Informal norms and political practices can act to facilitate or block changes to formal rules, with important consequences for efforts to promote gender equality. In this book, leading scholars develop sophisticated analytical frameworks and provide detailed empirical knowledge to further our understanding of the gendering of informal institutions.
The book begins by assessing our current theoretical and empirical knowledge and outlining the remaining gaps in our understanding around the way gender interacts with informal institutions. It takes up the challenges of gender equality in informal institutions though a feminist institutionalist lens. The empirically based chapters explore the role of informal institutions in three areas of concern for feminist scholars: political recruitment; the executive; and policy and practice; and examine the practical and methodological challenges of researching informal institutions. Using the insights generated in the volume, the final chapter develops a research agenda for future work on gendering informal institutions, considering the potential to design or alter informal institutions, and of different approaches and methodologies.
1. Analyzing Gender in Informal Institutions: An Introduction, Georgina Waylen / 2. What’s in a Name? Mapping the Terrain of Informal Institutions and Gender Politics, Louise Chappell and Fiona Mackay / 3. Local Heroes and ‘Cute Hoors’: Informal Institutions, Male Over-Representation and Candidate Selection in the Republic of Ireland, Leah Culhane / 4. AExcavating Informal Institutional Enforcement Through ‘Rapid’ Ethnography: Lessons from the Australian Construction Industry, Louise Chappell and Natalie Galea / 5. Party Office, Male Homosocial Capital and Gendered Political Recruitment, Tánia Verge and Sílvia Claveria / 6. Disentangling Informality and Informal Rules: Explaining Gender Inequality in Chile’s Executive Branch, Susan Franceschet / 7. Leveraging Informality, Rewriting Informal Rules: The Implementation of Gender Parity in Mexico, Jennifer M. Piscopo / 8. Negotiating Gender Equity in a Clientelist State: the Role of Informal Networks in Bangladesh, Sohela Nazneen / 9. An “Alternate” Story of Formal Rules and Informal Institutions: Quota Laws and Candidate Selection in Latin America, Magda Hinojosa / 10. Who, Where and How? Informal Institutions and the Third Generation of Research on Gendered Dynamics in Political Recruitment, Elin Bjarnegård and Meryl Kenny / 11. Conclusion, Georgina Waylen
This excellent volume explores the nature and gendered roles of informal institutions in a variety of settings and contexts. Drawing on empirical research from an internationally recognized group of scholars its chapters address a common set of theoretical questions to offer state of the art reflections on the development of feminist institutionalism.
Weaving diverse approaches together, this innovative book extends our knowledge of informal institutions, how they interact with formal institutions and their relationship to gender equality. Rich in theoretical and empirical discussions, and covering methodological questions arising from the complexities of informal institution research, this book is essential reading for students and researchers interested in gender politics and equality issues.
Anyone who studies politics and gender knows how important the informal is. Equality reforms are frequently undermined by the persistence of informal conventions about gender roles. Women may also go ‘below the radar’ to build or sustain alternative gender-friendly practices. This volume puts the spotlight on informal institutions – how to identify them, how to research them and what role they might play in gender reform strategies. These questions are explored through case studies from Europe, Australia, Latin America and Asia. Lively and accessible, this book stands out for its conceptual rigour, methodological reflection and international reach.
A major contribution to institutionalist theory and to comparative gender and politics research, Georgina Waylen’s edited collection, Gender and Informal Institutions, pushes both theory and empirical analysis further, summarizing and critiquing the current work on institutionalism and offering sophisticated analyses at the level of theory of how gender functions within institutions, both formal and informal. The volume presents a careful balance between the disaggregation of the elements of institutional analysis, such as the discrete, gendered logics of appropriateness in specific institutional settings, and the empirical analysis of gendered institutions, from the political executive to the construction industry, from country cases ranging from Australia and Bangladesh to Ireland and Mexico and beyond. The empirical chapters will interest country scholars and expose them to a richer understanding of the functioning of political institutions; the theoretical chapters provide the conceptual tools for future analyses. Gender and Informal Institutions is sure to inspire and invigorate debates about gender and institutions.
This volume is perfect for social scientists seeking new ways to study the construction and maintenance of gendered inequalities. Its theoretical contributions are innovative and its case studies globally diverse. Waylen provides a welcome addition to our ongoing conversations about the challenges of disentangling the less tangible webs of power.
This excellent book embraces the challenge of researching informal gendered institutions, whose norms and practices are opaque and difficult to study. Through a variety of empirical cases and methods, it significantly enriches feminist institutionalist theory, providing key insights on power, institutions, and the dynamics between opponents and advocates of gender equality norms. All scholars interested in politics, gender and institutions should read it.
Georgina Waylen is a Professor of Politics at the University of Manchester.