Kvinnors politiska representation i ett jämförande perspektiv - nationell och lokal nivå
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this dissertation is to map and analyze the spatial and temporal variation in women’s political representation at both the national and local level. In the dissertation it is argued that women’s political representation is the outcome of the interplay between structures, institutions and actors. The perspective is a comparative one, in which quantitative analyses and more qualitative case-studies complement each other. When analysing spatial variation a mainly quantitative approach is taken, while the case-study approach is applied to the temporal variation.The first empirical chapter examines whether female representation in the lower houses of the world’s parliaments co-varies with other indicators of the political situation of women in order to ensure the validity of the analysis. In the second empirical chapter female representation in parliaments of the world during the post-war period is analyzed. In the third empirical chapter the focus narrows down to women’s political representation in Western Europe during the post-war period, where both the national and local level is analysed. The fourth empirical chapter consists of case studies of six countries. Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands feature high female representation; France, Greece and Ireland low female representation. In the fifth empirical chapter women’s political representation at the local level in Norway and Sweden is analysed during the post-war period. In the sixth empirical chapter the temporal variation in female representation in a number of Swedish municipalities is analysed, from the introduction of female suffrage in 1921 until 2002.The result is that both structures, institutions and actors are necessary to explain the spatial and temporal variation in female representation. There is no direct link between structures and female representation. The structure does affect the actors and co-varies with the institutions, but successful actors as entrepreneurs might boost female representation. Actors are important. The increase in female representation cannot be seen as an automatic process taking care of itself. Conscious actors are necessary both to affect and to monitor the development. An unfavourable structural context might be compensated for by actors and institutions which favour female representation.
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