Women, Men and the Representation of Women in the British Parliaments Magic Numbers?

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-07-01
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press

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This is the first book to consider the difference women MPs make for women constituents in Britain by comparing women parliamentarians’ activities, priorities and perceptions to those of their male colleagues. The book uncovers complicated gender dynamics that have been neglected in other works because of an exclusive focus on the activities of women MPs, and it mounts a systematic challenge to the idea that a critical mass of women is necessary for women’s presence to matter. By comparing the representation women receive from a parliament with few women to what they get from a parliament with many women, Anna Dionne leads the reader to understand why numbers are not magic. Her empirical research includes interviews with more than eighty parliamentarians in London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the amassing of an unprecedented and comprehensive database of representatives’ legislative activities. She compares how men and women and different political parties introduce and support bills and motions, ask parliamentary questions, participate in committee and floor debates, and work behind the scenes for cross-party consensus and on constituency casework. The analysis nimbly considers gender similarities and differences throughout the policy process and explains the gender dynamics with a new sensitivity to their fluctuation. Challenging the idea that women should be elected because they will improve the attention paid to women’s issues, this study aims to refocus popular and academic energy on the many and varied contributions women make to parliamentary institutions, politics and outcomes.

Author Biography

Anna Manasco Dionne is an attorney at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Birmingham, AL.

Table of Contents

List of tablesp. vi
List of figuresp. viii
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
A red herring?p. 13
The House of Commonsp. 40
Scotlandp. 93
Walesp. 122
Northern Irelandp. 140
Political arithmetic?p. 160
'As simple as possible, but not simpler'p. 182
Appendix: research designp. 186
Bibliographyp. 223
Indexp. 239
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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