Gendering Government
224 pages, 6 x 9
6 tables
Release Date:01 Jul 2003
Release Date:20 Nov 2002
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

Gendering Government

Feminist Engagement with the State in Australia and Canada

UBC Press

Feminists, like other political actors, cannot avoid the state.Whether they want equal pay, anti-domestic violence laws, refugee orchildcare centres, they must engage with state institutions. Whatdetermines the nature and extent of this involvement? Why are somefeminists more willing to engage with some institutions, while othersare not?

Gendering Government seeks to answer these questionsthrough a comparison of feminist engagement with political institutionsin Australia and Canada. Chappell considers what effect politicalinstitutions have had on shaping feminist claims, and in turn, to whatextent these claims shape the nature of these institutions. She adds anew dimension to our understanding of the relationship between genderinterests and government, showing how the interaction is dynamic andmutually defining. She further extends existing comparative studies inthe field of women and politics by examining the full range of suchinstitutions, including the electoral, parliamentary,legal/constitutional, and bureaucratic arenas.


  • 2004, Winner - Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine
An important contribution to feminist political science and will be of interest to the discipline generally ... I especially admire its clear, jargon-free style of writing, a pleasure to read. Jill Vickers, Canadian Journal of Political Science
She offers analysis of the formation of late twentieth century feminist politics, or electoral politics, bureaucracies, courts, federal institutions, and NGOs. Her claim that this is the first work to offer this level of analysis is a strong one: she considers a range of institutions and time frames for both countries. It is a rich and full picture. Catherine Dauvergne, Canadian Literature, Issue 186, Autumn 2005
Gendering Government skilfully compares the parliamentary and federal systems in Australia and Canada, making a significant contribution to the field. It is directed to a wide audience, including readers who are interested in feminist studies, comparative analysis, political science, and political theory. Elizabeth van Acker, School of Politics and Public Policy, Griffith University, Australia
An ambitious and significant piece of scholarship ... It is written in a lively and engaging fashion, and will make a valuable contribution to the field of political science and to feminist scholarship. Katherine Teghtsoonian, Faculty of Human and Social Development, University of Victoria
Louise Chappell is a lecturer at the School ofEconomics and Political Science, University of Sydney, Australia.



1 Gender and Political Institutions in Australia and Canada

2 Feminists in Australia and Canada: Identities, Ideas, Strategies,and Structures

3 The Feminist Electoral Project: Working against the Grain

4 The Femocrat Strategy: Challenging Bureaucratic Norms andStructures

5 Feminists and the Constitutional and Legal Realms: Creating NewSpaces

6 Feminists and Federalism: Playing the Multilevel Game

7 Feminists and Institutions: A Two-Way Street



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