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Semester 1

Gender, Power and Representation (PLIT10113)







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Visiting students must have completed 4 Politics courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses, and we cannot consider interdisciplinary courses or courses without sufficient Politics/Government/International Relations focus. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission, and priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Politics department. **Please note that all Politics courses are very high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Course Summary

This course examines the links between gender, power and representation in global perspective. Drawing on comparative analyses and detailed case-study accounts, the course introduces students to both historical trends and the contemporary state of gender and representation around the world. Students will explore, amongst other things: the gender gap in voting patterns and political participation; the gendered dynamics of representation in political parties, legislatures and executives; the relationship between gender, the media and political campaigns; and strategies for increasing the numerical representation of women and other historically-under-represented groups in politics, including gender quotas. We will also consider what is at stake in debates over equal representation and will explore the ways in which the possibilities and constraints for political action are gendered. Whilst the focus of the course is on gender and representation, we will take an intersectional approach, and remain attentive throughout the course to the ways in which gender intersects with other structures of power.

Course Description

This course examines the interconnections between gender, power and representation in both historical and contemporary contexts. It is global in focus, examining patterns of political participation and representation across a wide range of countries and regions, whilst also delving into in-depth case studies of the gendered dynamics of political power in political parties, legislatures and executives in particular contexts. Throughout the course, we will examine the problems and questions raised by the issues of gender, power and political representation. When we speak about the "under-representation of women" and other groups, what visions of representation are we invoking and with what attendant problems and expectations? What does gender have to do with it? Do "supply" or "demand" factors best account for the relatively few women in political life? How can we account for variation across political parties and political systems? What role does gender play in the representation of politicians in the media? What strategies can we (and should we) use to achieve equal representation? And (why) does it matter? Whilst we focus in particular on gender dynamics and global trends in the course, we will also pay attention to intersectionality and heterogeneity throughout, assessing the ways in which gender intersects with other structures of power, including race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and disability.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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