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    Conservatism and women's political representation

    Childs, Sarah and Celis, K. (2018) Conservatism and women's political representation. Politics and Gender 14 (1), pp. 5-26. ISSN 1743-923X.

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    Conservative political actors appear rather troubling for many gender and politics scholars and feminist activists. What should we make of their claims to represent women? How should we best understand their actions? This article, based on a critical re-reading of the empirical literature and informed by contemporary representation theory, develops a new conceptual framework for assessing the quality of women's substantive representation by conservatives. We find that under specified conditions, conservative representatives do further women's substantive representation. A first set of conditions relates to conservative claims to represent women. These are considered to be ‘for women’ when they marry conservative women’s concerns in society; when conservative representatives act and do not simply engage in rhetoric; and when their actions are not undercut by other acts, policies or outcomes unfavourable to women. A second set of criteria considers the quality of the process of women’s substantive representation. We contend that a feminist process of deliberation about women’s interests can include conservative claims as long as they meet the requirements of responsiveness, inclusiveness and egalitarianism.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Politics
    Research Centres and Institutes: British Politics and Public Life, Centre for
    Depositing User: Sarah Childs
    Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2018 17:19
    Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 21:04


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