Institutional Quota Roadblocks on the Federal Level
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This chapter explains why, contrary to general assumptions, Germany’s mixed electoral system with strong majoritarian elements led to a higher percentage of women in federal parliament over the past 30 years than Austria’s proportional system. In Germany, the proportional element of the electoral system drives the increase in women’s mandates via party lists, whereas the direct district election still privileges men. In Austria, the three-tiered electoral architecture with rather small regional electoral districts and small numbers of electable seats represents a bottom-up cascade that advances more men than women. Finally, the center parties in both countries only reluctantly fortified their quota regulations since the 1980s and appeared particularly blind towards strengthening provisions that would allow for a better fit of party quotas and electoral laws.