Political Power and Womens Representation in Latin America

Paperback | September 15, 2012

byLeslie A. Schwindt-Bayer

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The number of women elected to Latin American legislatures has grown significantly over the past thirty years. This increase in the number of women elected to national office is due, in large part, to gender-friendly electoral rules such as gender quotas and proportional electoral systems, andit has, in turn, fostered constituent support for representative democracy. Still, this book argues that women are gaining political voice and bringing women's issues to state agendas, but they are not gaining political power. Women are marginalized by the male majority in office and relegated tothe least powerful committees and leadership posts, hindering progress toward real political equality.In Political Power and Women's Representation in Latin America, Leslie Schwindt-Bayer examines the causes and consequences of women's representation in Latin America. She does so by asking a series of politically relevant and theoretically challenging questions, including why the numbers of women inoffice have increased in some countries but vary across others; what the presence of women in office means for the way representatives legislate; and what consequences the election of women bears for representative democracy more generally. Schwindt-Bayer articulates a comprehensive theory of women's representation that analyzes and connects trends in relation to four facets of political representation: formal, descriptive, substantive and symbolic. She then tests this theory empirically using aggregate data from all eighteen LatinAmerican democracies and original fieldwork in Argentina, Colombia and Costa Rica. Ultimately, this book communicates the complex and often incomplete nature of women's political representation in Latin America.

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The number of women elected to Latin American legislatures has grown significantly over the past thirty years. This increase in the number of women elected to national office is due, in large part, to gender-friendly electoral rules such as gender quotas and proportional electoral systems, andit has, in turn, fostered constituent suppo...

Leslie A. Schwindt-Bayer is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri. She has published in the American Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, and Legislative Studies Quarterly.

other books by Leslie A. Schwindt-Bayer

Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:September 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199938660

ISBN - 13:9780199938667

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: A Theory of Women's Political Representation2. Descriptive Representation: Electing Women in Latin America3. Preferences and Priorities: Gender and the Political Attitudes of Legislators4. Making Policy: Bill Sponsorship, Cosponsorship, and Debates5. Taking Charge: Leadership and Committees6. Working in the District: Home Style7. Symbolic Representation: Evoking Support for the Political SystemConclusion: Women's Representation in Latin American LegislaturesAppendix A: Data CollectionAppendix B: Survey QuestionnaireAppendix C: Variable Coding for Survey AnalysesAppendix D: Committees in Argentina, Colombia, and Costa RicaNotesReferencesIndex