Gender and Political Recruitment: Theorizing Institutional by Meryl Kenny

By Meryl Kenny

This e-book explores the gendered dynamics of institutional innovation, continuity and alter in candidate choice and recruitment. Drawing at the insights of feminist institutionalism, it extends the 'supply and insist version' of political recruitment through a micro-level case examine of the candidate choice method in post-devolution Scotland.

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Extra resources for Gender and Political Recruitment: Theorizing Institutional change (Gender and Politics)

Sample text

Indeed, most studies of women in politics do acknowledge the role of multiple institutions in shaping representative outcomes, albeit often implicitly (Krook, 2010c, p. 711; see also Krook, 2009). For example, accounts that focus on party selection practices and candidate selection criteria – the practical institutions of political recruitment – often address both ‘party characteristics and underlying popular beliefs about the political qualifications of women’ (Krook, 2009, pp. 45–46), implicitly incorporating both the systemic and normative institutions of political recruitment (see for example Lovenduski and Norris, 1993; Caul, 1999).

56) notes, ‘If parliament is the warehouse of traditional masculinity [. ’ Thus, integrating gender into the dynamics of supply and demand requires a closer look at political parties as the central (and gendered) actors at the heart of the political recruitment process. Second, a feminist institutionalist approach draws attention to the gendered nature of, and the interaction between, the formal and informal rules of the recruitment process. Both Norris and Gender, Institutions and Political Recruitment 29 Lovenduski (1995) and Krook (2009, 2010c) argue that a broader conceptualization of the political recruitment process is required, focusing upon informal practices and conventions as well as formal rules and organizational structures (see also Norris, 1997).

However, despite sharing a number of common preoccupations, to date, the relationship between gender and institutions has largely been overlooked in the new institutionalist literature. Indeed, only a handful of new institutionalist accounts address – or even mention – issues related to gender or women (see for example Skocpol, 1992; Pierson, 1996; Clemens, 1997; Thelen, 2003). 2 This has meant that the global and regional political trend of the incorporation of women in formal institutions, as well as the potential role of gender dynamics in broader institutional processes, have been almost completely missed by the new institutionalist ‘mainstream’.

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