Politics and Gender in Ireland: The Quest for Political Agency
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This book explores the relationship between women, the state and democratic politics in Ireland today. It highlights the conservatism of the political culture shared by all traditions on the island, and how this culture circumscribes women’s political agency in Northern Ireland and Ireland. The book explores the opportunities and obstacles to women’s participation and representation on each side of the border. The chapters take the view that public decision-making institutions and processes are subject to rules and practices that reinforce the gendered foundations of democratic politics. They document women’s continuing quest for full participation and equal representation in these male-gendered arenas. The contributors focus on the marginalised experiences of women in modern politics in Ireland and detail their efforts to challenge the masculinized status quo. The book addresses the classical issues of citizenship, participation, representation and equal rights in a sustained analysis of the political systems on the island.
It also deals with modern issues – multiculturalism, peace-building, the male-gendered legislature and the unequal nature of women’s citizenship in constitutional, institutional and policy contexts. The book is completed by a comprehensive appendix of all women elected to political office on the island from 1918-2013. This book was published as a special issue of Irish Political Studies.