© 2017

Women Presidents and Prime Ministers in Post-Transition Democracies

  • Verónica Montecinos
  • Offers a comparative study of the rise of women to the highest political office

  • Combines theoretical chapters with eight country studies from four regions of the world

  • Makes a significant contribrution to the underexplored field of gender and leadership


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political Leadership book series (PSPL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Verónica Montecinos
    Pages 1-36
  3. Leslie A. Schwindt-Bayer, Catherine Reyes-Housholder
    Pages 81-99
  4. Elizabeth A. Yates, Melanie M. Hughes
    Pages 101-122
  5. Diana J. Mendoza, Maria Elissa Jayme Lao
    Pages 205-219
  6. Verónica Montecinos
    Pages 277-286
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 287-300

About this book


This book contributes to our understanding of the trajectories and prerogatives of female political leaders in the varying context of democratization, political institutions and cultural norms. No woman had been elected leader of a country before 1960, but with democratic transitions on the rise since the 1970s, the number of women in executive office gradually became a trend of global scope. In 2015, nineteen countries had an elected female Head of State and/or Government, a proportionally small number that is expected to climb as more women compete for high office, sometimes against other female candidates. This volume compares how women executives differ in promoting gender equality and advocating for women’s rights and interests, as well as in their ability to negotiate gender policy agendas. Comparative and theoretical chapters on post-transition women leaders are complemented by case studies in eight countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern and Central Europe. This book will be of use to students and scholars interested in gender studies, comparative politics, and political leadership.


female leaders executive politics democratization gender policies leadership studies Dilma Rousseff Michelle Bachelet Luísa Dias Diogo Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Corazon Aquino Sheikh Hasina Iveta Radicova Vaira Vike-Freiberga

Editors and affiliations

  • Verónica Montecinos
    • 1
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State University, Greater AlleghenyMcKeesportUSA

About the editors

Verónica Montecinos is Professor of Sociology at the Pennsylvania State University, Greater Allegheny, USA. She authored Economists, Politics and the State: Chile 1958 – 1994 (1998) and co-edited Economists in the Americas (2009). She has published essays on democratization, technocratic politics, history of economic ideas, and gender and pensions.

Bibliographic information


“This book makes an important contribution to the knowledge base about the role that economic, cultural, and political conditions play in women’s leadership in post-transition democracies, which has been a highly ignored issue. … Overall, this book will be reference reading for scholars working on women’s participation in politics in general, and in post-transition democracies in particular.” (Sema Akboga, Democratization, Vol. 26 (5), 2019)

“This book deftly combines theoretical explanations for the scarcity of women in chief executive political roles worldwide using case studies of women as leaders across Latin American, African, Asian, and post-transition European contexts. Explaining why female chief executives are so rare combines sociological, cultural, economic, and political threads and provides the reader with a platform to analyze the particular cases that follow and the obstacles as well as possibilities that confront gender-based reforms proposed by women political leaders. Overall, this book provides a nice combination of generalized explanation and specific social and political contexts and is shaped through an excellent introduction by the editor.” (Professor Emeritus Bert A. Rockman, Purdue University, USA)