 Gender and Politics: Global South
PSCI 4403/5407 Reproductive Rights Policy in North America
PSCI 4500 Gender and Globalization
PSCI 4506 Women and Politics in North America
PSCI 6200 Theorizing Gender and Diversity
PSCI 6201 Gender and Diversity: Comparative and International Politics

view undergraduate course descriptions
view graduate course descriptions

Select Recent Publications:

Chandler, AndreaDemocracy, Gender and Social Policy in Russia: a Wayward Society. Houndsmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Gabriel, Christina,  “Framing Families: Neo-Liberalism and the Family Class within Canadian Immigration Policy”. Atlantis. Critical Studies in Gender, Culture, and Social Justice. 38:1 (2017). Pp. 179-194.

Haussman, Melissa, Reproductive Rights and the State: Getting the Birth-Control, RU-486, Morning-After Pills and the Gardasil Vaccine to the US Market (Praeger, 2013).

Débora Lopreite and Laura Macdonald, “Gender and Latin American Welfare Regimes: Early Childhood Education and Care Policies in Argentina and Mexico,” Social Politics, Vol. 21, no. 1, 2014, pp. 80-102.

Solanki, Gopika. 2011. Adjudication in Religious Family Laws: Cultural Accommodation, Legal Pluralism and Gender Equality in India. Cambridge, New York, Delhi: Cambridge University Press.

Robinson, Fiona, ‘Feminist Care Ethics and Everyday Insecurities’ in Jonna Nyman and Anthony Burke, eds., Ethical Security Studies: A New Research Agenda.  London:  Routledge, 2016.