Chapter 9. Gender representation in Wales: new approaches to candidate selection in UK’s devolved legislatures and beyond

Stirbu, Diana, Larner, Jac and McAllister, Laura (2018) Chapter 9. Gender representation in Wales: new approaches to candidate selection in UK’s devolved legislatures and beyond. In: Democratizing Candidate Selection. New Methods, Old receipts? Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 201-230. ISBN 978-3-319-76549-5

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Abstract / Description

Gender represents a very important, yet often neglected, element of political and constitutional change. In the the United Kingdom (UK) - an example of a state in relative constitutional flux - gender and constitutional reform have been closely intertwined the ‘new' politics, derived from the process of devolution to Scotland and Wales in particular. This has created conditions for a renewed debate on women representation in UK’s political and public life and resulted in a degree of better representation for women elected to the various UK legislatures.

This chapter explores changes in the electoral opportunity structures for women in post-devolution UK, using Wales and its National Assembly as a case study. It will focus specifically on internal candidate selection processes within the main political parties in Wales -Labour, Conservative and Plaid Cymru.

Our findings highlight the importance of endogenous and exogenous factors, both structural and cultural, in diversifying pathways into politics for women through innovative approaches to candidate selection strategies within parties, and through addressing structural barriers outside political parties. We argue that whilst the ‘new’ politics has brought some changes to electoral opportunity structures for women at subnational level, there has been no real cascading effect of positive changes at other levels, a culture of bias still stifling the internal party processes of selecting candidates.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wales -- Politics and government; Wales. National Assembly -- Candidate selection; Gender representation
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
Department: School of Social Professions (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Diana Stirbu
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2018 08:25
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2020 12:17


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