Gender has traditionally proven to be a ‘blind spot’ for new institutionalists. This book bring gender to the fore as a critical aspect of institutions and opens up new avenues to interrogate the dynamics of power and change. Casting its empirical lens on the EU, where institutional efforts to realize gender equality are quite pronounced, the book interrogates attempts to bring about more ‘gender just’ polities – supranationally, nationally, and more locally.
The book takes a ‘best case’ scenario – with explicit transformative aims to the social (gendered) order – in order to illuminate how institutions and their gendering, help and hinder institutional change. In doing so, it aims to: 1) consolidate and expand the theoretical ‘toolkit’ in terms of synergies between feminism and new institutionalism’s various strands; and 2) bring it to bear on the trajectory of Europe’s gender equality agenda towards better understanding the institutional and institutionalized challenges to redressing gender inequalities.
Introduction, Elaine Weiner and Heather MacRae / Part I. Gendering New Institutionalisms / 1. Equality Policies in the EU Through a Feminist Historical Institutionalist Lens, Petra Debusscher and Anna van der Vleuten / 2. Filtering Out, Filtering In: What Place for Gender in European Economic Plans?, Yvonne Galligan / 3. Gender Mainstreaming and EU Climate Change Policy, Gill Allwood / 4. The European Social Fund and the Institutionalization of Gender Mainstreaming in Sweden and Germany, Petra Ahrens and Anne-Charlotte Callerstig / Part II. Refinement and Innovation / 5. Resistance to Implementing Gender Mainstreaming in EU Research Policy, Lut Mergaert and Emanuela Lombardo / 6. Benevolent Contestations: Mainstreaming, Judicialization, and Europeanization in the Norwegian Gender+ Equality Debate, Hege Skjeie, Cathrine Holst, and Mari Teigen / Part III. Growing the Dialogue: Discovering Other Theoretical Synergies / 7. Mainstreaming Gender in EU Immigration and Asylum Policy, Jane Freedman / 8. The Gendered Nature of Economic Governance in the EU: A Key Battleground for Gender Equality, Elisabeth Klatzer and Christa Schlager / 9. Gendering EU Sustainable Development Policy: Political Opportunities for Women’s Groups, Sara Reis / Conclusion: Common Ground and New Terrain, Heather MacRae and Elaine Weiner
Heather MacRae is the Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration and an Associate Professor in Political Science at York University, Canada. Her research focuses on gender politics in the European Union. Her publications include several book chapters as well as articles appearing in journals such as the Journal of Common Market Studies, West European Politics, and Women’s Studies International Forum.
Elaine Weiner is an Associate Professor in Sociology at McGill University, Canada. Her research interests lie at the intersection of gender, work, and Central and East European societies. She is the author of Market Dreams: Gender, Class, and Capitalism in the Czech Republic (2007). She has also published chapters in various books as well as articles in journals such as the European Journal of Women’s Studies, Social Problems, and Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society.
This volume makes a significant contribution to the development of two important areas of scholarship. It refines our gendered institutional analyses of the European Union and its equality policies. It also explores the relationship between different institutional approaches and feminist institutionalism. Finally this clear and comprehensive collection ranges over key policy areas and institutions providing us with useful new data.
Towards Gendering Institutionalism will form a central point in the important Comparative Feminist Institutionalism project and literature. The collection focuses upon the crucial question of political will to support gender equality in the EU and its constituent states. Case studies cover many issues of contemporary relevance, including gender mainstreaming, climate change, immigration and asylum and economic governance.
Towards Gendering Institutionalism is notable for its theoretical richness and intellectual rigor. It affords fresh insights into obstacles facing gender mainstreaming in the EU, as its nine case studies grapple with the ways gender is entangled with institutions. The chapters engage a wide range of pressing policy areas including employment, climate change, supranational governance, immigration and asylum, economic crisis, and supra-national governance. This book is a must-read for scholars interested in the relationships between institutions and gender inequality and the future of gender mainstreaming in the EU.
This collection is a new milestone in the engagement of feminist scholarship with the new institutionalism in political science. The contributions raise important questions about the way forward: should efforts concentrate on gendering existing approaches to the study of institutions or can there be, should there be, a feminist institutionalism.