Happy holidays from us to you—get up to 30 £/$/€ off your next print or eBook! Shop now >>

Gender and Politics

Abortion Law and Political Institutions

Explaining Policy Resistance

Authors: Thomson, Jennifer

  • Contains the first book length consideration of abortion politics in Northern Ireland
  • Offers key insights into feminist institutional theory, particularly around issues of gender and multi-level governance (MLG)
  • Explores the links between the various levels of MLG at work in the United Kingdom
see more benefits

Buy this book

eBook £47.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96169-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £59.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96168-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book provides a comprehensive study of abortion politics and policy in Northern Ireland. Whilst there is a substantial amount of literature on abortion in Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, there has been scant academic attention paid to the situation in Northern Ireland. Adopting a feminist institutionalist framework, the book illustrates the ways in which abortion has been addressed at both the national institution at Westminster and the devolved institution at Stormont. Covering the period from early peace process in the 1980s to the present day, the text will be of interest to politics scholars, but also sociologists, historians and students of Irish studies. 

About the authors

Jennifer Thomson is a Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the University of Bath, UK

Reviews

“The critical puzzles at the heart of this compelling book are those why and how progressive change does not happen. Why, in contrast to the rest of the United Kingdom and more recently the Republic of Ireland, does Northern Ireland retain its highly restrictive abortion laws? And why has no-one been talking about it? Jennifer Thomson’s new book illuminates the political, multi-level institutional, and legal dynamics – and the critical actors and veto players – that have maintained the gendered status quo on abortion in Northern Ireland for more than fifty years. Taking a Feminist Institutionalist approach, she argues that non-decision making and silencing around abortion in Northern Ireland are distinctly gendered, and are important mechanisms of gendered power. Abortion Law and Political Institutions: Explaining Policy Resistance is comprehensive, rigorous, and passionate. It represents a significant original empirical contribution to the literature on politics in Northern Ireland, and well as the international gender and politics literature. In applying an institutionalist gender lens, Thomson also contributes an important new case study to the Feminist Institutionalist field.” (Fiona Mackay, Professor of Politics, University of Edinburgh, UK)

“This is a fascinating and insightful account of abortion politics in Northern Ireland that convincingly demonstrates that political institutions such as devolution and consociationalism produce gender-biased policies.” (Drew Halfmann, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, UC Davis, USA) 

“This excellent book is vital reading for any scholar seeking to understand the deeply contested abortion debates in Northern Ireland, where abortion is banned other than in very exceptional circumstances. Jennifer Thomson links her impressive reappraisal of feminist institutionalism to a detailed empirical analysis of the impact of power-sharing in a divided, socially conservative society.  Drawing upon exhaustive research, including interviews with representatives of all the main Northern Irish political parties, the book traces the historical exceptionalism of abortion policy in the region. It assesses the debates over the region’s strict abortion laws both at Westminster and within the devolved Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont. This definitive volume contributes to a much better appreciation of the linkages between types of political institutions and the gendering of political issues.” (Professor Jonathan Tonge, University of Liverpool, UK)

“In this fascinating book, Jennifer Thomson examines abortion policy in Northern Ireland through the prism of feminist institutionalism for the first time.  She shows us how and why the 1967 Abortion Act has not been extended to Northern Ireland, and highlights the wider implications for our understanding of why gendered institutional change does or does not occur.” (Georgina Waylen, Politics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Thomson, Jennifer

    Pages 1-17

  • Gendering Institutions and Devolution

    Thomson, Jennifer

    Pages 19-50

  • Northern Irish Politics and Abortion

    Thomson, Jennifer

    Pages 51-81

  • The National Institution: Westminster

    Thomson, Jennifer

    Pages 83-110

  • Creating the Devolved Institution: The Peace Process

    Thomson, Jennifer

    Pages 111-135

Buy this book

eBook £47.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96169-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £59.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96168-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Loading...

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Abortion Law and Political Institutions
Book Subtitle
Explaining Policy Resistance
Authors
Series Title
Gender and Politics
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-96169-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-96169-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-96168-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 232
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics