Political Representation: The Gendered Effects of Voting Systems
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In political science, the classic works on voting systems rarely noticed their impact on the representation of women. It was not until the 1980s that scholars showed that the type of electoral system was a key predictor of women’s legislative recruitment. This new knowledge was quickly taken up by those advising on policy for transitional democracies and by electoral reformers in the old democracies. In the 1990s, it was combined with knowledge of how quotas might increase women’s political representation—particularly when there was a good fit between quotas, the type of electoral system and party structures. Increased awareness of intersectionality made electoral system scholarship more complicated—for LGBTQ minorities first-past-the-post systems might offer greater rewards than proportional representation (PR).
KeywordsVoting systems Women Descriptive representation Quotas
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