Quotas for Women in Politics: Gender and Candidate Selection Reform Worldwide

Research output: Book/ReportBook

535 Scopus citations


In recent years, political parties and national legislatures in more than 100 countries have adopted quotas for the selection of female candidates to political office. Despite the rapid diffusion of these measures around the globe, most research has focused on single countries - or, at most, the presence of quotas within one world region - and thus explains their adoption and impact based on a limited range of evidence, which frequently contradicts with findings from other cases. In contrast, this book addresses quotas as a global phenomenon in order to provide greater analytical leverage in explaining their spread and impact in diverse contexts around the world. It is organized around two sets of questions. First, why are quotas adopted? Which actors are involved in quota campaigns, and why do they support or oppose quota measures? Second, what effects do quotas have on existing patterns of political representation? Are these provisions sufficient for bringing more women into politics? Or, does their impact depend on other features of the broader political context? The first three chapters present an overview of quota policies and then develop a framework for analyzing the spread of quota provisions and the reasons for variations in their effects. The following three chapters apply this framework to examine and compare campaigns for reserved seats in Pakistan and India, party quotas in Sweden and the United Kingdom, and legislative quotas in Argentina and France. The book concludes with a discussion of directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Electronic)9780199871605
ISBN (Print)9780195375671
StatePublished - May 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


  • Argentina
  • Candidate Selection
  • France
  • Gender Quotas
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Political Representation
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • Women In Politics


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