Quota Problems: Combating the Dangers of Essentialism


Mansbridge, Jane. “Quota Problems: Combating the Dangers of Essentialism”. Politics & Gender 14 (2005): , 1, 4, 622-638. Web. Copy at http://www.tinyurl.com/yxq6bz75
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Increasing the number of women in positions of political power is top priority for women’s movements and for governments around the world. Activists, international institutions, and national governments have come to see gender quota laws as the best way to achieve this goal. In the past 15 years, more than 40 countries have adopted measures that require a certain number of those running for or holding legislative office to be women. Political science research on this topic has hewn closely to empirical questions about this phenomenon: Under what conditions do countries adopt gender quota laws? What impact do they have on the percentage of women elected to office? What difference do “quota women” make once elected? This debate, by contrast, focuses on normative questions about gender quota laws. Are quotas a good idea? Should more countries adopt them? Should the United States consider them? We have invited leading scholars to step back from the more cautious findings of their research to tell us what they really think

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Last updated on 08/20/2014