Addressing essential questions of women's movement activism and political change in Western democracies
The Politics of State Feminism
Innovation in Comparative Research
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Dorothy E. McBride and Amy G. Mazur
The Politics of State Feminism addresses essential questions of women's movement activism and political change in Western democracies. The authors—top gender and politics scholars—provide a comparative analysis of the effectiveness of women’s policy agencies and women's movements on a range of important issues to show whether, how, and why they form state feminism.
The central research questions are examined across five policy areas in thirteen postindustrial democracies in Europe and North America from the 1960s through the early 2000s. The authors explore topics drawn from contemporary theory on movements, representation, and the place of institutions in democratic change.
Beginning with the rich studies of policy debates by the Research Network on Gender Politics and the State, the authors use an innovative qualitative and quantitative strategy to develop a new body of theory about the role of state feminism and how it can help further women’s rights.
"The Politics of State Feminism is a comprehensive book—the capstone of an ambitious, long-term, international, collaborative project. Feminist without reservation, the authors address a range of interconnected and interesting literatures, and their conclusions are thoughtful and timely. Very few comparative projects combine this breadth and depth."
"The book is sure to be a classic for scholars focused on advanced research on women, gender, institutions, and politics, and for those studying women's policy apparatus in government as it connects with women's movements in the majority of nations (i.e., in the non-Western world). Summing Up: Highly recommended."
"[A] long awaited culmination of a 15- year-long international collaborative project on comparative state feminism which was initiated by two prominent feminist political scientists.... This book is a celebrated finale of this collective odyssey that addresses essential questions of women’s movement activism and political change in Western democracies through a comprehensive comparative analysis of the effectiveness of women’s policy agencies and women’s movements on a range of important policy issues. The book presents a unique combination of conceptual sophistication, first-hand original data, wide-ranging review of interconnected literatures, methodological rigor, and thought-provoking theoretical conclusions. This book will be widely read by scholars and students interested in gender politics, institutional and policy change, social movements, and democratization.... The study’s conclusions are very important and timely."
"This is a densely packed and comprehensive book, explaining the long-standing and widely recognized state feminism project and offering a more rigorous, empirical version of its findings. It explains empirical testing of comparative hypotheses and contributes to broader social science debates."
"Superb.... This exhaustive and nuanced scholarship is what allowed for both the identification and testing of the fundamental research question found in this capstone book."
"This is the capstone book of a large-scale, even hugely ambitious, project led by the authors, which has compared ‘state feminism’ (women’s policy agencies) in 13 countries.... this book is extremely welcome.... it provides a toolkit for those researching the policy influence of women’s movements."
"The Politics of State Feminism is strongest as a synthesis and extension of the insights from the collective comparative efforts of the Research Network on Gender Politics and the State (RNGS).... In tackling big questions of variations in the relationships between women's movements and the state as mediated by women's agencies, McBride and Mazur...make several important contributions.... Among the many innovations that stand out, their lucid summaries of the results of ordinal regression, crisp-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis and case studies make the book both a trove of empirical results and mixed-methods approaches, and an important resource for research pedagogy and practice.... McBride, Mazur and the RNGS network contribute important innovations to comparative research."
Part I. Framework and Foundations
Part II. Exploring State Feminism
Part III. Unpacking State Feminism
Part IV. Conclusion