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Palgrave Macmillan

Gender, Informal Institutions and Political Recruitment

Explaining Male Dominance in Parliamentary Representation

ISBN 9780230369269
Publication Date February 2013
Formats Hardcover Paperback Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Gender and Politics

Parliaments around the world are still overwhelmingly populated by men, yet studies of male dominance are much rarer than are studies of female under-representation. In this book, men in politics are the subjects of a gendered analysis.

How do men manage to hold on to positions of power despite societal trends in the opposite direction? And why do men seek to cooperate mainly with other men? Elin Bjarnegård studies how male networks are maintained and expanded and seeks to improve our understanding of the rationale underlying male dominance in politics. The findings build on results both from statistical analyses of parliamentary composition worldwide and from extensive field work in Thailand. A new concept, homosocial capital, is coined and developed to help us understand the persistence of male political dominance.

ELIN BJARNEGÅRD is Assistant Professor at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research interests include Informal institutions, Gender issues and Thai Politics.

Upholding Male Parliamentary Dominance
Revisiting Patterns Of Gendered Representation
Structure Of The Book
Studying Men And Masculinities In Politics
Constructing Homosocial Capital
Clientelism And Unpredictability
Clientelism As A Likely Producer Of Homosocial Capital
Clientelism And Male Dominance
Institutional Enablers Of Clientelism
Combining Methods
The Quantitative Approach
The Qualitative Approach
The Representation Of Men Worldwide
Capturing Clientelism – Measuring The Immeasurable?
The Models, Data And Operationalizations
Clientelism And Male Parliamentary Dominance
Results And Implications Of The Quantitative Study
Situating The Thai Case
The Thai Gender Paradox
Democratic Instability In Thailand
Informal Influence
Assessing The Clientelist Political Logic
The Thai Case: Clientelism And Male Dominance
Candidate Selection In Thai Political Parties
The Importance Of Candidate Selection
The Rules Of The Game
Who Decides?
Summarizing Thai Candidate Selection
Clientelist Networks And Homosocial Capital
The Role And Function Of Clientelist Networks
Network Maintenance And Homosocial Capital
Theorizing Homosocial Capital
The Gendered Consequences Of Clientelist Competition
The Added Value Of Homosocial Capital
Concluding Remarks
A Summary Of The Findings
The Contributions Of The Book


'This fascinating new book broadens our horizons in a number of ways. It firstly challenges us to think about male dominance rather than female under-representation in politics, using a range of methods and data derived from detailed empirical research. Second it develops a concept of homosocial capital and uses it in novel ways to to give us significant new insights into the gendered impact of clientelism and informal institutions on candidate selection. This book is an important addition to the gender and politics scholarship and deserves to be widely read.'
Georgina Waylen, Professor of Politics, University of Manchester, UK
'The relation between gender equality, corruption and clientelism in democratic governance is as important as it is fascinating. In this theoretically sophisticated and empirically impressive work, Elin Bjarnegård presents a novel understanding not only for why male dominance in democratic politics can be reproduced through clientelistic network, but also how the specific mechanisms between informal power and democratic representation operate'
Bo Rothstein, August Röhss Chair in Political Science, Göteborg University, Sweden.
'Throwing fresh light on the age-old puzzle of male dominance in elected office, this book provide a new theoretical framework by developing the concept of homosocial capital, often known as 'old boys networks', which are particularly useful for men seeking to get ahead in countries with clientalistic politics. Drawing upon evidence from global trends, the study also utilizes insights drawn from in-depth case-study of Thai politics. The clear, informative and illuminating study gives new insights into the challenges which need to be overcome to achieve gender equality in elected office'
Pippa Norris, Mcquire Lecturer in Comparative Politics John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA and ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, Australia
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