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Gender Quotas and Democratic Participation: Recruiting Candidates for Elective Offices in GermanyLouise K. Davidson-Schmich 2016
In Gender Quotas and Democratic Participation, Louise K. Davidson-Schmich employs a pathbreaking research design to assess the effects of gender quotas on all phases of political recruitment. Drawing on interviews with, and an original survey of, potential candidates in Germany, she investigates the extent to which quotas and corresponding increases in women's descriptive representation have resulted in similar percentages of men and women joining political parties, aspiring to elected office, pursuing ballot nominations, and securing selection as candidates. She also examines the effect of quotas on discriminatory selection procedures.
Ultimately, Davidson-Schmich argues, quotas' intended benefits have been only partially realized. Quotas give women greater presence in powerful elected bodies not by encouraging female citizens to pursue political office at rates similar to men's, but by improving the odds that the limited number of politically ambitious women who do join parties will be elected. She concludes with concrete, original policy recommendations for increasing women's political participation.