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Preview: Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society - current issue

Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society Current Issue

Published: Tue, 26 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:47:27 GMT


The Reactive Left: Gender Equality and the Latin American Pink Tide

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

This introduction assesses the effects of Latin America’s pink tide on gender equality in the region. We find that left governments and left competition provide an opportunity for advancing gender equality. However, the dominant pattern during Latin America’s pink tide was one of a reactive left. Pink tide governments typically did not have clearly articulated gender equality initiatives on their immediate policy agendas. Instead, left governments mostly reacted to pressures from domestic gender equality activists. In addition to left ideology and feminist mobilization, left party type and policy type explain progress and setbacks in gender equality across six outcome areas.

The Divergence in Women’s Economic Empowerment: Class and Gender under the Pink Tide1

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Since 1990, men’s monopoly over economic resources, a key feature of gender inequality, has been irreversibly eroded across Latin America. Women’s access to income of their own has improved in dramatic ways. The most significant change preceded the Pink Tide years, fueled by structural conditions such as fertility drops and neoliberal policies’ downward pressure on male wages and employment. However, women’s access to resources remained conditioned by their socioeconomic status and the sexual division of labor at home. Against this backdrop, the Pink Tide expanded social income and made some progress regarding gender and class inequalities separately, yet not their perverse interactions.

Still Left Behind: Gender, Political Parties, and Latin America’s Pink Tide

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

We test whether women’s representation benefited from the left’s dominance in Latin America during the “pink tide”. We find that left governments did not strengthen quota laws more than right governments. Further, after controlling for confounding factors, we find that left parties did not nominate or elect more women. Rather, we find the decision environment shapes parties’ choices about women candidates: when citizens distrust political parties, parties nominate more women, but when citizens evaluate the economy poorly, and when parties face many challengers, they nominate more men. Thus, the decision environments in which parties operate overshadow the effects of ideology.

Governance Models of Gender Policy Machineries under Left and Right Governments in Latin America

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

In Latin America, the last fifteen years of left-wing government provide an opportunity to examine whether government ideology matters for the institutional design of gender policy machineries. We conduct a cross-national comparison of gender policy machinery governance models, taking three well-established models—bureaucratic, participatory, and transformative—as empirical guidance. We find that no one clear model is associated with government ideology. By studying four cases in-depth—Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela—we provide a more nuanced interpretation of how governance models are influenced by an interaction between party type, broader state capacities, and participatory structures.

The Left Turn and Abortion Politics in Latin America

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

We address the puzzle of left governments and abortion policy reform during Latin America’s pink tide. Contrary to expectations, left government abortion reforms in this period have ranged from full legalization to supporting absolute prohibition. Confirming previous scholarship, we argue that abortion reform is influenced by public opinion, level of secularization, the strength of feminist mobilization vis-à-vis conservative religious mobilization, and ideology of government. However, while left government is a necessary condition for abortion policy liberalization, it is not a sufficient one: type of left party is crucial. Institutionalized partisan lefts are more likely to liberalize than populist left governments.

Latin America’s Left-Turn and the Political Empowerment of Indigenous Women

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Given indigenous women’s position at the intersection of gender and racial oppressions, assessing their political empowerment (or lack thereof) over the course of Latin America’s “left-turn” offers a barometer of just how well pink tide governments succeeded in their promises of inclusion. We assess whether the left turn led to the political empowerment of indigenous women by comparing the center-right government of Peru with the left-wing governments of Bolivia and Ecuador. We find that left governments perform better, but among the left, type of left party matters. Moreover, equally important is the strength of indigenous movements and indigenous women’s organizing.

Left Parties and Violence against Women Legislation in Mexico

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Are governments with stronger left parties more likely to implement comprehensive violence against women (VAW) laws? This paper combines a qualitative historical study with a statistical analysis of the most recent wave of policy reform. The historical analysis shows that VAW initiatives were typically proposed by feminist legislators from centrist or leftist parties, often with close ties to the feminist movement. The regression results show that the strength of leftist parties in the state legislature does not have a significant effect on the comprehensiveness or implementation of VAW laws, but the strength of the feminist movement does.